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Despite the U.K. government's directive that businesses must have an advanced or smart meter installed by 2020, local business owners are not making the most of the energy meter technology, finds a new study.

The survey, conducted by U.K.-based business-to-business electricity supplier Opus Energy, discovered 87% of the 1,000 small and medium enterprise (SME) leaders surveyed said they were not using the technology, while 61% said they never make use of the information from their energy meter - smart or otherwise.

Andy Nash, operations director of Opus Energy, says, “We have recognized that - even with the government driving forward smart meter installations in order for businesses to make energy savings - it is not yet common practice for businesses to actually use their energy data.”

According the survey, only 23% of those who do use the information from their energy meter do so with a view to making changes to their energy consumption, while 26% use the data to budget for energy usage.

When asked which features of a smart meter are, or would be, useful to the running of their business, the SME leaders stated the following:

- It provides actual meter readings for billing, rather than estimates (47%);

- A display pad to show real-time energy consumption (39%);

- Being able to program the smart meter to turn off appliances during peak price times (31%); and

- Energy consumption data given on a daily basis (31%).



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