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Business Energy Meter Guide

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Businesses must understand their electricity and gas meters. Meter readings must be submitted to your energy supplier regularly. Smart meters take this stress away. However, it good practice to track your meter readings and record them every month.

How to read a business energy meter

There are different types of electricity and gas meters and some have different displays. Below, we will explain how to read each type of meter.

Digital electricity meter

Digital meters have six digits. To read them, you note the numbers from left to right, ignoring any marked in red.

If you have a business energy contract with an off-peak and peak rate, you may have two sets of numbers on your meter. The off-peak reading is at the top, and the peak reading is at the bottom.

Electronic electricity meter

An electronic electricity meter is similar to a digital meter. The numbers are displayed on an electronic interface. To read it, you note the numbers from left to right, excluding any numbers that follow a decimal point.

Dial electricity meter

A dial electricity meter looks tricky. It features six ‘dials’ like a clock with numbers from 0 to 9.

To read a dial meter, you note down the numbers each dial is pointing at, excluding any red dial. If the pointer is between two numbers, record the lowest one.

If the pointer is exactly on a number, then note it down and underline it. If that dial is followed by a nine, then take one away from the number you have highlighted.

Digital business gas meter

Reading a digital business gas meter is much like a digital electricity meter.

Read the digits from left to right and excluding any marked in red. You should note whether the figures are in cubic feet or cubic meters.

Electronic business gas meter

An electronic business gas meter is similar its electricity counterpart

Read the numbers displayed from left to right, ignoring any numbers after a decimal point or highlighted in red.

Business dial gas meter

A business gas dial meter is similar to a business dial electricity meter. It features four ‘dials’ like a clock with numbers from 0 to 9.

To read the meter, note down the numbers at each pointer on each dial is pointing at from left to right. If the arrow is between two numbers, note the lowest one.

If the pointer is exactly on a number, then note it down and underline it. If that dial is followed by a nine, then take one away from the number you have highlighted.

If you are unsure about your gas bills, you can use our gas bill calculator to check what you owe

Types of business energy meters

There are several different types of business energy meters. The one you have is usually dependent on your location, and the size and type of work your business does.

Single rate meter

These are the most common types of energy meter. Single rate meters are for businesses that have a contract that supplies the same unit price for energy. They will be charged one single rate.

If you’re unsure that you have a single rate meter, you will usually only have one display screen. Your meter’s supply number will start ‘03’.

Two rate meter

A two rate meter are for companies with a business energy contract providing two different rates. The second rate is a cheaper off-peak price and is usually charged at night. Precise time for off-peak pricing varies depending on supplier.

Two rate meters include two interfaces. The first one is the off-peak reading, and the second is the on-peak reading.

There are different types of two rate meters, depending on your contract. For example, an Economy 7 meters is for those with a contract which stipulates a 7 hour off peak period. Economy 10 meters provides a 10-hour off-peak period.

Three rate meter

These are less common but are often used in bars and restaurants. They are known as an evening and weekend meters because they calculate different rates of usage. There is usually a lower unit rate for evenings and weekends.

Half-hourly meter

Half-hourly meters are used in businesses that have high energy consumption. These meters are mandatory for businesses that use more than 100,000 kWh of electricity each year.

Half-hourly meter sends readings to your energy provider every 30 minutes. You can distinguish half-hourly meters as the supply number starts with ‘00’.

Half-hourly meters can be secured via a bespoke contract. The easiest to obtain this type of meter is via official energy brokers such as Business Energy. Half-hourly meters are beneficial because they provide the security that your bills are accurate.

Multi-site meter

A multi-site meter is installed for companies that have multiple locations. Larger companies prefer them because they allow your business to consolidate bills. This allows them to have greater buying power as they are buying energy in bulk. These meters are obtained via a bespoke contract which you can secure with Business Energy.

Smart meter

The UK government is committed to installing a smart meter in all households and companies. They had initially targeted to achieve this by the end of 2020.

A smart meter automatically send readings to your energy company, so you don’t need to do so. Once you have a smart meter, you will no longer receive estimated bills. These meters display the amount of energy that you have used and the cost. This is helpful when reviewing your business’ energy consumption to increase efficiency.

Automated meter reading device (AMR)

An automated meter reading device (AMR) reads meters and sends the data to your energy supplier.

Unlike a smart meter, there is a fee for using an AMR, but this varies depending on your energy provider. AMR meters are used by larger companies that do not meet the threshold for a half-hourly meter.

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