We know how important accuracy with energy bills is to SMEs in the UK because these largely have a direct impact on the profits you achieve. By tracking and monitoring your gas usage, this is one area where you can realise potential savings.

When you submit accurate gas readings on a regular basis, you can manage and monitor your energy use; while also ensuring the avoidance of an estimated gas bill. With an estimated bill, there may be a chance that you are actually using less energy than you’ve paid for; or potentially worse, more than you’re budgeting for.

We’ve therefore created this guide to help you get accurate readings from your gas meter, which can stop you getting estimated bills. There are two different types of meter you could have, so make sure to first identify which one is relevant for you.

Imperial meter

An imperial meter looks similar to a car odometer and measures gas in cubic feet (ft3). It normally displays four digits and you can easily identify it because the words “ft3” will appear on the front.

To read the meter, look at the electronic or digital display where you will find 4 black or white numbers, followed by 2 numbers shown in red. Write down the first 4 numbers from left to right and ignore any numbers shown in red.

Digital meter

This type of meter measures gas usage in cubic metres (m3) and normally displays 5 numbers then a decimal point, followed by more numbers. Digital gas meters will also display the units ‘M3’ near the reading.

To read the meter, write down the first 5 numbers shown from left to right. Ignore any numbers after the decimal point or space – these will be sometimes shown in red.

What to do with your readings

Once you’ve made a note of your readings, you can submit them by logging into your online account. If you don’t already have an account, registering is easy on the website too.

As a British Gas customer, you may also be eligible for a smart meter which would remove this need. Smart meters are the next generation of these meters and make everything so much easier.

Smart meters

Are you aware of Smart Meters? They will send your reading remotely via a SIM card and work just like a mobile phone does.

As well as communicating accurate meter readings directly to us, smart meters also help you better understand your business consumption. They do all the same things that the traditional meters do, but communicate up-to-date gas readings and display information about energy consumption in real-time.

These are the benefits of having this real-time information:

  • When you have access to readings every 30-minutes or so, you can closely monitor your gas usage.
  • Because this data is so reliable, you can use it to formulate strategies and then act upon them. If you are able to alter usage behaviour, this could result in a major cost benefit.
  • This is a better way to manage your energy use and save money because you’ll not only have detailed information on energy consumption in real-time, a smart meter also displays how much you’ve actually used in terms of pounds and pence.

The bottom line is that when you submit meter readings on a regular basis, your bills will be more accurate and you won’t have to rely on estimates. An estimated bill is just that, which means there may be a chance that you are actually using a different amount of energy than what you’ve paid for.

At British Gas, we know how important accuracy with energy bills is to your business because these largely have a direct impact on your profits. With more accuracy in your readings, you’ll have more control over your bill, which also gives you better control over your budgeting.

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