P272 is a regulatory change to the ‘Balancing & Settlement Code’ affecting certain electricity meters in the UK, taking effect from 1st April 2017. Under P272; all affected sites must be fitted with automated meters (AMR) capable of sending consumption data to the energy provider at regular, half hourly intervals. This data will then be used to calculate billing more accurately.
The meters captured by the initiative are those with profile number 05 – 08 (sometimes known as Max Demand Meters). The Profile Class is printed on all invoices and is the first two numbers of the ‘Meter Point Administration Number’ (MPAN).
The implications of P272 are mandatory, so if your electricity meters fall into the category, you will be required to take appropriate action. However, P272 can also represent an opportunity for you to receive accurate billing and obtain consumption data, which can be used to drive greater energy efficiency for your business.
The majority of 05-08 meters are most likely to already be AMR, in which case there will be no need to undertake physical works in order to provide the Half Hourly billing. In the rare circumstances in which the meter is not capable of providing half hourly reads, the supplier must take steps to provide a solution (but only in rare cases will this necessitate a meter replacement).
Put simply, this change will provide suppliers with a true picture of their customers’ usage; which in turn will allow more accurate measurement of demand across the network.
A: If your site already had an advanced meter installed before 5 November 2015, suppliers must move you to half hourly (HH) settlement within
B: If your site did not have an advanced meter installed by 5th November 2015, suppliers have until April 2017 to move you to HH settlement.
All this means that, eventually, any meter captured by P272 will be billed like a traditional Half Hourly meter. This is likely to include a range of previously ‘unseen’ charges, which will now be itemised on your monthly invoicing and should be taken into consideration when comparing supply contract offers.
As mentioned above, unfortunately, moving to HH Settlement means certain charges will appear on your bill and could potentially involve an increase to costs. Two of the charges that may appear as line items on your bill are DUoS and TNUoS. These unavoidable levies contribute to the maintenance and development of the distribution and transmission networks. Although it is true that in most cases P272 will increase your electricity expenditure, depending on your daily pattern of usage, it is possible that some may see a decrease to their spend (eg via the introduction of a Day/Night tariff). You may also notice an additional charge known as a ‘Capacity Charge’. This is a charge relates to the amount of energy used by the meter (Maximum Import Capacity) and is measured in kVA (Kilovolt Amperes). Although it is set by your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), it is possible to review the designated Maximum Import Capacity and reduce the expense (however this should be undertaken with care).
There are certain considerations in managing the additional data that will be generated by the half hourly settlement under the P272 initiative. Those captured should appoint an accredited Data Collector / Data Aggregator (DC/DA) & Meter Operator Provider (MOP). The Data Collector is responsible for providing consumption data to your energy supplier, whilst the Meter Operator Provider is responsible for the servicing and maintaining the meter. If you do not actively appoint a provider to fulfil these requirements; a default option will be utilised. The cost of these services varies greatly and any cost will be passed on to the customer. By seeking the assistance of Guild Energy you will be able to obtain advice on minimising this expense.
Without a doubt this regulation will present some challenges for those businesses not already familiar with Half Hourly contracts and the differences in the billing involved. At the same time, it does create an opportunity to take greater control of your energy management, through utilising the energy data which P272 will provide. Guild Energy will help and advise you how to effectively access the potential benefits available to your business; by reducing your consumption and ultimately saving you money.