Since 2017, medium and large businesses with meters of profile classes 05, 06, 07 and 08 have paid their bills based on their half-hourly (HH) electricity use. So, this is half hourly metering. It’s the result of an industry change that was made when Ofgem amended the Balancing and Settlement code under P272.
How can I find out if I have an HH meter?
If your business uses more than 100 kWh of electricity in half an hour, then you probably have a half-hourly meter installed. This is an Automatic Meter Read (AMR) meter that, as the name suggests, will automatically send a meter reading to your supplier every half hour, using a fixed line.
To check your meter type, look at the S number on your bill. If the number after the S number is 00, then you have a half-hourly meter.
What’s the benefit of an HH meter?
Before HH metering, suppliers matched energy consumption to customers using profiles to describe their business type. These are the profile classes. A business then had to submit meter reads, because their supplier had to:
– Check that the business’ actual energy matched the profile.
– Balance the amount paid with the actual energy used and reconcile any differences in billing.
As HH meters send meter readings automatically, your bill should be based on actual use, not a profile class estimate. It should be easier for you to have an up to date view of your electricity use and how much you’re paying. As well, suppliers can use the data and their deeper understanding of your pattern of energy use to your benefit. This means that they can provide energy contracts tailored to your specific business energy needs. For example, ‘time of use’ tariffs, which might even encourage a business to use less energy at peak times if possible.
As a business, having a HH meter allows you to keep very close track of your business electricity use, giving you a greater ability to forecast your own energy use, budget, drive energy efficiency and put back up plans in place.
HH meters and the smart grid
In the wider context, half hourly data on the use of electricity on the grid helps with modelling the UK’s future electricity need. Time of use tariffs could potentially help manage demand at peak times, or even reward businesses who can be flexible with their electricity use.
HH meters and gas
Half hourly meters aren’t used for gas because it’s not paid for in the same way. You pay for gas based on your daily use, not your half-hourly use. But, gas smart meters should be able to send meter readings every half hour, if there’s any need to do that or any benefit to be gained from it.