Why should my business consider a Smart Metering System?
It is the UK government’s ambition is to ensure that all homes and businesses have a Smart Metering System installed by mid-2025. To support the roll out, Crown Gas & Power is legally obligated to install a minimum of 514 Qualifying Smart Metering Systems in 2022.
Helps aid hassle-free billing
Smart Metering Systems can be programmed to automatically take meter readings at regular intervals, before remotely sending this information to us using a given data network. This function can reduce the need for reads to be submitted manually and can help support a more accurate billing programme with fewer estimated reads.
Supports our nation’s net zero promise
With the information Smart Metering Systems offer, including near real-time consumption, the UK will be able to better integrate renewable sources of energy systems without wastage, shifting the reliance away from fossil fuels and drastically reducing our nation’s carbon footprint, in line with our national net zero strategy.
What is a Smart Meter?
A Smart Meter is the next generation of energy meter, conforming to the Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications (SMETS). This device, which is available for no upfront cost, replaces your existing meter and allows for wireless two-way communication between your meter and your supplier.
The first generation of Smart Meters, largely installed prior to 2018, allowed communication through a mobile network.
Most suppliers, including Crown Gas & Power, now install second generation devices, which communicate through a purpose-built highly secure network managed by a central service provider, the Data Communications Company (DCC).
The DCC is in the process of migrating existing SMETS1 meters over to this centralised network. This will not require any physical changes to the meter itself but will ensure it is able to continue sending reads to the relevant supplier.
I have been offered an AMR device, what does this mean?
Metering arrangements can vary between businesses, owing to different meter sizes, set-ups or locations so it is recognised that a SMETS device may not be suitable for all situations. Our third-party service provider will be able to determine which metering solution will be suitable for your business on the day of installation, be it a SMETS2 or an AMR device.
An Automated Meter Reader (AMR) device is still ‘smarter’ than your standard traditional meter, offering the same benefits as described above and still counts as a Qualifying Smart Metering System, where a Smart Meter would not be appropriate.
AMR devices still have a capability to automatically communicate readings to Crown Gas & Power, albeit using slightly different technology and a one-way communicative infrastructure. An AMR device can be either embedded within a meter or physically attached to an existing meter.
Can I still switch supplier if I have a Smart Metering System?
Yes. Customers with a Smart Metering System can switch energy supplier in the same way that anyone with a traditional meter can.
The vast majority of SMETS2 and AMR devices should retain their ‘smart’ functionality in continuing to report readings to your new supplier following a switch. If you currently have a SMETS1 meter and you choose to switch, while it will continue to record your energy usage, it may temporarily be unable to communicate this information to your new supplier. Manual reads may be temporarily required until your meter point is migrated into the central DCC network.
What should I expect from the installation process?
We will ask our metering service provider to contact you and arrange an appointment to visit your premises. If you are a non-micro business customer, you will be offered a choice between AMR or SMETS technology.
Installations normally take around two hours and are arranged in advance to ensure minimal disruption to your business. All our meters comply with UK and EU safety standards and are fitted by trained third party installers, who have passed formal qualifications.
Smart Energy GB is the not-for-profit, government backed campaign helping everyone in Britain understand the importance of Smart Meters and their benefits to people and the environment. For more information, please visit their website or follow them on twitter @SmartEnegryGB.