8 things a business consumer should know to stay in control of their metering
As a business consumer, it’s easy to feel like you’ve got no choice in the Smart roll-out. Our guide will help you understand all options available.
Signals from government, the media and even Suppliers can make it appear that Smart metering – the government defined standard – is the only option.
While this will be satisfactory for many, it may not be right for everyone.
For example, what if you’re a multi-site organisation with niche requirements that are better met by Advanced Metering? Or if you’d prefer to avoid disruption by retaining your existing meter?
Knowing what options are available, their differences and merits, is key to staying in control. First published on LinkedIn, James Murphy, our Strategy & Policy Manager has listed 8 things about the Smart roll-out he thinks you should know to make an informed decision about your metering.
This is the one to remember if you forget everything else. Suppliers have conditions imposed on them in their licence to “take all reasonable steps to offer” their customers a Smart meter. There is no obligation on you, as a consumer, to accept one.
You have a little publicised but very important right enshrined in Law that allows you to choose your own electricity and gas meters. This trumps a supplier’s Licence Conditions.
Publicised even less, if you consume more 100,000 KWh p.a. of electricity or 293,000 KWh p.a. of gas then your supplier should offer you a choice between an Advanced meter or a Smart meter, forever.
Smart meters enrolled in the DCC attract additional “DCC Charges” of around ~£20 p.a., which will be passed through your supply bill – all SMETS2 and most SMETS1 meters will be enrolled in the DCC.
If any of your premises require a CT meter, they must be an Advanced meter. If so, to harmonise your metering estate it may be better to install Advanced meters to your Whole Current (WC) sites too.
It’s common for business consumers to have separate electricity and gas suppliers. It is difficult for a gas supplier to install a Smart gas meter without the electricity supplier having first installed a “DCC Communications Hub”. This is not an issue with Advanced meters, where separate comms are installed to each device.
Due to pressures in the domestic roll-out, meter manufacturers are yet to develop and test a 3 Phase Smart meter. These are not expected until 2019.
Unlike in the domestic sector, it’s optional for a supplier to provide an IHD alongside a Smart or Advanced meter to their business customers – they may offer one as a “value add”.