The benefits of smart meters

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Want to know how to automate your meter readings and get total insight into your energy use? Read on to find out the benefits of smart meters.

Save time

Focus on what’s important and let automatic readings do all the hard work

Your smart meter will automatically record and securely send your electricity usage data, in near real time, to your supplier. In turn, your supplier will be able to generate bills that are more accurate than the estimated ones provided when readings aren’t available.

What’s more, having a smart meter means you don’t have to note down and send your own meter readings – or wait for an agent to arrive and take the meter reading for you.

All of this will free up your time and let you focus on whatever adds most value to your organisation – without unnecessary distractions and hassle.

Now that’s smart.

Save money

Avoid estimated bills, and only pay for what you use

The accurate data your smart meter provides will help us prepare bills based upon your consumption rather than our estimates.

So, no additional costs and soon you’ll only be paying for the electricity you use. Your smart meter data will also help you understand:

Save on carbon emissions

Reduce your carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions as the GB grid gets smarter

Most of us want to help reduce our personal and professional impact upon the environment. In the workplace, some organisations reflect this approach in their values or mission statement. Others include it within their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) objectives – including targets for CO2 emissions and sustainability.

At Drax, we believe that setting (and striving to achieve) such goals is good for the world – and for our customers. For example, using energy-efficient lighting, improving insulation, and switching from conventional to renewable power can all help to reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint, as well as cut your costs.

Towards a smart grid

GB energy: from centralisation...

Great Britain’s generation and consumption of energy is changing. Traditionally, we’ve relied on a centralised system based on fossil fuel electricity generation where National Grid, as the system operator, balances supply and demand.

Now, the power needs of multiple industries (and millions of consumers) are more complex and varied than ever before. And there are additional ways to generate electricity, as well as a higher number of generators. What’s more, the Government’s desire to stop using coal by 2025 means that the country’s more reliant upon other power sources – including wind and solar.

Natural control?

While wind and solar sources are more environmentally friendly than conventional fossil-fuelled power, it’s difficult to control how much energy they produce. Nor is it practical yet to store, on a national scale, any excess energy for later use.

The unreliable nature of intermittent wind and solar generation makes it much harder for National Grid to perform the second-by-second balancing of the system that’s required. It also explains why other renewable sources such as biomass are now an integral part of the UK energy mix.

To find out more, see this article about what it takes to keep the power grid stable. digitisation and the smart grid

Against this backdrop of a rapidly evolving energy infrastructure, it makes sense for organisations (and all those millions of household consumers too, remember) to install a smart meter.

Having a smart meter will allow you to access a far more granular view of your electricity consumption. If you don’t have in-house energy experts, suppliers such as Drax will be happy to help you make sense of this information.

However the analysis happens, you’ll be able to make better-informed decisions about managing your power usage and probably save money too.

How smarter can be better for business - and Great Britain

The smart meter rollout’s just the start of a GB-wide digital transformation to a smarter energy system. This new system will make the country more energy efficient, and will benefit your organisation in the process. For example, technological advancements in automation and energy storage should boost the network’s ability to maintain the balance between supply and demand – even when the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine. The industry hopes the smart grid will both recognise and rectify imbalances more quickly than the existing, conventional network – so that organisations (and households) have power when they need it.

Electric vehicles driving efficiency

Organisations with fleets of cars, vans, lorries and so on are already looking at how a switch to electric vehicles (EVs) may open up additional possibilities. These include providing a more sustainable form of transport that could help you achieve your corporate responsibility and environmental targets. Making the transition to EVs will also align your organisation with the Government’s 2030 deadline for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars (and vans) in the UK. And EVs will also act as portable storage systems. Your organisation should be able to tap into the energy that your EVs retain when they’re not in use. This will reduce both your reliance upon the National Grid and the need to pay for electricity at the most expensive times. Our Drax Electric Vehicles specialists can guide you through the entire transition to EVs and help you improve fleet performance.

To find out more visit our Electric vehicles page.

Trading energy

In future, the smart grid should allow for easier peer-to-peer trading and give you an extra revenue stream. If you’re generating your own electricity and the Grid’s buying some of it, you may also be able to sell surplus power directly to local organisations that need it. Having a smart meter connected to other appliances within a smart grid could also make it easier to consume electricity when it’s cheaper, i.e. when the energy system’s under less pressure. While you’ll still be in control of your appliances, you may choose a level of automation to kick in at certain times to help you save money. Our Drax Electric Assets team can discuss these possibilities with you – and quantify the savings you can make every month through automation and changing consumption patterns.

To find out more visit our Electric assets page.

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