Has Your Business Complied with P272?
It’s taken more than six years to come to fruition, but the P272 regulations are now in force but have your firm taken the steps to comply with it?
You could be forgiven as a business owner for not knowing what the P272 regulations mean but every business with an energy meter in the 5 – 8 profile class must now have moved to a half hourly (HH) meter.
This is because energy suppliers with customers within the profile bracket must now settle with them on a half hourly basis.
The regulation to switch over the meters was first published in 2011 and since April 2014 all meters being installed must be advanced enough to be capable of remotely recording their meter readings on a half hourly basis.
Despite this, not every meter has the HH data available for the firm’s settlement purposes so many have found themselves having to rely on older manual meter readings.
However, from April 1, it is now the law for energy suppliers to settle with all of their customers with a meter in the profile class 5 – 8 on a half hourly basis.
Up to the supplier to install the correct meter
This means it is up to the supplier to install the correct meter though it’s always worthwhile for a business owner to check that this has been done and they are being billed correctly.
Some people in the industry may be wondering why there has been so much upheaval but there are several reasons for doing so.
The main one is that the business will receive more accurate bills because the supplier will receive a meter reading every half-hour.
This is done automatically and the business will be able to see when their energy usage is and whether they could move to an off-peak tariff to save money.
The data provided from HH metres is also crucial should the business be looking to switch energy suppliers since they will have accurate information about their energy needs.
In exchange, a potential new energy supplier can then analyse that data and offer a bespoke tariff that will better meet the firm’s needs.
This is all part of the government’s aim to create competition within the marketplace believing that this will lead to lower prices.
Potential business energy suppliers entering the market
Indeed, there has been a big growth in the number of potential business energy suppliers entering the market with a range of better deals on tariffs but also better customer service.
While many firms will stick with one of the ‘Big Six’ suppliers, they should check regularly whether there are cheaper deals available.
That’s because a firm or organisation will be obliged to keep their overheads in check and reduce outgoings where necessary and one effect of encouraging firms to switch energy suppliers is to use the data from a P272 meter to save substantial amounts of money.
These savings could range in value and the size of the firm but could be from several hundred pounds to thousands of pounds. This means profitability will be boosted as well.
Another big attraction for the P27 to regulation is that a firm with several premises could if they are large enough energy users, get one invoice covering all of their premises rather than several invoices to deal with.
Also, with the growing popularity of smart meters, it would be fair to say that smaller firms and organisations will also be required to move to HH metres at some point in the future; this is an issue that the regulator Ofgem is looking at currently.
The potential for accessing lower energy bills has prompted one of the big energy suppliers to urge all firms to review their current contract supply.
The P272 regulations have come into force
They made the announcement after the P272 regulations had come into force and said larger firms had enjoyed the benefits of having HH bills – the data had given them ‘deeper insights’ into their energy usage.
The call comes after the energy generators warned that firms could face dearer costs at peak time – which presents them with the opportunity to control costs.
It appears that at some point Ofgem will bring in steeper charges for these peak periods to help spread demand, particularly over winter.
The energy supplier says that one reason for this is the move towards a greater reliance on renewable energy sources which are more difficult to manage and operate.
By preparing now and understanding how the HH meters work to the firm’s benefit means they can keep ahead of the rises by planning and negotiating effectively with a cheaper energy supplier for lower bills.
For help and advice about the P272 regulation, contact the experts at D-Energi who will be able to explain more.