New regulations that came into force on 1 April mean businesses with automatic meter readings (AMR) in place will be charged on a half-hourly basis - providing a more accurate picture of consumption.
The P272 regulations specifically affect businesses with class 05-08 electricity meters.
Electricity meters are classed from 01 to 08 based on electricity consumption and load profile. Businesses with class 05-08 meters are considered ‘maximum demand’ customers. The largest, most energy-intensive businesses are a separate class, 00, and already have half-hourly meter readings.
The designated class of a meter can be found as the first two digits on the meter point administration number (MPAN) or by contacting the energy supplier.
For the more than 160,000 ‘maximum demand’ customers that currently use advanced AMR systems, the new regulation means that their meters will be automatically read every half hour and bills calculated accordingly.
The move will give these businesses a better idea of their actual energy usage at specific times and inform strategies to reduce consumption and avoid peak charges.
Andy Cormie, vice president I&C supply at energy supplier, SmartestEnergy, said: “The accurate and timely data [P272] provides is a powerful tool to help companies actively manage their consumption to control costs and encourage staff to be more energy efficient.”
In related news, there are now nearly one million smart and advanced meters installed in non-domestic properties in the UK, according to government figures. This is more than a quarter of all non-domestic meters in the country.
Although smart meters do not necessitate half-hourly settlement, they do ensure that bills are based on actual consumption rather than estimated billing.
The government has tasked energy companies with fitting all properties with a smart meter by the end of 2020.
Smart meters are considered by the government to be a vital part of a more responsive and flexible energy system. By providing an accurate picture of when energy is used, grid operators and energy companies can better incentivise their customers to move their electricity consumption to non-peak times.
For more information on P272 or smart meters, businesses should contact their energy supplier.