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Creating smart opportunities for businesses on the road to net zero

Smart Energy GB say that smart meters are making life easier for small businesses | Credit: Smart Energy GB

Robert Cheesewright, Director of Communications

Robert Cheesewright, Director of Communications | Smart Energy GB

3 min read Partner content

Across the UK, smart meters are helping small businesses lead the way on sustainability.

With more than 24.2 million smart meters installed in homes and small businesses across Great Britain, our digital energy revolution is well underway – something which is crucial if we are to meet our target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The smart meter rollout is an important tool in our journey to net zero, and research by Delta-EE found without smart meters, meeting our net zero target will be more expensive, slower and less well co-ordinated. All consumers have an important and active role in reaching net zero and businesses are key players in this transition.

As highlighted by the Government’s UK Business Climate Hub, a simple first step for any small business on their journey to net zero is to install a smart meter, and by the end of March 42% of businesses had upgraded to smart or advanced meters.

Smart meters are the foundation of a more flexible energy system, which uses digital technology and data to improve its efficiency. As well as being more efficient, it will also be better able to integrate intermittent renewable sources of energy into the system – encouraging consumers to change their energy usage to take advantage of cheap, green energy.

Research shows that six in ten small business owners say that sustainability is important to their business, and eight in ten have taken an energy efficiency action in the past year, such as swapping lightbulbs for more energy efficient ones or turning off appliances when they’re not in use. However, many would like to do more but aren’t sure where to start, or think it is too complicated and time consuming.

Smart meters are supporting small businesses to become more sustainable as they give businesses control of their energy use by providing them with accurate data on how much energy is being used at what times. Once a business is aware of how much their energy is costing them, and when their peak times are, they can take steps to reduce their energy use – not only saving money, but also becoming more energy efficient.

In fact, 76% of small business with a smart meter say they are more conscious of their business’ energy usage, which has led to an average estimated monthly utility bill savings of £32.80, adding up to £394 per year.

Smart meters are the cornerstone of a smarter, digital energy system

Smart meters also make life a little bit easier for businesses to manage their cash, as they send the meter reading direct to the energy supplier. This means that the business pays for the energy they actually use rather than through estimated bills, something which has been increasingly useful during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The smart meter rollout is also creating a platform for innovation, allowing the development of new products and services to help businesses manage their energy and become more energy efficient and sustainable. Innovations such as providing tailored energy efficiency advice or energy management actions will support businesses on their journey to net zero.

Smart meters are the cornerstone of a smarter, digital energy system, that will enable better integration of renewables and locally generated energy sources, and they are also enabling everyone in Great Britain to take part in building an energy system to support our net zero future. When you’re next talking to businesses in your area, why not mention the importance and benefits of smart meters?

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