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?

How do you decide which is best for your business?

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.

1. The Smart Meter Roll-out is a Supplier obligation

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.

2. You have an enduring right to choose your own metering

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.

3. Not a micro-business? Your supplier should always offer a choice in metering technology

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.

4. Beware of additional DCC Charges associated with Smart meters

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.

5. Current Transformer (CT) meters must be Advanced

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.

6. Split fuel suppliers? Smart may not be the best option

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.

7. Three Phase supplies can’t currently be Smart

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.

8. In-Home Displays (IHD) don’t belong in-the-office

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”.

Remember, you've got more choice than you think

If you have any questions, would like to learn more or wish to share your own experience of the Smart meter roll-out, get in touch.

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