A business owner’s guide to half hourly metering

Half Hourly & HH (00) Meters

Large power users in the UK often manage their consumption through half hourly (HH) electricity metering. Used by businesses that consume a lot of energy, half hourly meters are also known as business smart meters or 00 meters and provide electricity readings to your business energy supplier every 30 minutes.

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Businesses that are required to use HH meters

Typically, the types of businesses that use half hourly metering systems are large-scale enterprises such as:

  • agricultural,
  • breweries,
  • department stores,
  • factories,
  • industrial,
  • large offices,
  • manufacturers,
  • supermarkets, and
  • warehouses.

In some instances, HH meters are mandatory. If your business uses at least 100 kWh of electricity for any given 30 minute period, it probably fits the criteria.

For businesses with a regular peak load usage of electricity above 100 kW, a half-hourly meter reading is required by UK regulations. Businesses with electricity usage of 70 kW or above can also opt to have a HH meter installed.

Therefore, the common scenarios for businesses to have HH meters are:

  1. the maximum electricity demand is more than 100 kWh for any half-hour period, making a half-hourly meter readings a legal obligation,
  2. voluntary installation of half-hourly meters to enable business owners to access electricity consumption data regularly.

Whilst half-hourly meters are for large energy consumers, it’s also possible for small or micro-businesses to access real-time readings if they work from home or in a small office that uses a smart meter. These are usually for residential use and lighter energy consumption.

Understanding the P272 regulation

To improve bill handling for large business energy consumers, a regulation called P272 was introduced by the energy industry regulator, Ofgem, in November 2015. P272 required specific business groups using maximum demand meters to move to half hourly electric meters (HH).

In addition to enabling better accuracy of bills, this regulatory change was significant in that it reduced disputes, removed the need for billing based on estimations and changed the way large-scale business energy contracts worked.

Business energy consumers with meter profile classes 05, 06, 07 or 08 were contacted by their suppliers to set up their new business smart meters and were required to appoint a Meter Operator (MOP) and Data Collector (DC)

Half hourly electricity rates

How to know if you have a half hourly meter

If your business has recently moved to new premises, there may already be a half hourly meter installed in the building. You can find out if your business electricity runs through a half hourly meter by checking a past energy bill and finding the S number. If it starts with 00, that indicates that you have a half hourly electricity meter.

Meter readings, DC & MOP

However, whilst you won’t need to take meter readings, you will need a Data Collector (DC) to receive and transfer data to your energy supplier and a Meter Operator (MOP), responsible for meter installation and maintenance. This can all be arranged through your supplier or a third-party with the correct accreditation.

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