Half Hourly (HH) electricity metering is used by large UK power users to better monitor usage. As the name implies, half hourly meters (also known as 00 meters and business smart meters) are electronically read by your supplier every 30 mins.
This is done to make sure your business is paying the correct amount for electricity at all times. Thus, if you use a lot of energy during peak times expect a rather higher bill than if your usage is primarily at non-peak times.
Businesses required to use an HH meter
Currently, if your business has a regular peak load usage of electricity above 100 kW you will be required by law to install a half hourly meter. Typical businesses include factories, large warehouses, department stores, breweries, supermarkets, large offices and other large scale industrial and agricultural enterprises.
From, November 5th, 2015 all new and renewing contracts for profile classes 05-08 will also be required to switch to half hourly settlement as well as laid out in P272.
If your business uses an HH meter, you’ll also have to appoint a Meter Operator (MOP) and Data Collector (DC), both of which can usually be supplied by your energy supplier, although these are rarely the cheapest option.
Half Hourly Electricity Prices
Half hourly electricity prices can be quite different to residential prices, because they are affected by several factors such as the wholesale electricity market, your contract terms, time of year and business location, availability, and TNUoS triad pricing just to name a few.
For this reason it’s very important that you take some time to compare suppliers. Differences between contracts can add up to £X00,000 per year for the largest users.
Data & Half-Hourly Settlement (HHS)
While it can be a pain to get fair half hourly metering contract in place, one big advantage of HH meters and half-hourly settlement is that they give you and your business much more data about your energy usage compared to home users and most SMEs.
By using this data you can save money in at least 3 ways:
- Makes comparing competing contracts much more accurate as you’ll have the information about when you use power and can compare it to the rates being offered by various suppliers.
- Once you know when you’re spending the most on electricity, you may find you’re able to shift certain energy intensive processes to when rates are lower.
- If you can’t shift production to off-peak times from peak times, you can consider looking into implementing energy efficiency programs to offset some of the cost.
Getting Quotes & Comparing Prices For Half Hourly Contracts
Given the size and scope of most mandatory half hourly contracts, getting a new contract or renewing an old one can take slightly more time. Don’t expect to be able to get a few quotes today and have your new plan up and running by next week.
Most experts recommend you start getting quotes together and comparing prices 6-8 months before your contract is up for renewal and no less than 4 weeks beforehand. This will give you ample opportunity to discuss your requirements with the various suppliers out there.
You can get started now by filling out this form.
Half Hourly Metering Frequently Asked Questions
Am I required to get an HH meter?
Yes, if you’re business at any point has a peak load electricity usage above 100 kW or you’re renewing your contract and your meter is in profile class 05-08.
What about P272 Regulation?
P272 was brought in by Ofgem and now makes it mandatory for all new contracts under profile class 05-08 to get half-hourly meters installed. This applies to both brand-new contracts and contract renewals and came into effect on November 5th, 2015.
Do I still have I have to take meter readings?
Generally no. HH meters are normally connected to a fixed phone line or increasing mobile phone connections and send the data directly to your supplier. However, you will still be required to have a Data Collector (DC) and a Meter Operator (MOP) – both of which can be provided by your electricity company, although not always at the lowest price.
What does a HH Meter Operator (MOP) do?
A HH meter operator is basically responsible for the installation and maintenance of your meter. They also make sure the communications equipment is able to send the data to the data collector without any issues.
This can be done either by your energy supplier or by an accredited third-party (often cheaper). However, you must have a contract in place to for your supplier to supply you with electricity.
What does a HH Data Collector (DC) do?
As the name implies a data collector, collects the data and passes it over to your energy supplier. While this is done automatically it’s still important and it can be provided either by your energy company or an accredited third-party.
Unlike, an MOP you do need to have a contract in place with DC before getting your power, but you do need one to get access to all your data.
How do I know if I have a half hourly meter?
All you have to do is check a previous energy bill and looking at the S number. If the number in the top left (just to the right of the S) is 00 then you have a half hourly meter. This numbering system is also why HH meters are sometimes called 00 meters.
Businesses with advanced automatic meter reading (AMR) meters in the profile class 05, 06, 07 or 08 should also be able to operate under half-hour settlement. If unsure ask your supplier and/or your MOP.
Can I switch my tariff plan?