If you can’t remember the last time someone took your electric meter reading, then it probably won’t come as a surprise that energy companies only need to check it once every two years. It might not sound like a big deal – but it could be costing you money.
Not having a smart or half-hourly electricity meter means having to take your own energy readings regularly or relying on estimations based on previous energy use which can lead to under or overpaying for your electricity.
If you’ve been underpaying, you won’t be able to switch supplier until you’ve paid your provider what you owe and if you’ve paid too much, you’ll have the hassle of chasing a refund.
Another potential problem with older meters is that they might not actually be taking accurate readings in the first place – which isn’t helpful for anyone. In which case you should arrange for a new electricity meter installation as soon as you can.
Before you get a new meter installed, you’ll need to know your MPAN (meter point administration number), which pinpoints where your electricity supply is coming from. The MPAN is sometimes called the supply or ‘s’ number and can usually be found on an old electricity bill.
If you’ve just moved into your business premises or can’t find a bill, then you can contact your landlord or distribution network operator (DNO). DNOs provide and manage the physical power network (essentially all the pylons and wires), only six groups manage the entire network and if in doubt, you can find yours at Ofgem.
In some cases, your building might not have an MPAN (for example, if it’s a new build) if that’s the case you’ll need to build in extra time for installation and contact the National Grid.
If you’re looking for a new electricity deal or need to get a new meter installed, you should aim to do this at least a month before you actually need your supply to start. In most cases a meter can be fitted within 10 to 15 days after the initial request.
What will the kVA of your supply be?
kVA stands for kilo volt amperes and it measures your ‘available supply capacity’ or ASC. Basically, the kVA determines the amount of power your meter can draw from the energy network at any one time.
In reality, you shouldn’t use more power than your meter can handle – if you do, you could unwittingly cause a power cut. Therefore, it’s important to understand how much electricity your business is likely to use because it affects the supply available to you.
If you use a lot of power and your capacity is more than 70kVA then your meter will need to be one of the latest models that send energy readings back to your supplier directly.
If all of this sounds too confusing, don’t worry – we’re on hand to deal with all your energy questions, so just give us a call on 0800 156 0871.
Business electricity deals are bespoke, and suppliers need to consider how much energy you use, when you use it and also how energy efficient your business is overall.
When you look for a new deal, our energy experts will ask you a bit about your business so that we can work out exactly what you need, making sure you get the best available tariff.
Reading your energy meters is easier than it first looks. If you use both gas and electricity be sure to take readings from both.
Newer meters have a digital display which is simple to read – just note down the numbers from left to right (include any zeros) but don’t include the red number at the end.
Instead of a digital display, imperial meters use a series of dials instead. These can look pretty confusing, especially as the dials next to each other turn in opposite directions (in other words, the numbers go around the opposite way). But don’t worry – once you know how, they’re easy to read:
The easiest way to give your supplier an updated reading is online. Simply log on to your account and find the ‘submit meter reading’ option – you can then just type in the numbers.
If you can’t (or don’t want to) submit a meter reading online then you can call your supplier instead, there should be a number on your bill. If you do this, then it’s useful to have your account details to hand.
How often should I provide meter readings?
You should aim to give your supplier a meter reading every three months at the very least. Once a month is ideal as it means greater accuracy in billing (especially over winter when your usage increases).
You can of course provide readings as often as you like and if you manage your account online, then this is quick and easy to do.
So, if you’re on the lookout for a new business electric supply and need a new meter, then let us help. We can arrange everything – from getting you great deal to sorting out the installation – just pick up the phone and give us a call on 0800 156 0871, we’re here to help.
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