Smart meters could unlock investment in energy efficiency

Smart metering could unlock investment in energy efficiency by small firms, who could save up to 25% on their bills by reducing consumption.

Despite claims by the Department of Energy and Climate Change that SMEs could save between 18 and 25% of annual energy costs by making efficiency investments, latest research shows that small firms don’t feel empowered to save energy.

New research findings from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) show that 90% of small firms want to be more energy efficient, but many still lack the ability and the know-how to do so.

The FSB says that smart meters have a critical role to play in helping small firms take charge of their energy consumption by providing access to easily understandable billing and energy consumption information

Energy manager at Utility Helpline Richard Bonelle supports this view and believes that the government sponsored smart meter roll out will make an important contribution to promoting energy efficiency savings. 

He said: “Smart meters will enable businesses to take control over their energy consumption. Estimated billing will become a thing of the past and businesses will gain new insights into the ways in which they consume energy and gain a deeper understanding of their energy costs.”

This chimes with the FSB research, in which just under half (45%) of FSB respondents highlighted a lack of concern about energy costs as one of the biggest barriers to investing in energy efficiency.

Richard Bonelle continued: “The best thing about smart meters is that they help individuals and businesses realise the actual cost of energy. Imagine shopping at a supermarket that didn’t display any prices on the shelves. Under these conditions it would be very difficult to economise, but this is how a lot of small businesses still purchase energy. Smart meters make it easier to make and justify investment decisions and if you use them correctly they are also great for eliminating waste.”

To help businesses understand smart meter data and spot areas of waste Utility Helpline has produced a smart metering guide specifically designed for small and medium sized businesses. 

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A writer working in the field of business energy management, renewable energy and clean technology. Communications specialist working for global energy management services group ENER-G.

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