With business gas rates close to being at an all-time high, it is no surprise that business owners are searching for gas-saving solutions. Businesses in every kind of sector can benefit from surveying the market. Smart technology devices, which have grown in popularity in recent years, are now the go-to choice for business owners who want to avoid massive energy bills.
There are lots of different smart devices to choose from. Business owners can invest in smart thermostats, standard smart meters, half-hourly smart meters, and multi-rate smart meters to track and tweak their business gas usage. Here, our experts explore the pros and cons of all these smart technology devices. But first, what is smart technology?
What Is Smart Technology?
Smart technology devices are at the forefront of home automation efforts. In recent years, smart technology has developed to the point where homeowners can buy devices that track, manage, and reduce their gas and electricity usage. Now, smart technology devices have developed so much that they are available for business owners.
Thermostats, lights, and heating systems are just a few of the things that business owners can manage with smart technology devices. In most cases, smart technology systems are installed on-site and can connect to smartphone apps. This allows business owners to reduce business gas rates and improve their carbon footprints.
Smart thermostats are one of the most popular devices to help manage business gas consumption. These are something you will have to invest in yourself as business gas suppliers will not supply them.
Thermostats detect and display temperature changes. The Goole Nest Thermostat, for example, will learn your routines and adjust accordingly resulting in reduced consumption of business gas.
They are installed in both domestic and commercial spaces to monitor changing temperatures. They are small devices that feature digital screens.
Like other smart technology devices, smart thermostats connect to smartphone and tablet apps. Business owners can monitor and even alter their heating from their phones! They can set their heating to turn on when employees are just arriving at the office and set it to turn off an hour before they leave. By creating a heating schedule, business owners can reduce business gas rates.
One of the biggest benefits of smart meters is that business owners can purchase and install them themselves. You do not need to contact an energy supplier to secure a smart thermostat.
They are often mistaken for smart meters.
Most people are aware of the benefits of smart meters and their impact on controlling business gas supply. Anyone who consumes energy has a meter. Traditional meters measure business gas usage. Before the advent of smart technology devices, homeowners and business owners had to regularly check their meters and send the readings to their providers.
The main difference between traditional meters and smart meters is that smart versions use wireless networks to automatically send readings to energy providers. Smart meters are the go-to choice for people who want accurate readings. By investing in technology that takes regular, accurate readings, business owners can ensure that they are not paying more or less than they need to. Inaccurate meter readings can lead to inflated business gas rates.
Standard smart meters feature a digital display. The digital display details how much business gas the consumer has used in real-time. They also show consumers how much they have spent.
Multi-Rate Smart Meters
Multi-rate smart meters are a popular choice for people who want to reduce business gas rates. Multi-rate meters are only available to business owners who choose Economy tariffs. Economy tariffs offer consumers cheaper electricity at specific off-peak periods of the day. Economy 7 and Economy 10 are the two most popular types of Economy tariffs.
This is a great option for any restaurants that operate outside of peak hours as they will typically use larger amounts of business gas.
Multi-rate smart technology devices have two, or sometimes even three, separate kWh prices that correspond to different times. There are two types of multi-rate meters.
Two-rate meters are compatible with Economy 7 tariffs. They are programmed to record different rates for peak and off-peak times.
Three-rate meters are compatible with a range of Economy tariffs. They take lots of factors into consideration, including weekend usage, off-peak, and peak usage. This kind of meter charges separate rates for all the separate situations.
All Economy tariff providers offer different off-peak times, which is why it is important to shop around. It is easy to reduce business gas rates when you secure the right tariff. Compare business energy quotes on our hassle-free comparison generator to find your perfect match.
Half-Hourly Smart Meters
Half-hourly smart meters are the most eco-friendly smart technology devices on the market. They have had such a large impact on domestic and commercial carbon footprints that Ofgem has set a plan in motion to make half-hourly smart meters the default option for new energy consumers.
This type of meter is created with large energy consumers in mind. As the name suggests, half-hourly smart meters send readings to energy providers every 30 minutes.
Advantages of Smart Technology Devices
Some business owners are wary of smart technology devices. In fact, there are a lot of advantages of making the switch from traditional to smart devices. These things are not often recommended by business gas suppliers, so it often falls into the company's responsibility to reduce energy bills using smart devices on the business premises.
- Avoid incorrect billing - Smart devices help to reduce business gas rates. They send regular readings to your provider, which means that errors are far less common. For large businesses, even the slightest miscalculation can lead to lump-sum payment requests at the end of the year.
- Future-proof your devices - Ofgem has recently announced its plan to make half-hourly smart meters the default option for energy consumers. Given this change, it would not be surprising if Ofgem decided to phase out standard meters in the coming years. By investing in smart technology devices now, business owners can eliminate the possibility of expensive switches in the future.
- Control your consumption - Smart technology systems feature digital screens. The screens display consumption and costs. If business owners feel as if they have used too much energy, they can scale back their consumption to preemptively reduce business gas rates for the month.
Disadvantages of Smart Technology Devices
When it comes to new technology, it is important to consider the disadvantages. Here are some of the things that business owners need to think about before they invest in smart technology.
- Expensive installation - Smart technology devices have lots of benefits, but the installation cost is a sticking point for some business owners. Smart meters are far more expensive than standard meters, and the installation costs reflect that. However, this is only the case in some scenarios. It can actually be very cost-effection to implement smart thermostats in an effort to reduce business gas bills. Switching business gas suppliers can also help bring the price of your gas supply down.
- Reliant on internet connection - Half-hourly and multi-rate smart meters are reliant on strong internet connections. Business owners that have poor internet connections will not get the full benefit of their expensive smart devices.
- Trust - Some business owners do not trust smart technology devices. Although these devices have been tested and proven successful, glitches can happen. Business owners invest in smart devices to reduce business gas rates, but accidental faults and programming errors might disrupt their plans. This is often an irrational fear. Technology has come a long way since its introduction and they now provide consistent benefits when it comes to reducing business gas prices. Clear and concise instructions are often provided with each smart device and it has been designed for easy installation. Partner with these devices alongside switching business gas suppliers and you can save a significant amount of money on your business gas bills.