Medium and large businesses with meters of profile classes 05, 06, 07, and 08 have had to pay their bills based on their half-hour electricity (HHE) use, since 2017. This is known as half-hour electricity metering and is the result of a change made when Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) amended the Balancing and Settlement code under the P272 legislation.
How do you know if you have a Half Hour meter?
If your business tends to use more than 100 kWh electricity in half an hour, then it is likely that you already have a HH meter installed. This will be an Automatic Meter Read (AMR) that will automatically send your half-hourly electricity suppliers a meter reading every half hour using a fixed-line.
You can check your meter type on your electricity bill by looking at the S number. If the number after the S reads 00 then your meter is a half-hourly one.
What are the benefits of an HH meter?
Before the introduction of HH metering, business energy suppliers tended to match energy consumption to customers using profiles to describe their business type. These classes were number 00 to 08 and included Domestic Unrestricted Customers, Non-Domestic Unrestricted Customers, and Peak Load Use of Electricity above 100 kW.
Businesses then had to submit their own meter readings, so that their supplier could:
• Check that their energy consumption matched the given profile
• Balance the amount they were paying with the amount of energy used, so they could reconcile any billing differences
If you change to an HH meter, it will send your readings automatically every half-hour so your bill will be based on actual use, not a profile class estimate. This then gives you an up-to-date view of your electricity use, and how much you should be expecting to pay. Business electricity suppliers can also use the data to get a deeper understanding of your pattern of energy use, which may well work to your benefit as they should then be able to offer you a contract that is tailored to your business need.
HH Meters and the smart grid
If we widen out the thinking about what benefits a HH meter brings, it can also help with the modelling of the UK’s future energy needs as ‘time of use’ tariffs could help manage demand at peak times, or even reward businesses who are able to be more flexible with their electricity use.
HH Meters and business gas
HH meters are not available for business gas as it isn’t paid for in the same way as business electricity. You pay for business gas based on your daily use, not your half-hourly use.
If you’re thinking about moving to a HH meter to take advantage of half-hour electricity prices or would like to know more about how it works – please contact our friendly and experienced team today.