Some of the main types of meter available include:
- Smart meters – these meters send automatic updates to your electricity provider so they can accurately bill you. Smart meters come with a separate monitor which displays how much energy you’re using and how much it costs. They’re good if you’re particularly budget conscious or want to actively monitor and lower your energy use.
- HH meters – also known as half-hourly meters these also automatically send meter readings to your electricity provider (every 30 minutes as the name suggests). These are aimed at businesses that use a lot of electricity for example factories or manufacturing plants.
- Single rate meters – also known as ‘standard rate meters’, these run at a single unit rate. This means you pay the same amount for your electricity no matter what the time of day so they’re ideal for businesses that only use energy during conventional opening hours like shops, cafes and offices.
- Two-rate meters – these meters charge you at two different rates, for example a peak-time rate and a cheaper off-peak rate. A common example of using a two-rate meter is the Economy 7 tariff which gives you seven hours of off-peak electricity (which typically runs overnight between midnight and 8am). Economy 10 tariffs are also available which give you 10 hours of cheaper energy. These types of meter are great for businesses that mainly operate at night like bars and clubs.
- Three-rate meters – these can calculate tariffs at three different rates, an expensive peak-time rate for the day, an off-peak night rate which will usually be the cheapest, and a separate charge for weekend use. Three-rate meters are best for businesses like restaurants and pubs that are busiest during the evenings and weekends.