All about Prepayment Energy Meters

Looking for a way to manage your energy costs? You may consider installing a prepayment energy meter. But what is a prepayment meter?

Prepayment Energy Meter Explained

As the name suggests, a prepayment meter allows you to pay for your electricity or gas in advance usually by adding money to a smart or a key card. With these types of meters, it is much easier to avoid accumulating debt for your electricity and gas.

A prepaid meter is equipped with a GSM circuit that is capable of turning the energy supply to your home is based on a credit top-up system. The good thing about these meters is that you are in full control. They work a lot like pay-as-you-go mobiles, whereby you charge a prepayment key or card at a participating shop, post office, or online.

Why Use Prepayment Meter

If you have accumulated a lot of debt, have lots of negative credits, or you’re finding it difficult to manage your bills, a prepayment meter would be a great investment for you. It can not only help you with budgeting but also help you avoid disconnections.

All about Prepayment Energy Meters

Here are some other benefits you’ll get from a prepayment energy meter:

  • Track your energy expense — With a prepayment meter, you can easily keep track of what you spend on energy monthly. This way, you can plan your budget properly. If along the way, you notice that you’re spending above your budget on energy, you can easily find out where the problem is coming from, such as an increase in energy tariffs or a faulty meter.
  • You only pay for what you use — With traditional metering services, whether or not you used an energy supply, you’ll have to pay the bill. With prepayment meters, however, you only pay for what you use. These meters are designed to stop reading immediately if there’s a cut in energy supply and starts reading once the energy supply is restored.
  • You can curb waste — With a prepayment smart meter, it is easy to know when you are misusing your gas or electricity. Therefore, you can easily come up with measures geared to minimise your energy use. Some of these meters make it even easier for you to determine how efficient your appliances are so you can make any necessary changes.

Despite these great benefits, prepayment meters are not without some disadvantages, which include the following:

  • High energy costs — you may end up paying more for your energy supply as the best energy deals aren’t normally available to prepaid customers.
  • Can be inconveniencing — You may not have the time to visit a shop or post office to top up your smart, key, or credit card to be able to continue enjoying energy supply service. You risk having your energy supply disconnected if you can’t top up your credit.

If you feel that a prepayment energy meter is right for you, you can have it installed by Connections2Energy, a premier utility services provider in the UK. For more information about the company’s metering services, click here.







Reference Video: PrepaidMetersAus

Why Upgrading to a Smart Meter Is a Smart Move

The Government’s rollout of smart meters has seen its share of problems but there are still many reasons why upgrading to a smart meter is a smart move for all home and business owners. With a simple, easy-to-use display that shows exactly how much money is being spent on energy in real-time, smart meters empower us all to take control of our energy usage like never before.

As a trusted Lancashire utility company serving commercial and residential customers nationwide, we believe that upgrading to a smart meter, or opting for one when connecting utilities at your new home or business, is the right move for everyone. We cater for all homes and businesses, no matter how complex the installation required, and welcome all enquiries about our competitively-priced smart meter upgrades and connection services.

What Are Smart Meters?

The Government began its rollout of smart meters in 2009. The smart meter system consists of a smart gas meter, a smart electricity meter, a smart monitor and a communications hub that links the components together. These handy devices show energy consumption in pounds and pence, with different models offering a variety of features that help customers understand their energy usage.

Smart Meters Save You Money

This is what it all comes down to for most people — saving money by taking control of their energy usage. Installing a smart meter enables you to keep track of household or workplace energy usage by identifying activities and situations in which more energy is being used than necessary and taking steps to reduce the amount of energy used.

However, this isn’t like reading the meter and calculating how you much you’re spending, which is difficult and usually very inaccurate, as smart meters show you how much you’re spending in pounds and pence. Never before have the home and business owners had the ability to see exactly how much they’re spending on energy, ensuring energy bills are accurate and preventing nasty surprises at the end of the month. But the benefits don’t end there, as installing a smart meter:

  • Means you won’t have to submit meter readings or have the meter read ever again.
  • Ensures businesses can keep track of their overheads and expenditure accurately.
  • Helps us all transition to a greener, cleaner and more sustainable future.

The last benefit is a particularly important one for many people. So many of us would like to reduce our carbon footprint and the impact that our lives and business activities have on the environment, and now we all can. Not only are we all empowered to reduce our energy usage by identifying the activities and situations in which we can reduce our energy consumption, as with more accurate readings, energy providers can forecast daily consumption, enabling them to produce energy more efficiently. That means cleaner and greener energy for all.

If you would like to have greater control over your energy bills, avoid nasty surprises and reduce your carbon footprint, get in touch today for a highly-competitive quote by calling 03300552559.

