When we want to know how customers are getting on, we go straight to the source.
Recently, we’ve been checking in on businesses with smart meters.
We think smart meters are a great way to save money, make customers’ lives easier and unlock a greener future. So, we’ve been chatting to businesses about the difference smart meters are making to them.
That’s why we got in touch with Lesley from Simply Flowers. She told us all about how she’s finding life with her smart meter – and how it’s making her energy much cheaper and greener.
“We saw the impact of the energy crisis on our industry and thought ‘what can we do to mitigate it’?”
Simply Flowers is embracing smart energy.
Sitting in Brighouse’s buzzing town centre, the florist operates with energy efficiency at its roots. There are solar panels on the roof, an electric delivery van in the driveway, and energy insights on the owner’s phone – together delivering a bunch of benefits to the business.
The shop’s ability to make these improvements stems from getting a smart meter. Its advantages are proving evergreen: in the summer, their solar panels convert sunlight into luscious green electricity. In the winter, the staff and their buds earn money for changing their usage habits through Saving Sessions.
This bouquet of smart gadgets has brought much pruned energy bills for the owner, Lesley Adams. So, we couldn’t wait to speak to her about how going smart has helped the business to blossom – and its energy bills to wilt.
How is dealing with energy different now from when you opened 28 years ago?
You never thought about energy back then, it was just there. But that’s all changed.
We really started to feel the impact of the energy crisis last year. A lot of our growers around the world had to shut down; it was too expensive to keep greenhouses warm enough most of the year.
We saw the impact of the energy crisis on our industry and thought ‘what can we do to mitigate it?’.
How did you find the experience of getting the smart meter installed?
It was smooth. I asked for an appointment and got one quicker than expected.
On the day, the engineer got here bright and early and just got on with it. They fit the meter, told me all about how it worked and that was that.
Well – for one – the meter is in a different shop around the corner. I was having to go there a lot and asking ‘can I read my meter?’, which was a bit of a pain. But I don’t have to worry about doing that anymore.
These days, I’m definitely more aware of what we’re using. I can look at my usage and say ‘hang on a minute, something’s on somewhere’. When that happens, I usually know what it is.
So you monitor your usage a lot?
Oh yes. Daily. It’s just a part of my routine to check my general usage.
In the app, you can see the graph from the day before. So even if I didn’t monitor usage one day, I can look the next day to see what I was using when.
There was no way I could monitor usage before I had the smart meter. But now, I can see when I can turn things down a little.
Have you noticed a difference to your energy bills?
I would say so! My bills are fantastic.
There are a few different reasons for it, all tied together.
Firstly, there’s the smart meter. Then, there’s also the solar panels. I made the decision to get them together with battery storage and infrared panel heaters.
They’ve made a significant impact because we can keep things warm without using lots of electricity.
What will you do with all the money you’re saving?
Put it towards my pension probably!
What difference are the solar panels making to your life?
At the moment, they’re performing a lot better than I expected. I took a risk with the roof being north-facing. But it’s worth it.
They dip off a lot from September. But over the warmer months, it means I hardly use any energy – they power everything, even the electric delivery van.
We wanted to ask you about Saving Sessions …
… I love Saving Sessions!
You really made the most of them. What did you do to shift your usage and earn so much money?
Well, all of us here in the shop are with Octopus. So, we all got quite excited about them. We even had a bit of a competition.
It was mostly about changing the timing of when things came on and moving things around a bit.
My heating in the flat above the shop would normally come on at 6pm, but I started to just move it an hour later.
I even bought all the staff a heated throw as an early Christmas present. That way they could take part more easily – the throw would keep them warm while their heating was off.
Were you able to keep the business running as usual during the sessions?
Yeah, we could operate as normal. We’d just adapt slightly.
And doing this helped us realise that you can put your temperature down and use a lot less.
What have you learned about saving energy that you’d share with other shops?
In general I’d say just turn things down a little bit. You don’t need everything quite so warm.
A lot of shops don’t like having their door shut.
Some people think customers won’t come in if the door’s not open. I think people would rather come into a shop and it be warm.
While we’ve got you, we’ve just got a quick floristry question. If Octopus Energy were a flower, what flower would we be and why?
I would say a sunflower! People like sunflowers. They’re a happy flower.
Thanks Lesley! It’s been lovely chatting to you.
We really enjoyed speaking to Lesley about going smart – and not only because we’re flattered by the sunflower comment.
It’s always a pleasure to hear about customers reaping the rewards of a smart meter. Simply Flowers is just one example of how businesses can make smart energy work for them.
We want to help more businesses to blossom by unlocking these smart benefits. So, we’re offering our customers a free upgrade to a smart meter.
Like Lesley, you’ll be able to:
🌻 save time and reduce your energy bills 🌻
🌻 use our app to track how much you’re using 🌻
🌻 make extra savings in smart trials like Saving Sessions 🌻
If you’d like a smart meter of your own, let us know
by clicking the button below.