Business Energy

Business Energy Meter Readings

man reading business energy meter

To make sure you’re being billed correctly, it’s important to know how to take a gas and electric meter reading. This will help you provide accurate usage data to your business energy supplier. Smart meters can send these figures automatically and take the responsibility out of your hands. If you don’t have a smart meter and don’t regularly submit electric and gas meter readings, you may end up underpaying or overpaying for the energy you use.

And while underpaying for your energy might sound great, your energy supplier will demand those underpayments are honoured before the end of your contract. This will most likely come in the form of a large, one-off bill. That’s why it's incredibly important to know how to take an electric meter reading and a gas meter reading too.

How to read your business gas and electricity meters

Unfortunately, there’s no single answer about how to take your electric meter reading. It’s the same for gas meter readings too. That’s because there are different types of meter display – dial energy, LCD and mechanical display. But don’t worry, all these meters are easy to read when you know how.

  • Dial Display – There are two types of dial display energy meter. If yours has a ’10,000’ label on the left side, then you only need to pass on the first five digits of the displayed number. If your meter is labelled ‘100,000’ pass on all six digits to your provider. With dial display meters there can often be two numbers provided. If the dial is not between 9 and 0, you should note down the lower number. If it is between 9 and 0, you’ll need the higher number.

  • LCD Display – Simply note down the number shown on screen and pass this on to your provider. If you’re on a multi-rate system, you’ll need to use the keypad to scroll to the required recording.

  • Mechanical Display – It couldn’t be simpler, all you need to do is record the number on the screen in full. If you have a multi-reader, take the number from each screen and pass these on to your energy supplier.

If you’re still not quite sure about reading your electric meter, or gas meter, feel free to get in touch with our energy experts who can help you further.

What to do with your business gas and electricity meter readings

Now you know how to read your digital gas meter and your electricity meter too, you’ll need to inform your supplier of your usage. As you’d expect, this is really easy to do, with a number of options to choose from.

The most convenient way to do this is by is downloading your supplier’s smartphone app which enables you to input your details when required.

As well as via a smartphone app, you can also submit your meter reading in the following ways:

  • By phone.
  • Via your energy supplier’s website.
  • Automatically, with a smart meter.

It’s worth noting that submitting your meter reading via telephone may result in charges, as these lines usually feature high call costs. That’s why it’s recommended to invest in a smart meter which will send your usage automatically. But if you don’t have a smart meter, it won’t cost you to input the figure via your supplier’s app or website.

What types of business energy meter do you have?

As well as the different display types, there are different types of business energy meters. These include:

  • Single rate meter - The standard meter type, single rate means you have a fixed unit price for all times of the day. These are generally the best fit for most businesses, especially those who use the bulk of their energy between 8am and 10pm.

  • Two rate meter - This type of meter offers businesses two different rates - a standard rate and then a cheaper rate for energy used in off-peak hours. For example, a bakery may access a two rate meter on an Economy 7 plan, which grants them 7 off-peak hours to bake their goods, while the standard rate is used for those hours where the bakery is open to the public. There are various options with a two-rate meter, so if you think you could benefit, it’s worth speaking to one of our experts and finding the best deal.

  • Other meters - You can also access three rate meters, half-hourly meters and seasonal meters. If you use over 100kWh of energy in any half-hour period, then you legally require a half-hourly meter. If your business takes most of its energy seasonally or at weekends, you’ll likely benefit from a seasonal or three-rate meter. Again, speak to one of our experts and find out what’s best for your business.

Does your business need multi-site metering?

As the name suggests, multi-site metering is put in place for businesses who have more than one business location. If this sounds like you, you’ll no doubt already know that keeping on top of your energy bills can be incredibly frustrating. Having the option to streamline the bills you have from each location into one payment can help considerably when it comes to budget and organising cash flow.

Another benefit is the fact that you can easily renew or switch your whole business energy plan in one simple phone call, rather than having to do so independently for each location. It also means you’ll be able to access better rates as you’ll be paying for all your energy in one bill. Energy providers prefer customers with larger usage as they can buy the energy they’re expected to use in one lump sum. This lowers their costs, and ultimately, your own too.

If you think you could benefit from a new meter or a multi-site metering tariff, consider switching with MoneySuperMarket. With just some basic information we can collate all the best deals and help you make some major savings. Give our energy experts a call now on 0800 088 6986