Understanding P272

The P272 regulatory change concerns electricity half hourly settlement changes

What's P272?

P272 is an industry term that refers to changes that are being made to certain types of electricity meters.

The changes will allow business electricity suppliers to record energy use more accurately, based on half-hourly consumption data.

Regulation P272 affects meters with profile classes 05, 06, 07 and 08.

A business electricity meter

How will P272 affect my meter?

Advanced meters with a profile class of 05, 06, 07 and 08 will be transferred remotely to a half-hourly supply. This will not cause any interruption to your electricity supply.

What's an electricity meter profile class?

The electricity profile class of your business meter is based on how much energy you use and when you use it.

To find yours, look at the first two digits of your Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN).

A British Gas employee discusses P272
A smiling woman holds up a chart showing the benefits of P272

What are the benefits of P272?

Half-hourly charging will provide a better understanding of your business electricity use.

This will allow us to improve the way we price and bill to more accurately reflect how you use electricity.

It should also help with your business planning and any energy efficiency measures you may want to consider.

What changes will I notice?

If your meter is affected, you'll get an itemised invoice after the changeover to show the costs before and after the change is made.

There will also be a change in the look of your bill. Instead of showing meter read values/estimates, bills will show the total consumption for the half-hourly readings that have been collected.

A British Gas business employee

More FAQs on P272



Why are the P272 changes being made?
A: This is an industry-wide change that’s being made to allow the use of the data available from advanced meters. The change will allow energy and network costs to be worked out more accurately.
What’s a DNO?
A: A DNO is a Distribution Network Operator. DNOs look after the network of towers and cables that transport electricity to homes and businesses. Your DNO will also make sure that your connection to the network is safe and sufficient to cope with your electricity needs.
How do I find out who my DNO is?
A: Look up the number for your DNO from your supply number – this can be found on the back of your bill.

See the example of a Supply number below, with the DNO number (11) in:

S 01 801 391
  11 00007139  


When you know your DNO number, you can find your supplier from the table below:

I've had a letter from my DNO, what do I need to do?
A: If this is the first time you've heard directly from your DNO, then it's quite likely that the letter is about the P272 changes.

Your DNO may need to know what your maximum import capacity is (see below). If so, you'll need to:

  • Check what your DNO has suggested as your maximum import capacity
  • Tell your DNO if the maximum import capacity needs to be changed

If the letter you've received is about anything else, please get in touch with your DNO.         

What’s maximum import capacity (MIC)?
A: The maximum import capacity (MIC) is the maximum amount of power that can flow through the exit point from the distribution system to your installation. The figure is agreed with your DNO.

The MIC is expressed in kVA (kilovolt amperes). The more electricity you need, the more you'll pay.

If you and the DNO need to agree a MIC, the DNO will charge us for your MIC and we'll then charge you, on your energy supply bill.

How do I know what my maximum import capacity needs to be?
A: The estimate of your MIC that is made by your DNO is based on your consumption in the previous year. If we were your energy supplier at that time, we’ll have sent this consumption figure to your DNO.

When deciding your MIC you need to think about your future needs. If you think you'll be using more or less energy than in the last year, you can ask for a different MIC.

You should be aware that if you use more energy than you asked for, you may be charged an additional amount.

If you aren't sure what to do, please get in touch with us or with your DNO.

How will P272 changes affect my bill?
A: If you have a fixed price energy plan, you won’t see any changes to your bill until your energy plan is next renewed or reviewed.

At the end of the fixed period – or if you don’t have a fixed plan – the changes you’ll see are:

  • We may be able to suggest price rates that are a better fit for your pattern of use
  • You may see an extra price line on your bill for your capacity charge. This will only appear if you have a current transformer meter, not if you have a whole current (WC) meter
Is this another way of increasing prices?
A: No, the reason for the change is to reflect energy and network costs more accurately. This is happening across the entire industry and is due to regulation changes.

While some customers may see an increase in their business electricity costs, others will see a reduction.

When will this change happen?
A: If you renew your contract or change supplier, the change will happen within 45 working days of the date when you renew, or complete your switch to a new supplier.

All affected meters must be able to settle supply costs in this way from 1st April 2017.

Will you be changing my meter?
A: No. As long as we can communicate remotely with your meter, we won’t need to change it.
Can I still pay my bills by cash/cheque or Direct Debit?
A: Yes. There won't be a change to your current payment arrangements.
Can this change be delayed?
A: No, it's an industry-wide change that has to be completed by all business electricity suppliers.
How will this change affect my consumption?
A: It won't. It's only a change to how the costs for that consumption are settled within the industry.
What happens if I want to change supplier before or after the work has been completed?
A: The change affects all suppliers, so whichever supplier you choose will need to provide half-hourly settlement.
Will all my meters/premises be done at the same time?
A: We'll aim to finish the transfer on the same date for all of your sites that have a working advanced meter installed.
Will this interrupt my electricity supply?
A: No, there won't be any interruption to your electricity supply.
Will this affect my gas meters?
A: No, this change is only for the electricity industry.
Are all suppliers doing this?
A: Yes. All suppliers must do this.
How will this affect my other premises?
A: It'll only affect electricity supplies in profile classes 05–08. Not affected are profiles classes 01–04, sites that were already settled half-hourly, or gas supplies.
If I’m not happy about this change, who can I talk to?
A: This is an industry change, which is supported by the regulator Ofgem. If you want to get in touch with us, you can email us from our website at