How to Read your Business Electricity Meter

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14 Jan, 2022
Category: business tips
Reading Time: 3 minutes

For business owners who have yet to install a smart meter, taking your own electricity meter reading ensures you are billed correctly based on accurate data. Find out how to take control of your business electricity bill with our simple advice...

Smart meters automatically send these figures to your energy supplier on behalf of your business. If your business currently operates without a smart meter, and you don’t submit your own electric and gas meter readings, you may end up under or overpaying for your energy with estimated readings.

If you have been underpaying, your energy supplier will demand any outstanding amounts are paid before the end of your contract. This will most likely come in the form of what can add up to a large, one-off energy bill. So, it is best for your business to keep on top of usage with your own meter readings.

Types of electric meter

There are three common types of electric meter:

1) Single-rate electricity meter

The standard meter, single-rate offers a fixed unit price for all times of day. These generally accommodate most businesses, especially those who consume most energy between 8am and 10pm.

The single-rate electricity meter is a small, white meter. This digitally displays one set of numbers across the meter. Note down the first five numbers, including any zeros, and ignoring any numbers after the decimal point, or shown in red.

2) Two-rate or electronic electricity meter

This meter type offers businesses two different rates - a standard rate and a cheaper rate for energy used during off-peak hours.

For example, a bakery may access an Economy 7 plan, which grants off-peak hours while they bake goods, with a standard rate applied during those hours the bakery opens to the public.

There are various options with a two-rate meter, so if you think you could benefit, it’s worth speaking to a GEAB energy expert to find the best deal.

The two-rate electricity meter is similar to the single rate meter, except it displays two rows of numbers. Note down the first five numbers in each row, including any zeros, and ignoring any numbers after the decimal point, or shown in red.

For the electronic meter, press the blue button to change the display. Note down all the numbers, including any zeros, and ignoring any numbers after the decimal point.

3) Dial-rate electricity meter

The dial rate meter features six circular dials. You only need to take a reading from the first five dials. (Ignore the sixth dial, usually shown in red).

Note the number each dial is aimed towards. If it points between two numbers, write down the lowest to ensure greater accuracy.

How to submit your business electricity meter reading

Informing your supplier of your latest meter reading varies according to supplier, with a number of options.

You could access your account on your energy supplier’s website, download your supplier’s smartphone app which enables you to input details when required. And can also submit your meter reading by phone, although lines usually feature high call costs.

The simple solution: upgrade to a smart meter

Your business can avoid estimated bills with may lead to under or over-paying, and having to take and submit your meter reading(s) manually, by upgrading to a smart meter.

Your new smart meter will generate accurate readings you’ll only be charged for the energy you’ve used, and you won’t have to submit monthly readings any longer.

GEAB provide practical metering support alongside consultancy services, upgrading metering systems across supply, contracts and maintenance of your services. Call to discuss Smart meter systems with our award-winning energy experts today, from 9am to 5pm, on 0800 084 3477.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of a Smart meter?

Smart meters automatically generate data and update readings every 30-minutes. Gas and electricity usage is displayed in real time, with consumption measured with more accurately, which means your business is billed for the amount of energy used, rather than estimated workplace usage, which can result in over or under-charging. You won’t need to submit meter readings to your supplier, and it is far easier to review processes and monitor consumption.

How are energy bills estimated?

The previous meter reading will be taken from your last bill and subtracted from your current reading. This figure is then multiplied by 2.83 to obtain the volume used in cubic metres. The result is multiplied by the energy contained in the gas or electricity used (the calorific value), which is divided by 3.6 to obtain the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh). Finally, the number of kWh used is multiplied by the pence per kWh rate to obtain the approximate consumption cost.

What affects the price of business energy?

Several factors can affect the wholesale price of business energy, including the weather, storage, regulatory pressures, crude oil prices, flow and availability, and wind generation.

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