How to Read your Business Energy Meters & Submit a Reading?

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    Contents

    Guide Author

    James Longley

    Managing Director

    min read
    Last Updated November 22, 2023

    Are you a business owner looking for a straightforward way to submit your energy meter reading to your supplier? Explore our comprehensive guide to discover step-by-step instructions on how to read your business energy meter, as well as insights into the various types of meters that may be required at your business.

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    Why are energy meters important?

    Energy meters play a vital role by providing you with a clear understanding of your energy usage, allowing you to manage your business expenditures effectively. This insight offers you the opportunity to reduce your business energy bills.

    What are the different types of meters?

    There are a variety of meter options to choose from, and the choice depends on your specific business requirements. Some of the most common meters include:

    Standard Meters

    Many homes and businesses in the UK opt for standard electricity meters. These meters display your energy usage in kilowatt-hours (kWh) using a mechanical display.

    To take a reading, simply note down the black numbers on the display, reading from left to right.

    Smart Meters

    Smart meters are advanced devices that provide insights into your energy usage, including when and how you use the most energy.

    Some smart meters automatically communicate this information with your energy supplier, eliminating the need for intermediaries. This way, you’re billed only for the energy you use.

    Dial Meters

    Dial meters indicate your consumption through rotating dials on the meter when energy consumption increases. Some energy providers accept monthly dial meter readings, allowing you to closely monitor your energy usage.

    Digital Meters

    Digital meters also measure electricity consumption, with some featuring a rotating mechanism similar to dial meters. However, instead of displaying dials, they provide a numerical reading based on your energy usage.

    Another type of digital meter employs a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) to show the reading of a manual meter on a digital screen.

    Economy 7 and Economy 10 Meters

    If your goal is to conserve energy and use it during off-peak hours, consider Economy 7 and Economy 10 tariffs for your business. These are sometimes referred to as variable-rate meters.

    Economy 7 tariffs offer discounted electricity for seven hours during the night, while Economy 10 tariffs provide the same night-time hours and three discounted daytime hours.

    It’s essential to adhere to the designated timeframes to avoid increased costs.

    Pre-payment Meters

    Pre-payment meters, often known as ‘pay-as-you-go’ tariffs, offer exactly what the name suggests—you pay for energy in advance. Most pre-payment tariffs require you to top up your account using a card, app, or key.

    Digital pre-payment meters typically display the remaining credit on their screens, ensuring you know when to top up.

    How to read your gas or electricity meter?

    So, how do you go about reading your energy meter and providing the necessary numbers to your supplier for accurate billing? Let’s delve into how the type of actual meter readings you have can impact the process.

    Smart Meters

    If you have a smart energy meter and your supplier requests manual meter readings, it might be due to the inability of older smart meters to provide automated readings. You can typically transmit your smart meter readings directly to your supplier through their app. However, they often send email reminders when it’s time to take a reading.

    Electricity Meters

    For business electricity meters, your current reading is displayed digitally. Follow these steps:

    1. Read your meter display from left to right.
    2. Disregard any numbers in red and anything following a decimal point or space.
    3. Transmit the number to your supplier through their app, email, or phone.

    Economy 7 & Domestic Meters

    If you’re on these tariff types, your meter displays two distinct figures—one for energy consumed during ‘normal’ hours and another for energy used during cheaper periods. You must provide both readings to your supplier.

    With an Economy 7 or Domestic meter, you’ll see two rows labelled ‘Low’ and ‘Normal.’ Reading the meter is akin to reading a standard digital electricity meter, ensuring you submit both readings to your supplier.

    Gas Meters

    Business gas meters may be imperial or metric. An imperial meter comprises four primary numbers, while a metric meter has five. To obtain your imperial reading:

    1. Read the first four numbers from left to right.
    2. Include any leading zeros but omit any red numbers or those following a red number.

    It’s worth noting that if your meter reaches 9,999, it will automatically reset to zero for recording purposes.

    How to read your metric meter

    To obtain your metric reading, follow these steps:

    1. Read the initial five numbers from left to right.
    2. Include any leading zeros, but disregard any numbers occurring after a space or decimal point.

    Unlike an imperial reading, which resets at 9,999, your digital metric meter itself will reset when it reaches 99,999 and then commence recording from zero once more.

    How do energy suppliers use meter readings?

