Important news for business customers

1. What is P272?

The new P272 regulation rules require that energy suppliers use more detailed energy use data, known as half-hourly (HH) consumption data, to calculate customer's bills using advanced Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) meters. For those customers who already have AMR meters installed, these meters will be utilised and converted into fully compliant Half Hourly meters (HH) automatically. This conversion to half-hourly metering will give you the benefit of a more detailed view of your business energy costs as we retrieve your energy data from your site on a half hourly basis.

As a business energy customer you should already have had an AMR meter installed, but don't worry if you haven't, contact your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and they will arrange for the correct meter to be installed at your site(s).
P272 does not affect domestic properties (profile class 1 & 2), small business customers (profile class 3 & 4) and existing HH business customers (profile class 0).

2. Why is P272 happening?

Ofgem seeks to ensure the electricity industry is fair and transparent and that the bills paid by customers are reflective of the energy they use. Re-programming AMR meters to take HH readings means costs between customers and suppliers will hopefully be more accurate.

3. Is your business affected by this change?

Your business is affected by these changes if it is defined as having a 05-08 'Maximum Demand' profile class. This is determined by the type of metering you have installed. The 'profile class' was agreed either by your business or when the electricity meter was initially installed at your premises.

If you look at your energy bill you will see your supply number, which will start with an "S".  The first number on the top line if your profile class.

4. How and when will this change affect your business?

Initially you may see an increase in your energy costs due to new distribution and transmission charges, the change to HH metering will enable businesses to map their energy consumption in far more detail. It will show what times you are using your energy, so can become an invaluable tool in understanding your energy costs and how you can reduce these. As your contract renewal is based on your historical usage, if you are able to minimise your consumption at peak periods (eg. 4-7pm on weekdays), you could see a reduction in your future renewal costs.

If your business Electricity Contract is due for renewal before 5th November 2015, or if you have already renewed, then the supplier should honour your existing contract terms and contact you before your next renewal date to discuss what will happen next. You do not currently have to take any action.

If your renewal is due after 5th November 2015 and you do not already have an AMR meter then your new supplier should discuss with you how you can for a new AMR meter to be installed.  Alternatively you can contact your local Distribution Network Operator and ask them about arranging for a new AMR meter.

5. Do you need to take any action?

The changes start to take effect on 5th November 2015.  If you are due to renew your contract and you have a 05 to 08 profile class then you do need to have an AMR meter as your new supplier will need to use this meter to record your electricity consumption.

a. Meter Operator

A Meter Operator (MOP) install the AMR meters and communication link on the electricity supply at your property.  This can be installed privately or by your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) or Electricity Supplier.  Most MOPs require payment of an annual charge for the installation and maintenance of this meter.  Please note if the meter is owned by your current Electricity Supplier you will need to confirm transfer of this meter to your new Electricity Supplier when you switch. Some meters are not acceptable to certain Electricity Suppliers, you may need to confirm this prior to transferring your supply.

b. Metering

Most businesses now have an AMR meter installed, this will be converted remotely to a fully compliant Half Hourly (HH) meter through which we will obtain consumption readings every half hour directly. If you do not already have an AMR installed, or are unsure please contact your local Distribution Network Operator or existing electricity supplier.

c. Data Collector

A Data Collector (DC) is responsible for 'dialling' your meter, retrieving the details of the energy consumption at your premises and providing this consumption data to your energy supplier so that your energy supplier can bill you on this actual consumption.

You can employ your own DC to collect your data and to supply this to your electricity supplier.  If you do not have your own DC then your electricity supplier will appoint one for you at the time of switching your electricity supply.

Please note that DC services are chargeable and vary across providers so it is worth shopping around for this service.

d. Data Aggregator

A Data Aggregator (DA) is appointed by an energy supplier to take the meter information from the DC and work out the cost of the power your site has used.

Please note that DA services are chargeable and vary across providers.

6. What to do if you have your own Data Collector.

Some business customers will have their own arrangements in place for specific agent services:

  • If you have made separate arrangements it is important that you contact your agent service provider, so that they can confirm that they are accredited to operate in the Half Hourly market
  • If they are accredited to operate in the Half Hourly market, and you wish that they continue to provide your metering services, please contact your new supplier so that they can ensure this is continued
  • Where you confirm that you have an existing contract in place, you will need to confirm to your new supplier that the contract that you have with your service provider includes all agent service costs.

7. How will P272 affect your bills?

P272 will create changes in customers' bills that better reflect their energy use and location. If you use, or can switch your consumption patterns to use, electricity at off-peak and less expensive times, your costs may fall.

If you are currently on an Anytime tariff, this may change to a Day/Night tariff structure. This is to allow the supplier to price your tariff according to the time you are using your energy.

P272 and HH metering means that distribution and transmission costs, such as DUoS (Distribution Use of System) and TNUoS (Transmission Use of System) charges, will be included in your tariff calculations. For more information on these please visit the National Grid website.

Quotes and bills will now show a Capacity Charge

  • This is set by your Distribution Network Operator (DNO).
  • It is the charge for providing electricity supply connections up to a maximum agreed electrical capacity (measured in kva) each day
  • It will appear as a pence/kva charge.
  • Please contact your DNO to find out more or amend your Capacity Charge.