When it comes to running a successful business, it’s important you do everything possible to ensure you’re always operating as cost effectively as possible, to help keep overheads low and profits high. A big part of this is how much energy you use. This clearly has a direct effect on how much you pay for your gas and electricity service.
In addition to comparing business energy deals, to ensure the rates you’re paying are appropriate for your needs and as cheap as possible, you can also install a business electricity meter.
Available in a variety of formats, business electricity meter installation can help to both reduce your energy bills and improve your company’s energy efficiency too – thereby reducing your carbon footprint and making your business a more eco-friendly operation.
If your business premises has an old electricity meter installed, there’s a chance it might not be working correctly, which will not only make it difficult for you to see how much energy you’re using, but your supplier might also be billing you incorrectly.
Installing a new electricity meter enables you to more accurately monitor your electricity usage – helping you to avoid overpaying or underpaying each month. This allows you to get a clearer idea of how much energy you are using and when, improving your ability to budget.
Modern electricity meters and smart meters, can be installed quickly and with minimal fuss and disruption, meaning you’ll only be without electricity for around half an hour so, and so won’t have to stop trading for any significant period of time, if at all.
Your Metering Point Administration Number [MPAN] is a unique reference number used by energy companies to identify your property and account with them. Often consisting of 21 digits and beginning with the letter ‘s’, this number can usually be found on an energy bill.
If you do not have a recent energy bill, or are still not sure what your MPAN is, you can call your current energy supplier who will readily supply it to you. Whilst not needing to use your MPAN number on a regular basis, you will be requested to supply your MPAN number when requesting having a new meter installed.
Whilst switching energy suppliers can often be done quickly, having a new meter installed often takes a little longer. However, switching to a new meter could save you a significant amount each year and provide a variety of other benefits.
There are a variety of business electricity meters that you can choose from for your business. The two most common are:
- Smart meters – These types of meters automatically submit readings to your supplier via wireless technology. Small in size and featuring a display screen, they enable you to see exactly how much energy you are using in real time – allowing you to stay in control of your energy usage and expenditure.
- Standard meters – These meters do not automatically send readings to your energy supplier, meaning that you are required to take your own readings and provide them to your supplier. To ensure your energy bills are accurate, you need to submit readings on a monthly basis. Once the most common type of energy meter, these meters are now being overlooked for smart meters. However, standard meters are still common amongst businesses with low electricity consumption.
Other meters include Economy-7 and Economy-10 meters, which are classed as two-rate electricity meters. Put simply, this means that one rate is used to measure your daily usage and one rate for night-time consumption.
There are also meters specifically for evening, weekend and night time consumption. These are designed to help businesses who operate mainly in one period of the day or night, such as bars and nightclubs.
Your Kilo Volt Amperes [KVA] figure represents the total amount of electricity you can draw from the national grid at any one time. You will pay more if your KVA allowance is high. That makes this extremely important to know before signing a contract with a new energy supplier – if you’re not likely to use a huge amount of electricity you need to make sure you aren’t paying for a service you don’t require.
While it’s pretty rare to have a high KVA figure, there are circumstances where it may be too high. For example, if you are in new premises, the previous tenant could have perhaps used lots more machinery than you – meaning the building’s KVA is set too high for your business.
Another consideration is whether your electricity supply is single or 3-phase – the difference being single phase relates to running things such as lighting and heating, whilst a 3 phase power supply is more suitable for the running of heavy machinery.