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12 Aug 2020
Steve Ramsey avatar Steve Ramsey

Business energy monitoring devices

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man in hard hat using tablet to monitor energy

Could an energy monitor benefit your business?

What is a business energy monitor?

A business energy monitor is a device that enables you to measure your energy consumption and usage habits.

This may sound similar to a smart meter but they are in fact two separate devices for two separate purposes.

Firstly, unlike a smart meter, a business energy monitor does not send meter readings to your supplier.

And whilst an energy monitor gives you a good idea of your monthly bill, it isn’t exact so it might vary slightly from what you’re actually billed.

Energy monitors are now becoming more popular with businesses as they allow you to accurately monitor your energy usage.

So by installing an energy monitor you’ll be able to identify which aspects of your business use the most electricity, from machinery through to the photocopier and the staff kitchen.

That means you’ll be able to find ways to reduce your energy consumption, and ultimately save your business money.

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Do I need a business energy monitor if I have a smart meter?

If your business already has a smart meter installed, then you may not have considered an energy monitor. A smart meter will tell you how much energy you are consuming,  but an energy monitor does much more.

And as smart meters are often locked away in a cupboard, simply delivering consumption data to your supplier, it’s easy to forget about them.

An energy monitor is a little different. It not only displays your energy usage but also shows how much it costs and how much you paid in previous months.

With some monitors, you can also set a consumption budget – handy if you think you’re using too much energy.

There are various commercial energy monitoring devices available on the market these days. Ranging in price from £20 - £100, they differ slightly in the information they provide.

However, most should show your cost, energy usage and CO2 emissions.

Why should I monitor my energy usage?

There are many obvious benefits to monitoring your businesses’ energy usage. Identifying energy-guzzling equipment will allow you to make decisions factoring in the lifetime cost of the equipment.

Not only does it make sense from a financial perspective, but it could help protect your reputation too.

Environmental issues are becoming increasingly important with the general public. Many people now base their purchasing decisions on whether or not they think a business is ‘green’.

As such, the more you show your company to be environmentally friendly, the better.

What’s more, government-set environmental targets mean businesses will be required by law to introduce green energy practices. So knowing your carbon emissions will become even more essential.

Monitoring your business’s energy usage also has another important benefit – it enables you to improve and reduce your business’s energy consumption.

Once you have identified how and where your business uses its energy, you can then address these areas in order to stay green and cut costs at the same time.

Such measures might include:

  • Door/draft excluders

  • Motion sensitive lighting

  • Energy efficient light bulbs

What other types of commercial energy monitoring are available?

There are various types of commercial energy monitoring device available, so you’ve got plenty of options to find the best energy monitor for your business. All of these devices are designed to help you better control your energy consumption.

For example, management software is available that enables you to analyse information in great detail, including usage trends and costs. But such software usually requires a 00-profile class meter.

These meters are rare, so, it may be more worthwhile to invest in an energy monitor instead. If you think management software is the way forward for your business, you’ll need to check what type of meter you first.

For a business with high energy usage, it may even be worth getting your business energy meters changed.

Another type of commercial energy consumption monitor is a Standard Energy Monitor.

This connects to your incoming electricity supply and automatically collects data before sending it to your energy supplier. It provides basic information such as usage and costs.

A Standard Energy Monitor can also help you instantly see what energy you are using, as well as any trends from previous time periods.

Easy to install and use, Standard Energy Monitors are often considered the best energy monitor for businesses.

Free energy monitors

Some energy suppliers offer free energy monitors as part of a deal if you sign a contract with them.

However, these devices are cheap to buy, and deals which offer a ‘free’ monitoring device might not offer the best savings.

You need to have an idea of the cost of the device and judge if going for a higher tariff with a free device will actually cost you more. You could select a cheaper tariff, and buy the energy monitor yourself.

In short, don’t base your decision simply on the fact that you are being given a ‘free’ monitor.

Getting the right energy deal for you and your business’s needs is much more important than saving a few pounds on a monitoring device.

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