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Business electricity meter installation

Having the right type of business electricity meter at your business premises means you can accurately monitor your usage which can help you stay in control of your bills. If your business uses a lot of electricity, you might need to have a specific type of meter installed. Here's how to make sure you have the right type of meter fitted at your property.

3 min read

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Does your business need a new electricity meter?

There are a few reasons why you might need a new business electricity meter fitted at your premises. 

  • Your electricity requirements or demands have changed. If you are using more electricity or using it at a different time of the day, you may need to have a half-hourly meter or a time of use meter installed.   
  • You're having a refit at your property and you need to move the position of the existing meter to make way for the new fixtures and fittings. 
  • All meters come with a period of certification, which usually lasts for between 10 and 40 years. This is like an expiry date for your meter. When this period ends, it's recommended that you replace the meter, even if it isn't faulty. 

What type of business electricity meter do you need?

It's important to have the right type of electricity for the needs of your business. Here are the main types of business electricity meters:

  • Smart meters – These meters send automatic updates to your electricity provider so they can accurately bill you. Smart meters come with a separate monitor which displays how much energy you’re using and how much it costs. They’re good if you’re particularly budget-conscious or want to actively monitor and lower your energy use.
  • HH meters – Also known as half-hourly meters, these also automatically send meter readings to your electricity provider (every 30 minutes as the name suggests). These are aimed at businesses that use a lot of electricity for example factories or manufacturing plants. These are mandatory for businesses with a maximum demand of 100kW or greater in any half-hour period during the day. If your business has a maximum demand of 70kW or more a half-hourly electric meter is optional.
  • Single rate meters – Also known as ‘standard rate meters’, this type of meter runs a single unit rate. This means you pay the same amount for your electricity no matter what the time of day. These are best suited to businesses that use energy during conventional opening hours like shops, cafes and offices.
  • Two-rate meters – These meters charge you at two different rates, for example, a peak-time rate and a cheaper off-peak rate. A common example of using a two-rate meter is the Economy 7 tariff which gives you seven hours of off-peak electricity (which typically runs overnight between midnight and 8am). Economy 10 tariffs are also available which give you 10 hours of cheaper energy. These types of meters are best suited to businesses that mainly operate at night like bars and clubs.
  • Three-rate meters – These can calculate tariffs at three different rates. There is an expensive peak-time rate for the day, an off-peak night rate which will usually be the cheapest, and a separate charge for weekend use. Three-rate meters are best for businesses like restaurants and pubs that are busiest during the evenings and weekends.

How to arrange a business electricity meter installation

If you’re moving to brand-new premises or you need a new meter fitting in an existing property, you'll need to work out what type of meter you need and arrange an installation date. Here's how to arrange installation of a business electricity meter.  

Find your MPAN

This is your meter point administration number (MPAN for short). This is a unique code that identifies your premises so any supplier will be able to pinpoint your supply. You should be able to find this number on your last electricity bill. If you’ve just moved into a building and don’t know who supplies the electricity, you can find out the name of the electricity supplier on the Energy Networks Association website.

Work out which type of meter you need

As mentioned above, the type of electricity meter you need will depend upon how much energy you use and when you use it. There are a few different types to choose from, including:

  • Single rate meters
  • Time of use meters
  • Half-hourly meters
  • Smart meters

Remember, if your business has a maximum demand of 100kW or greater in any half-hour period during the day, then the law states that you must use half-hour metering

Choose an energy supplier

Once you know the type of meter you need, you'll need to pick an energy supplier to provide power to your property. The supplier you choose will determine how much you pay for both the installation and the electricity you use at the premises. As with the type of meter, it's important to choose a supplier that can meet the needs of your business. This is where our energy experts can help. We can compare from a panel of top UK suppliers and even negotiate the cost of installation and the energy rates you'll pay.

If you get a smart meter fitted, installation is often free of charge.    

Book in your installation 

Once you’ve chosen a supplier and agreed on a meter and tariff, you’ll need to sort out a time and day for the new meter to be installed.

If you’ve moved to new premises, it’s worth finding out what the KVA (kilo volt amperes) of the current supply is. The KVA represents the amount of electricity you can draw from the National Grid at any time – the higher the KVA, the more energy you’re taking which increases the amount you pay. 

If the previous tenants were high energy users they may have had the KVA increased to meet their needs in which case you should ask for it to be lowered. On the other hand, if you run a business that consumes a lot of electricity you might need to raise the KVA.

If you are running a high energy use business, then you’ll probably also need to check your electricity runs on something called a ‘three-phase supply’ which ensures your provision is constant. If your business is a regular energy user then you’ll only need a single-phase supply. You can check both the KVA and the type of supply you have with your provider.

How much will a new electric meter installation cost and how long will it take?

The cost of electricity meter installation depends on the supplier and the type of meter you choose. This is why it can be well worth your while to negotiate.

It can take a few weeks to organise a new meter installation. If you’re moving to a new building, you should aim to start the process at least a month beforehand. You should also bear in mind that you or a member of staff might need to be on the premises when the engineer comes to fit the meter or they may not be able to complete the work.

How to find the best deal for your business

At USwitch for Business, we understand just how important it is to get everything right when it comes to commercial energy. That's why we’re here to help you get the very best deal for your business. 

Simply tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll compare for you – we’ll also take care of all the details when it comes to switching – so, to get the most for your money, give us a call on 0800 188 4930.

Does your business need a new electricity meter?
What type of business electricity meter do you need?
How to arrange a business electricity meter installation
How much will a new electric meter installation cost and how long will it take?
How to find the best deal for your business

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