All You Need to Know About Half-Hourly Meters
Half hourly meters (also known as HH meters) are required for large business energy usage. This is defined as these businesses who have a peak business energy usage rate over 100 kWh. Despite being legally obliged to have a half hourly metering, they are actually useful for both the energy supplier and the business customer.
What is a Half Hourly Meter?
A Half-hourly meter transmits meter readings every 30 minutes to the energy supplier. This is done via a data collector or through an accredited third party.
Half hourly metering is used to ensure that businesses are paying the correct business energy rates. With large energy consumption, billing can get out of control very quickly if not managed closely. This type of meter helps manage that so businesses are not under or over charged and save money on your energy bill. This avoids a potential large bill at the end of the contract to catch up on payments.
Who Can Have a Half Hourly Meter?
A HH meter must be installed by law for businesses with a peak usage rate over 100kW.
Most commonly businesses that have a HH meter are medium to large scale industrial businesses, large offices, factories, warehouses, breweries, agricultural businesses, supermarkets and department stores.
Regulation introduced by Ofgem in 2015, meant that all business electricity contracts with a profile class of 05-08 had to switch to a HH meter. However, non half hourly required businesses can still have one installed if they wish. Some businesses do this to get a better handle on their energy usage and to get more accurate billing.
Requirements for a Half Hourly Meter
Businesses with a HH meter installed must get in touch with a Meter Operator and Data Collector to enable the gas and electricity meter to function properly.
Most energy suppliers will supply these services to you, but they may not be the cheapest method of contracting these services and you can contract for these services directly with the service provider. Meter operators will complete the installation and maintain your meter ensuring that your readings are sent to your supplier every half hour.
Benefits of Half Hourly Meters
Half hourly meters offer benefits for both the business and the energy supplier. The main benefits are:
- Increase data on energy consumption
- Accurate billing from the use of actual meter readings every half hour
- Ability to charge different gas and electricity prices for energy used in high peak periods and lower demand periods
- Encourages use of electricity at lower demand periods when charges are lower
- Increased energy efficiency through knowledge of business energy consumption
- Reduced carbon emissions from energy consumption and improved environmental credentials
How Do I Know If I Have a Half Hourly Meter?
The MPAN number located on your electricity meter will help you identify if you have a half hourly meter.
The image below shows an example MPAN. Under profile type, a ’00’ indicates that you have a half hourly meter.
Can I Switch Business Energy Suppliers If I Have a Half Hourly Meter?
You can switch suppliers if you have a half hourly meter. However, not all business energy suppliers offer tariffs for this meter profile class. As large consumption businesses can be more complex, you may need a more bespoke energy quote based on detailed consumption patterns.
The business energy suppliers that currently offer half-hourly meter contracts include:
- British Gas
- Good Energy
- npower Business Solutions, Powered by E.On
- Scottish Power
- SSE Business Energy
- SSE Airtricity