FAQs on smart meters for business

Business smart meter FAQs

A person using pen and paper to write down a reading from an old business energy meter

Why do I need a smart meter for my business?

Once you’re connected you won’t have to send us meter readings anymore. Your bills will also be more accurate – with no more estimation, you’ll only be charged for the energy you’ve used.

How can I upgrade my business electricity meter to a smart meter?

Fill out our get a smart meter form to let us know you’d like to upgrade. We’ll then get in touch to book an appointment that suits you.

A store worker wearing an apron looks at a tablet screen about business smart meters

More FAQs on business smart meters

Q. Do I need to pay for an upgrade to a business smart meter?

A: No, upgrading to a business smart meter is free. However, there could be a charge if you’re looking to get a smart meter installed at a new site.

For more information, see our page on connections and metering.

Q. How long does it take to install a business smart meter?

A: A business smart meter installation should take about an hour. Your electricity supply will need to be turned off for about 40 minutes. Our engineers will do their best to minimise disruption to your business.

Q. Where will my smart meter be fitted?

A: In most cases, your new meter (or meters) will be put in the same place as your old one(s).

Q. Why can’t I upgrade my business gas meter?

A: Business gas smart meter upgrades are only available for certain types of meters. We’ll be in touch when we can upgrade yours.

Q. Do I need a strong mobile phone signal on my premises?

A: Yes. We’ll carry out a test during the installation and tell you if your signal is strong enough. A weak mobile signal could mean that the meter is unable to automatically send us your readings. If this is the case at your premises, our engineer will let you know and explain the options that are open to you.

Q. What do you mean when you say a smart meter upgrade is subject to survey?

A: It’s possible that we may not be able to install a business smart meter due to factors that are out of our control. One example would be a poor mobile phone signal at your business premises. For this reason, a survey of your premises is needed. If the survey reveals that we’re unable to install a smart meter, we’ll explain the reasons and tell you the options that are open to you.

Q. How secure is my energy data?

A: We comply with the ISO 27001 standard for all information security management systems, making sure our customer or energy consumption data is held and transmitted securely.

For details of how we manage your personal customer data, please see our privacy policy.

Q. What if I don’t want my energy data being used?

A: If you’re a micro business, you can opt out of your energy data being used by filling in our opt-out form. We’ll still get your monthly meter readings, which we’ll use to produce accurate bills. However, we won’t be able to offer you personalised energy-saving tips.

Q. What happens when you install my business smart meter?

A: We’ll test your signal to make sure it’s strong enough to send meter readings. Our engineer will then record the final reading on your old meter. It’ll take about an hour to fit the new business smart meter and your electricity will need to be turned off for about 40 minutes. Our engineer will then take a first reading from your new smart meter.

We’ve signed up to the Smart Metering Installation Code of Practice (SMICoP). This means we’ll always:

  • Give you a high quality of service throughout the installation
  • Book an appointment at a time to suit your business
  • Minimise disruption
  • Tell you if we can’t install your smart meter and go through your options
  • Show you how your smart meter works

Q. I’ve booked an appointment to have a business smart meter installed. What do I need to do before the installation?

A: Before your installation, please:

  • Clear the area around your old meter so it’s easy to get to
  • Unlock doors if your old meter is in a cupboard
  • Turn off any electrical items like alarms or computers, so they’re not affected when your electricity is turned off
  • Tell us if there are times and days when the installation would be most convenient

Q. I had a business smart meter installation booked but no-one turned up. What do I do?

A: If we’ve missed your appointment please call the installation partner to see if it can be re-scheduled.

If you’re not happy please, raise a complaint.

If you’re a micro business, find out more about the Electricity and Gas (Standards of Performance) (Suppliers) Regulations 2015.

After your business smart meter installation

Q. When will I receive my first bill?

A: The date you get your updated bill will depend on when in the month you have your installation.

Q. I’ve got a business smart meter installed but received an estimated bill. Why is this?

A: Sometimes we may not be able to get your smart meter readings due to things like poor signal strength. In these cases, we may have to send you an estimated bill, or ask you to take a meter reading.

Q. I’ve got a business smart meter with British Gas. What if I change supplier?

A: Having a business smart meter doesn’t affect your right to switch suppliers. However, your smart meter may not work if you switch suppliers.

Check with your new supplier, but you may have to go back to submitting your own meter readings. Remember that you can quickly and easily get a renewal quote with us.

Q. Why is my new business smart meter set to zero?

A: All new meters are set to zero. Our engineer will make a note of the final reading from your old meter and the zero reading on your new meter. The details will be logged on the ‘Smart installation’ leaflet and left with you for your records. Meter readings can take up to 30 days to update on our system.

Q. How do I read my new business smart meter?

A: You don’t need to send us readings from your smart meter as it does this automatically. To find out where your reading is displayed, see the ‘Smart installation’ leaflet that was given to you after your meter was installed. For more information, see:

Q. Where can I get more energy saving advice?

A: There are many sources of advice that can help you make your business more energy efficient.

Read our Energy Made Simple sector guides for help with your business energy efficiency.

Carbon Trust’s energy saving advice by sector:

See also: