SME customers’ preferences for meter reading frequencies

In July 2021, we asked 280 business customers in England a range of questions to understand the importance of meter readings, including how frequently they are taken. The customers surveyed were a mixture of sole traders, micro, small, and medium-sized businesses. The research gave us invaluable evidence of business customers’ views in this area as trading parties and key industry stakeholders focus on the metering issues impacting customer service.

What our research showed

  • Bills based on actual reads rather than estimates were important to 88% of all businesses, rising to 90% for micro businesses.
  • Over half of businesses (58%) stated meter reads were important as they were considered the fairest way of paying, closely followed by wanting to be charged for what they use.
  • Only 7% of customers wanted their meter read less frequently, dropping to 5% for micro businesses.

We have used the findings to grow our evidence base and to enable us to challenge proposed market code changes in our drive to help deliver better customer service.