Why Landlords in Lancashire Should Install Smart Meters

Landlords and Smart Meters Installation provides a huge benefit to your property.

Whether bills are included in your tenant’s rent, or they pay energy bills themselves, smart meters can be an excellent choice for your property. An easy way to see how much energy has been used, putting an end to estimated bills, smart meters can encourage people to use less energy and switch off appliances that aren’t in use. Here are a few reasons why landlords can benefit from the use of smart meters, and why landlords in Lancashire should consider installing them in their properties.

Monitoring energy use

Some properties in Lancashire are rented out with bills included, and landlords who offer this kind of rental need to be aware of how much it’s costing them. When people have their bills included, they can sometimes take advantage of the situation and might be leaving things running all the time. While your utility company will send bills with a breakdown of gas, electricity, and water, this won’t include specifics about how the energy has been used. If you are getting particularly high bills for certain tenants, then a smart meter could make it easier to see where issues are arising.

Calculating living costs

When tenants come to view your property, they’ll want to know the cost of:

  • Rent
  • Council tax
  • Gas and electricity bills
  • Water rates
  • Service charges and other costs

By using a smart meter, you can give them a good indication of how much their bills will be, which helps them to decide whether the property is affordable. Smart meter upgrades are an excellent way to work out roughly how much it costs to heat the house, run appliances, and other energy expenses. Energy bills vary up and down Lancashire, with the country having everything from new build flats in Preston, to rustic stone homes in Colne, which means energy costs can vary considerably.

Pre-pay modes

Some tenants use pre-pay meters to make it easier to pay their energy bills, and smart meters are compatible with this sort of system. With energy bills in the North West some of the highest in the country, pre-paying is a good way for tenants to keep their bills under control. Using a smart meter also makes the process of paying easier, as instead of having to take a card to the shops to add money to their card, they can top up via an app or online, like adding credit to a phone. Pre-paying can be more expensive, but a smart meter allows tenants to be on the same tariff as other customers.

Right tariff

The best way for landlords to save money on energy is to get on the right tariff, and smart meters make this easier. By monitoring usage, the system can work out the best tariffs based on how much energy is used and when. You can ensure you are getting the right price for your gas and electric connections . Whether you’re paying the bills or your tenants are, getting on the right tariff ensures that bills are as low as possible.

If you’re considering installing a smart meter, contact Connections2energy. Based at Suite 18, Link 665 Business Centre, Todd Hall Road, Haslingden, Lancashire, BB4 5HU, you can call them on 03300552559, e-mail them on info@connections2energy.co.uk .

Smart Meters for Small Businesses

Smart meters are being rolled out in the UK by 2020, as instigated by the government in order to tackle climate change. They are thoroughly recommended for business premises specially smart meters for small businesses to install them as suppliers will be moving to half-hourly energy readings for some types of businesses.

How do Smart Meters Work?

The main features of smart meters are that they record energy usage in near real-time and then submit this data back to the utilities company . This means that customers will only get charged for what they use, and it will no longer be based on any estimates, as used to be the case. Energy suppliers certainly try their best to estimate the electricity and gas usage of each household or business premise, but the new-style smart meters will eliminate the need for this altogether. As an end-user, smart meters are beneficial because they contain a display that allows you to monitor your electricity and gas usage in pounds and pence. The idea is that we’ll all be able to save money on our bills as we become more energy conscious. Smart meter upgrades should be able to save consumers and business owners money, as well as ultimately helping to save the planet because they promote more environmentally-friendly energy usage.

The Benefits of Smart Meters for Small Businesses

Mostly the advantages of smart meters for businesses are economic, which is good news if you want to cut back on expenditures. With the built-in display, you are able to realise the activities that use the most electricity or gas, and then take action to save money. You’ll be able to monitor how much energy you’re using, at any time of the day, week, or month. Installations of smart meters usually only take about two hours and will be arranged in advance so that there is minimal disruption to your business operations. Sometimes new meters can be installed outside of regular business hours, such as in the evenings or on Saturday mornings. This may come at an additional cost, though.

Where Are Smart Meters Used?

So far, some EU countries such as Italy and the Netherlands have already adopted these Smart Meters, and other countries in the region have begun a roll-out. Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada have also begun using Smart Meters. There is no extra cost to having a Smart Meter fitted if you are a small business, although some kinds of businesses may be charged a fee for some part of the upgrade. All energy suppliers have been ordered by the government to offer all their customers the possibility of an upgrade by the year 2020, and given the many benefits, we recommend that you replace your old meters. At connections2energy.co.uk, we are specialists in utility connections and have been operating successfully for 40 years. We are based in Lancashire but can provide nationwide support. To get in touch with us, please call us on 03300552559, or arrange to visit our offices at Suite 18, Link 665 Business Centre, Todd Hall Road, Haslingden, Lancashire, BB4 5HU .

