By By Darren Braham, co-founder of First Utility.

There is no doubt that companies are becoming increasingly energy-conscious, especially when you consider that wholesale prices show no sign of decreasing. If you throw in a growing environmental agenda and a gloomy economic backdrop, then we shouldn’t be surprised that a key priority for businesses is to save money on energy usage.

One key cost saving development has been the arrival of smart meter technology. The reason smart meters have such as crucial role to play in the future is that they enable businesses to monitor and control energy consumption; so while prices fluctuate companies can still stay in control.
First Utility, an independent energy supplier who were the first to roll-out smart meters nationwide, works with organisations such as Autoglass to help them control their energy bills. One issue that many businesses face is geography; with multiple sites around the country trying to keep on top of energy usage can be a logistical nightmare.

Before Autoglass had smart meters installed its head office had no visibility of the amount of energy being used within each branch. This led to billing disputes with no real control over energy usage; branch staff would frequently spend time trying to get meter readings to feed back to head office, the end result was all too often estimated, inaccurate bills. Autoglass needed an energy solution for their branch network which would be proactive and seamless; one that offered a reliable and cost effective electricity supply. For Autoglass, the key was to reduce energy consumption.
First Utility were appointed by Autoglass to provide all of its branches with smart meter technology; enabling them to gain greater visibility into electricity usage and accurate billing. First Utility’s service delivery team worked closely with Autoglass’s head office to schedule the meter installations at each branch, while also managing the billing validation process through the initial estimated period.

First Utility now provides Autoglass with one accurate monthly bill, which is broken down by branch for full visibility. In addition, this new approach to its energy provision has helped Autoglass with its corporate responsibility in relation to carbon emissions.

As more and more pressure is put on companies to reduce their energy consumption, smart meters will play an increasingly important role. As Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said recently: “The era of cheap, abundant energy is over. We must find smart ways of making energy go further, and value it for the costly resource it is, not take it for granted." Forward thinking businesses are now looking to adopt smart metering technology in order to reap the rewards.