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36% saw the main benefit as accuracy of meter readings and bills

New research from independent UK business-to-business energy supplier, Opus Energy, suggests that UK SMEs are turned on to the benefits of having smart meters installed in their premises, supporting the company’s ambitious target to install 40,000 smart meters at customer sites by the end of this year.

15% of the SME business leaders polled said they currently had a smart meter installed, compared to 25% (16,000) of Opus Energy’s existing SME customer base that are already operating on smart meter technology.

Of the panel of 500 leaders questioned by Opus Energy, many saw the benefits related to having a device installed:
• 38% thought the main benefit of installing a smart meter was that it provided real time visibility of their business’ energy consumption;
• 36% saw the main benefit as accuracy of meter readings and bills; and
• 31% believed smart meters encourage business owners to think more about energy saving.

Charlie Crossley Cooke, Managing Director, Opus Energy, commented on the findings: “Smart meters are the big industry innovation for the next decade. Customers with smart meters are five times less likely to have a complaint as a result of bill transparency. This means that we can reduce our service delivery costs, in turn enabling us to continue to offer competitive prices to our customers.”

TriRunning, a Northampton-based sport and athletics shop, was a start-up business when it signed up to Opus Energy. Gabrielle Deere, Managing Director of TriRunning, wanted to know how much TriRunning should budget for its energy consumption, and so was keen to install a smart meter. Using this data, Opus Energy will bill TriRunning for its actual energy consumption every month.

Gabrielle comments: “As a start-up business I didn’t know what to expect my energy bills to be. Everyone knows that estimates can be wildly under or over actual energy usage, so I wanted to make sure I was in control of my energy bills right from the start. But how can you get control of your energy usage if you don’t know what it is you’re controlling? That’s why I wanted to get a smart meter installed as soon as possible, so I could plan my usage. Opus Energy’s offering really suited me because they installed the smart meter for free.”

Opus Energy is ramping up its smart meter installation programme for SMEs, with the ultimate aim to install meters in all customer premises, and is offering free smart meters to existing customers who have not already converted.

Crossley Cooke concluded, “Our research also shows that more than half – 59% - of our panel of business owners are looking to their energy providers to seek information about switching to a smart meter. Due to the success of our own ongoing smart meter roll-out, we were surprised that more SMEs haven’t yet made the switch.

“It’s only when the industry can be seen to be working together to roll-out smart meters that we’ll see a more dynamic energy market offering customers the control they need over their usage and pricing.”

More information, including an FAQ and details on costs, can be found on Opus Energy's dedicated smart meter website.

Ends

Notes to editors
• Survey based on Vision Critical data Nov. 23, 2011
• Field dates: 10th-17th November 2011, 500 SME respondents
• Data relating to this press release available on request

For press enquiries, please contact
Lisa Donohue
FTI Consulting
T. 0207 269 7219
E. lisa.donohue@fticonsulting.com

About Opus Energy
Opus Energy is the UK’s leading business energy supplier. With offices in Northampton and Oxford, Opus Energy employs 410 people.

In December 2011 Opus Energy signed up to the 'No selling, just installing' smart meter promise, a campaign being led by Which?, encouraging energy companies to make a pledge to not sell to customers during a smart meter installation. To this end Opus Energy’s smart meter installers will not be on sales-related commission and will not be required to initiate any sales leads.

Opus Energy supplies over 130,000 UK business sites across all sectors. Corporate customers include: Stagecoach, Pizza Hut and Virgin Media.

Opus Energy’s management team has a 50 per cent stake in the business, while International Power Plc (LSE:IPR.L) holds 30 per cent and Telecom Plus Plc (LSE: TEP.L ) has 20 per cent.

For further information about Opus Energy, please see the Opus Energy website.

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Opus Energy in the following categories: Business & Finance, Manufacturing, Engineering & Energy, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.