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17 Feb 2021
Steve Ramsey Steve Ramsey

Business energy monitors

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Man using tablet to monitor business energy usage

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 like 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 although 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.

Despite this, energy monitors are now becoming more popular with businesses as they allow you to more 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.

But most devices that offer energy monitoring for businesses should show your costs, energy usage and CO2 emissions.

Why should I monitor my energy usage?

There are many obvious benefits to monitoring your business's 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

Can I save money with a business energy monitor?

Although fitting a business energy meter won’t directly save you any money, installing one will help you identify ways to cut your energy usage and save money.

For instance, working out how much money you waste leaving appliances on overnight, or checking whether you’d be better off with a time-of-use meter, such as Economy 7.

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, which means you won’t be able to install it unless your business has a peak electricity demand of 70KVA or more.

To put that into context, 70KVA means 70,000 volt amps, and the power supplied by the average household meter is 9.2KVA.

If your business has a 00-profile class meter, this type of energy management software can also help you with energy procurement, offering complete control over your energy contracts, future energy contract prices, tendering and your site energy management portfolio. 

But this is also part of the service for large businesses when they switch with our business energy partner, Bionic. To find out more, call now on 0800 158 5296

If you think management software is the way forward for your business, you’ll need to check what type of meter you have. If you meet the energy usage requirements, but aren’t on the right profile class meter, you should get your business energy meters changed.

If, on the other hand, you don’t hit this consumption threshold but want to have a better understanding of your energy usage, you’ll need to invest in an energy monitor for small business.

A standard energy monitor will fit the bill in this instance. It will connect to your incoming electricity supply and automatically collect 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 monitors 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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