New research from Opus Energy suggests that UK SMEs are turned on to the benefits of having smart meters installed in their premises, supporting the company’s ambitious target to install 40,000 smart meters at customer sites by the end of this year.
15% of the SME business leaders polled said they currently had a smart meter installed, compared to 25% (16,000) of Opus Energy’s existing SME customer base that are already operating on smart meter technology.
Of the panel of 500 leaders questioned by Opus Energy, many saw the benefits related to having a device installed:
• 38% thought the main benefit of installing a smart meter was that it provided real time visibility of their business’ energy consumption;
• 36% saw the main benefit as accuracy of meter readings and bills; and
• 31% believed smart meters encourage business owners to think more about energy saving.
Charlie Crossley Cooke, Managing Director, Opus Energy, commented on the findings: “Smart meters are the big industry innovation for the next decade. Customers with smart meters are five times less likely to have a complaint as a result of bill transparency. This means that we can reduce our service delivery costs, in turn enabling us to continue to offer competitive prices to our customers.”
TriRunning, a Northampton-based sport and athletics shop, was a start-up business when it signed up to Opus Energy. Gabrielle Deere, Managing Director of TriRunning, wanted to know how much TriRunning should budget for its energy consumption, and so was keen to install a smart meter. Using this data, Opus Energy will bill TriRunning for its actual energy consumption every month.
Gabrielle comments: “As a start-up business I didn’t know what to expect my energy bills to be. Everyone knows that estimates can be wildly under or over actual energy usage, so I wanted to make sure I was in control of my energy bills right from the start. But how can you get control of your energy usage if you don’t know what it is you’re controlling? That’s why I wanted to get a smart meter installed as soon as possible, so I could plan my usage. Opus Energy’s offering really suited me because they installed the smart meter for free.”
Opus Energy is ramping up its smart meter installation programme for SMEs, with the ultimate aim to install meters in all customer premises, and is offering free smart meters to existing customers who have not already converted. More information, including an FAQ and details on costs, can be found on Opus Energy’s smart meter webpages.
Crossley Cooke concluded, “Our research also shows that more than half – 59% - of our panel of business owners are looking to their energy providers to seek information about switching to a smart meter. Due to the success of our own ongoing smart meter roll-out, we were surprised that more SMEs haven’t yet made the switch.
“It’s only when the industry can be seen to be working together to roll-out smart meters that we’ll see a more dynamic energy market offering customers the control they need over their usage and pricing.”
Opus Energy, Survey,Smart Meters,electrical industry,e-lec.org