Facts About Smart Meters

Smart Meter Facts

You’ve probably heard about smart meter upgrades, as it’s been a hot topic for the past year. Although the government has said it wants every home in the UK to be fitted with a smart meter by 2020, you may want to know some smart meter facts before having one installed.

What is a smart meter?

Smart meters are a clever new upgrade for your gas/water and electric connections. These are innovative technology that replaces standard meters, which have become outdated. Standard meters require households to track their own usage and submit to suppliers in order to get an accurate bill. This is no longer necessary with smart meters. How?

With a smart meter, your energy usage will be automatically sent to your supplier through a secure national communication network (called the DCC). So you won’t have to rely on under or over-estimated bills from your supplier or take the trouble to record your own readings monthly. This will mean that you pay for your actual usage, can easily monitor how much you’re spending and cut down if necessary. You can examine what appliances are using the most energy and it will be a valuable cost-saving device when you see how much you’re spending on running a half load wash or leaving the water heater on all day.

How much will a smart meter cost?

The smart meter won’t directly cost you anything. Your energy supplier will install it and the cost is covered in your energy bill the same way normal installation and maintenance is.

When do I get a smart meter?

Approximately 6 million smart meters have been installed across the UK so far, as the main phase of the rollout began in late 2016. Many energy suppliers have been in contact with their customers at this point but if you haven’t heard anything, talk to your utility company to find out when your smart meter will be installed.

You can make an appointment and installation take around an hour. All professional installers should have undergone the correct training as laid out in the Smart Meter Installation Code of Practice, which determines national standards.

I’ve heard there are teething problems, why?

The first generation of smart meters, called SMETS1, have demonstrated some functionality issues when a customer switches energy provider. This means that the customer has to revert to manual meter readings until an upgrade will make the meter compatible again. All of these issues are expected to be resolved with the introduction of the next generation of smart meters next year.

Even if you have one of these smart meters and you have changed supplier, your smart meter is still providing real-time updates on your usage, which you’ll find on your in-home display. So, you can still monitor and adapt your usage based on these readings.

All About Meter Installation

Taking a gas connection may seem a long and hassled process! Well, your tension does not end with the application process. The next cause of concern is the meter installation. It has often been seen that meter installers tend to identify issues with gas, equipment or appliances. These issues need to be corrected immediately for the well-being and safety of homeowners. The problem may either be fixed by the technician himself or require it to be done by suppliers, electricity/gas network provider or the premises owner.

Meter Installation

The first step for using any utility like gas or electricity is the meter installation. Meters and metering technology has improved over time. Today, you will find a range of smart meters in the market. Here are few things about meter installation that you should know:

  • There are a variety of standards and smart meters available in the market. You need to choose a design that fits the overall look of your property, your energy needs and usage. There is a significant difference in the prices of these meters too.
  • Meter installation is not only required when you take a new connection, but you may also need to remove, relocate, upgrade or replace the meters for a variety of reasons.
  • Depending on your energy requirements, you need to decide on the size of meter required to monitor consumption. The requirement calculation will consider all appliances on the property that use electricity or gas. A registered engineer with the gas company will be able to assess loading requirements of your property.
  • To ensure that you get the meter that suits your requirements, your estimated consumption is calculated. There are different meter options across a range of consumption levels. You need to select a meter that suits your needs and budget.
  • Before commencement of meter installation work on a property, a site risk assessment needs to be done.
  • The installation needs to be in line with the guidelines set for gas and electricity supply in the UK.
  • The meter installation housing needs to have provisions for ventilation. It is essential to make sure that minor gas leaks do not cause the atmosphere to become unsafe and allow leaked gas to be detected by people passing by.
  • While choosing ventilation, make sure they are fire resistant, weatherproof and non-adjustable.
  • High energy bills or unusual meter readings are a significant cause for concern. There may be some fault with the meter. It is best to get the meter checked and cleared your suspicions.
  • Once you choose a meter and get a quote, you need to wait for the meter installation. Usually, gas meter installation takes around 6 days while electricity meter installation takes approximately 15 days. The time required will vary with the scope of work and location of the property.
  • Charges for meter installation vary with a service provider. Few providers give free meter installation to residential connections. You need to shop around for the best quote and service.

Get in touch with the gas or electricity supplier in your locality for any questions related to meter installations.

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