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AMR vs SMART Metering

In a world where energy is becoming more accessible than ever before, we provide you with the insight, myth busters and highlighting how your business can become more energy efficient with AMR and Smart Metering.

Smart Meters

With businesses temporarily closing for the national lockdown it is becoming even more difficult to obtain and submit timely meter reads to gas, electricity and water suppliers. This is ultimately causing large estimated bills and overcharging of customers who cannot provide meter reads. Due to this we are advising consumers to request a SMETS2 smart meter from their energy suppliers in order to provide accurate reads for billing. Before doing so, we recommend you read our blog relating to questions from existing clients and new. 

Common questions we are asked by clients both domestic and commercial are:

Do smart meters actually work? 

Fact: Yes, however the older versions of smart meters (SMETS1) are not compatible with some energy suppliers. For example; EDF Energy can adopt the SMART meter, but the customer would lose the functionality of automatically providing reads. Another note to add is that if your current meter is in a location where there may not be much mobile signal, this may affect the the reads being collected, however a supplier will not normally install the meter if signal is weak. You can check this by seeing how many signal bars you have on your mobile phone and standing in the same location of your meter. If less than three bars of signal would indicate a weak signal. 

Do they pose a risk to our health? 

Myth: According to SmartEnergyGB there is no scientific evidence of smart meters posing a risk to health. The Smart meters used today are covered by the UK and EU product safety legislation. A study by trusted authority Public Health England concluded that exposure to the radio waves produced by smart meters is likely to be much lower than that from other everyday devices such as your mobile phone and your Wi-Fi equipment.

Further information on the subject can be found here.

Can a smart meter save my business money? 

Fact: Yes they can! The average household can save upto £20 per month according to recent studies. A smart meter breaks up your energy consumption into half hourly periods. The half hourly periods can assist with budgeting, forecasting and most of all, eliminate estimated bills. If you apply this principle to a small business it can equate to a £100 annual saving. 

Further information on Smart Meters can be found at SmartEnergy GB’s website here. 

Automatic Meter Readers (AMR)

Automatic Meter Readers (AMR) are devices which are bolted onto your existing metering. AMR’s work in a similar to smart meters; providing accurate and timely readings directly to the supplier for billing. 

Does it cost to have an AMR installed? 

Yes, in most cases if you require an AMR with accurate Day +1 data, you will require a contract with a data collector or directly with your energy supplier. However, some suppliers will provide a free AMR on monthly reads free of charge. 

What are the benefits of an AMR?

In a similar respect to Smart meters, AMR’s serve the same purpose and provide the same benefits, except AMR’s are universal and the functionality can be used by 99% of energy suppliers. Other benefits include:

  • Elimination of estimated bills
  • No more manual reads
  • Increase energy efficiency 
  • Reduce carbon emissions

If your business is interested in smart metering or automatic meter readers or have any questions relating to metering, then please feel free to get in touch with our experts.