    Meter readings help your energy provider understand how much energy your business is using. If you don’t provide them with the latest reading, they’ll have to guess, and this estimate can often be higher than what you used. So, it’s a good idea to share your readings regularly to make sure your bills are as precise as they can be.

    How to submit a meter reading?

    You have several options for submitting your meter reading, although some suppliers may have preferred methods. Typically, you can provide your manual meter reading through your supplier’s website, their dedicated app, over the phone, or automatically if you have a smart meter installed.

    Can you install an energy meter yourself?

    You can set up your energy meter, but first, get approval from your supplier and your landlord if you rent your business space. Ensure that the person installing it is qualified to avoid risks. For gas meters, ensure the installer is a certified gas-safe engineer. Explore our guide for more on business energy and gas meter installations.

    Compare Business Gas & Electricity Prices

    No two businesses are the same, so it’s impossible to give an exact figure – factors such as your location, sector and tariff, as well as consumption, will all have an impact.

    However, we’ve put together the chart below detailing how much gas and electricity businesses of a similar size to yours use annually, the average kWh unit price for gas and electricity and the average standing charges to give you a rough idea.

    Average business electricity prices per kwh by business size

    Business size Annual usage Unit price (per kWh) Daily standing charge (pence) Annual cost
    Micro business 5,000 to 15,000 kWH 26.6p 64.6p £2,833 (based on annual usage of 10,000 kWh)
    Small business 15,000 to 25,000 kWh 25.6p 83.0p £5,302 (based on annual usage of 20,000 kWh)
    Medium business 25,000 to 55,000 kWh 26.1p 65.5p £10,637 (based on annual usage of 40,000 kWh)
    Large business More than 55,000 kWh 26.4p 68.5p £14,548 (based on annual usage of 55,000 kWh)

    Disclaimer: Due to volatility within the energy market, prices can change on an hourly basis meaning that the prices you’re quoted are different from the averages shown. Prices may also vary according to your meter type and business location. Updated May 2024.

    Average gas kWh Prices by business size

    Business size Annual usage Unit price (per kWh) Daily standing charge (pence) Annual cost
    Micro business 5,000 to 15,000 kWH 8.9p 33.9p £920 (based on annual usage of 10,000kWh)
    Small business 15,000 to 30,000 kWh 8.5p 36.6p £18,131 (based on annual usage of 22,500kWh)
    Medium business 30,000 to 65,000 kWh 8.3p 79.2p £38,328 (based on annual usage of 47,500kWh)
    Large business More than 65,000 kWh 8.4p 55.7p £52,200 (based on annual usage of 65,000kWh)

    Disclaimer: Due to volatility within the energy market, prices can change on an hourly basis meaning that the prices you’re quoted are different from the averages shown. Prices may also vary according to your meter type and business location. Updated May 2024.

    Compare business energy deals with Utility Bidder

    At Utility Bidder, we’re dedicated to helping you save money on your business energy bills and providing valuable tips. Our friendly team is here to compare energy tariffs on your behalf if you’re considering switching gas and electricity suppliers.

    Utility Bidder is your solution to saving time, reducing hassles, and streamlining essential business tasks. We specialize in comparing business gas and electricity rates..Get in touch to discover how we can support your business further.

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    Choose your business address

    Can’t see the address? Enter manually

    Are you comparing for a business or home?

    Business

    Home


    Go Back
    Select Utility
    Now please select a utility I want to get prices for...
    Gas
    Electric
    Gas & Electric
    Water
    Go Back
    Next
    Please enter your business gas information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Go Back
    Get Prices

    Let’s save time, can we automatically gather meter information?

    ? What does this mean?
    To get your quotes at lightening speed we need several key pieces of information which can all be found on your electricity bill. But by simply ticking this box, we can search ‘industry held data’ to get your meter number, electricity consumption and current energy supplier. This means that we can get you quick quotes without asking you to dig out all of your paperwork. This is personal data therefore we need you to allow us to access this information.
    Go Back

    Do you know your electric meter number?

    Does your meter number end in any of the following?

    Go Back
    Enter meter number
    I don’t know
    Please enter your business electricity information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Start date for a new contract?
    Get Prices
    Please enter your water information
    How much do you spend & how often?

    An estimate is fine if you don't have a bill to hand

    Go Back
    Get Prices

      Enter your details below to get quotes We’ve helped over 90,000 businesses