Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, is changing the way business energy consumption is measured and billed.
Their new regulation, P272, will be enforced in April 2016 and from then suppliers must use half-hourly data to settle the supplies of large businesses. This date has been pushed back from the original date and some of the details are still not clear but we’ve rounded up some of the specifics which are already known to help businesses prepare.
What is P272?
P272 is the name given by Ofgem to this regulatory update. Large businesses which have a profile class between 05-08 (and have an AMR meter) will be expected to have their consumption settled on a half-hourly basis in line with AMR meters which have a profile class of 00.
Why is this happening?
This idea was first proposed by Smartest Energy in 2011 and is now part of Ofgem’s long-term plan to build a ‘smarter grid’. It has been argued that by switching all high energy users to half-hourly settlements businesses will begin paying their fair share of energy consumption, as half-hourly meters measure consumption with higher accuracy.
Will this affect me?
This will affect any business which has a maximum demand profile. To determine if your business has one of the affected profile classes you should look at your bill and find the diagram which is similar to this:
If the highlighted number on your bill is 05, 06, 07 or 08 and your business has an AMR meter installed then this change will affect your business.
What do businesses have to do?
At this moment it is not entirely clear whether it is businesses or suppliers who will be responsible for ensuring the switch has taken place. If a business already has an AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) meter installed, then a new installation shouldn’t be required as the installer should be able to configure it remotely. However, businesses that will be affected by this should keep an eye open for more information in the coming months and contact their supplier if concerned.
Will this mean more costs for my business?
If you’re in the situation where a new meter installation will be required then there will be new costs. However, businesses in this position should remember that they are allowed to shop around for a new meter and are encouraged to do so.
Businesses that were previously on a non-half-hourly settlement should expect their bills to change. Due to half-hourly meters measuring consumption more accurately this will mean the cost on the bill will more accurately reflect the actual energy consumed. For some businesses, this may mean a cost saving but for some it may mean a cost increase. However, half-hourly bills are more detailed and provide a breakdown of how much energy was used every half-hour, so businesses will have data that can be utilised to form a well thought out consumption reduction plan going forward.
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