Half hourly meters

Almost every large business in the UK has a half hourly electricity meter installed at their premises. Those that use the most electric power are required to have these meters installed by law. Other businesses can opt in to have them on a voluntary basis.

Over time, all business users will change to have smart metering recording methods swapped for their existing systems under a long-term plan by the government. All buildings connected by this technology can then automatically monitor electric usage and make efficiency savings recommendations to cut costs.

How to check if you have these meters installed

Half hourly electricity meter example

It's straightforward to see if your business already has a half hourly electricity supply at your premises by looking for the number shown in the above graphic. The meter number begins with an "S" (capital letter) then two rows of numbers. If the top row starts with 00, then you have a traditional half hour meter (HHM). The first two numbers indicate the profile class reference number representing the usage demand over time.

The industry regulator introduced new legislation called P272 to additionally transfer other max-demand meters with a profile class from 05 to 08 to this system. The new Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) meters provide the same advantages and visibility of usage data, and all customers have transferred since April 2017.

In summary:

  • All premises with a profile class of 00 has the legacy half hourly charges.
  • Businesses with profile classes of 05, 06, 07, or 08 will move to a half-hourly settlement agreement when their contract expires under the current P272 legislation.
  • Your data usage gets automatically transmitted to your supplier every 30 minutes.
  • You can access your reported data from your supplier's website or by using dedicated energy management software.
  • None of these meters can have tariff prices automatically calculated online.
  • It's best to tender to the entire market which is a lengthy process best served by a specialist broker.

The bulk of SMEs in the UK have a light-demand meter with a profile class of 03 or 04 and operate much like residential connections. The bottom row of numbers is your MPAN or Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN). You'll need this to register with the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) scheme as well as if you're thinking of switching your energy provider.

What does a half hourly meter do?

Reading meter dataIn its basic format, the meter simply sends a reading every half hour back to the energy company that's supplying the electricity. The readings are undertaken mainly by a mobile phone type of connection although some use fixed phone lines.

Having automated transmissions means no manual readings need submitting for each invoice period. Bills are always 100% accurate, up to date and the data used to manage energy efficiency programmes via software. Many options exist either directly with the energy company or with the business installing a professional system themselves.

All businesses that have a half hourly meter installed are automatically part of the CRC carbon emissions trading scheme.

Tendering your business requirements

The purchasing process is quite time-consuming, so we offer all customers a fast, free and tailored procurement process. Simply enter your data online, and we'll take care of the rest.

We'll tender to all energy companies to get the best prices for you and switch contracts on your behalf. There's no charge for this service, and we'll also provide access to our energy management software systems.

Further information on energy management systems

Commercial energy management software enhancements

There are three advantages if you're a customer with this type of set-up.

  1. Energy usage is automatically collected resulting in 100% accurate consumption on bills.
  2. You're able to access all data and use software to analyse usage over time.
  3. The data also drives the procurement process for your next contract so there's no requirement to hunt down previously paid invoices.

Your energy provider can use this data to see instantly what your consumption is at any particular time. You'll also receive reports online to check historical consumption data or use your own software to analyse the results yourself.

You can then introduce energy efficiency measures to reduce your consumption with the aid of proven tools and techniques or through your account manager at your energy provider.

Using and managing this data should reduce your energy costs over time.

Distribution Network Operator (DNO)

Each meter is assigned a DNO that manages the transmission of power from the National Grid to your property. If there are supply issues, it's these companies that announce interruptions on their website or Twitter feed. Your DNO is the first two digits from the bottom line of your meter number.

DNO Number/ Supplier Twitter Telephone
10 East England
UK Power Networks
UKPowerNetworks 0800 029 4285
11 East Midlands
Western Power Distribution
WPDUK 0800 096 3080
12 London
UK Power Networks
UKPowerNetworks 0800 029 4285
13 Merseyside and North Wales
SP Energy Networks
SPEnergyNetwork 0800 001 5400
14 West Midlands
Western Power Distribution
WPDUK 0800 096 3080
15 North East England
Northern Power Grid
Northpowergrid 0800 66 88 77
16 North West England
Electricity North West
ElectricityNW 0800 195 4141
17 North Scotland
SSE Electricity Networks
ssencommunity 0800 300 999
18 South Scotland
SP Energy Networks
SPEnergyNetwork 0800 092 9290
19 South East England
UK Power Networks
UKPowerNetworks 0800 029 4285
20 Southern England
SSE Electricity Networks
ssencommunity 0800 072 7282
21 South Wales
Western Power Distribution
WPDUK 0800 096 3080
22 South West England
Western Power Distribution
WPDUK 0800 096 3080
23 Yorkshire
Northern Power Grid
Northpowergrid 0800 375 675
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