Business Energy Guides Everything you need to know about energy meters 27th July
Having trouble reading your meter? Have no fear - we're here to help…
What does an energy meter look like?
Like something from Back To The Future. An industrial-looking box with dials and numbers.
Where is my meter?
Lord knows… Meters are often high in the corner of a room or corridor, sometimes in a cupboard or a box, or hidden in a stairwell basement.
Why do I have more than one meter?
Business have multiple meters for a variety of reasons (too dull to go into here), but hopefully you only get one electricity bill, so look out for the multiple MPANs on there and you should be able to match them up.
How can I find out which meter is ours?
It’s possible that other businesses also have their meters in your premises (perhaps because the walls are in different places now than they used to be). Or there might be old meters that aren’t used anymore.
The trick is to look for the MPAN on your bill, and then match it up with the number on the meter. (You might want to label your meter so it’s easier to find next time.)
What is the difference between HH and NHH meters?
Businesses that use a lot of electricity (like factories or farms), have HH (half hourly) meters. If you’re reading this, you probably don’t - you probably have an NHH (yes, you've guessed it, non-half hourly meter). It’s good to know, just in case someone asks.
Why does my meter have two dials with different rates?
Some meters have two numbers or sets of dials. This is because your business pays one rate for electricity during the day, and another during the night. (This is a great idea for businesses like bakeries, who can fire up the ovens in the middle of the night when energy is cheap.) As before, the details should be on your bill.
Do I have to read my meter?
Yes, you definitely should. Submitting meter readings every month is the only way to ensure accurate billing. The alternative is to be billed on estimates, and there you run the risk of underpaying and getting stung with a nasty bill down the line.
How do I read my meter?
Basically you need to write down the numbers from left to right… but it’s a bit more complicated than that in practice because all meters are unhelpfully different.
Some have numbers, some have digital displays, and some have dials, like the one below.
In this case just write down the numbers indicated in order (45028). If it's halfway between two numbers, write down the lower one. That goes for numbered displays as well.
Ignore the last dial, or any numbers that appear with a red surround.
What is a smart meter and can we get one?
A ‘smart’ or ‘advanced’ meter means you don’t need to read your meter (allegedly), as they send data to your energy company every half hour over a mobile network.
You might be offered one as part of your switch, but be aware that lots of people are choosing to wait until the next generation of meters (currently being rolled out) have got over any teething problems.
Full disclosure - We're using advanced meters until the smart ones get… well smarter.