Businesses and their balance sheets thrive on having steady incoming and outgoing figures every month. Whether you’re a Finance Director or doing the books for your own venture, an unexpectedly large bill can throw the proverbial spanner in the works of a well-thought budget.

When it comes to your energy bills, submitting a meter reading for the first time might suddenly see your business take a financial hit if your bills have been estimated for months, or even in some cases, years. This is because you might not have been paying for the energy you’ve used. In other cases you may have actually overpaid. Here are five ways to put a stop to the uncertainty:

Keep up-to-date

Giving regular meter readings to your supplier is one simple way of keeping on top of your bills. It is especially important for businesses that don’t currently have a smart meter installed

Get energy smarter

A straightforward way to avoid estimated bills is by registering for a smart meter. The cutting-edge technology takes away the pressure of manually checking your readings as these will be automatically sent to your business energy supplier.

Compare your bills

One red flag for any business is a sudden unexpected surge in energy use. If your latest bill is a lot higher than in previous months and there has been no major upscale in production or business use, then potentially your previous bills may have been underestimated. The flip side of this is if the amount charged by your energy supplier is substantially less than the previous bills, it may be that particular month has been underestimated and you could be faced with a higher bill later in the year, potentially a problem if quarterly or year-end accounts are due.

Let email take the strain

With hectic schedules and heavy workloads, remembering to submit a meter reading can inevitably be forgotten or pushed to the bottom of the priority pile. Signing up for email reminders can be a great way of keeping on top of your energy contract, as it will give you a prompt at exactly the right time to take the reading.

No call waiting

The old-fashioned ways of writing or calling in your essential digits has been consigned to the past. You can either enter your meter readings online or for those whose business interests keep them on the move, you can download a free smartphone app to send your information to your energy supplier.

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