Business Electricity

Half-hourly electricity meters

woman standing in workshop

A complete guide to half hourly electricity meters

Incorrect metering can quickly lead to inaccurately high energy bills, so if you run an energy-intensive business, it’s vital your usage is accurately monitored.

That’s why those businesses with a higher demand for electricity tend to have their consumption monitored in a more specialised way than typical SMEs.

This is normally done with the use of a half hourly meter.

What is half hourly electricity?

Half hourly electricity meters are designed to capture details about a business's electricity usage every 30 minutes, relaying the information to the supplier in real time. This means suppliers can be sure they're accurately charging your business only for the energy it uses, to minimise the risk of incorrect billing.

And this type of metering still allows you to tailor to your energy contracts to fit the exact needs and budget of your business, meaning you can opt for complete budget certainty, with set half hourly meter charges, or take a larger risk on your energy costs by allowing a supplier to pass charges through to them through a variable rate.

Does your business need half hourly electricity meters?

If your business has a peak electricity demand of 100 Kilo Volt Amperes (KVA) or higher, more than three times a year, then you'll be obliged to have a half-hourly meter installed. You’ll be able to find out the energy demand of your business by looking at your most recent bills.

If you've currently got a half hourly meter this is something you're probably aware of, as it's likely you'll have been told by a supplier that you need one – or asked for one to be installed.

But some businesses move into premises without realising that they've got a half hourly meter, and the easiest way to check is to take a look at a recent bill – if your supply number (S number) begins with '00' then it means you've got a half-hourly meter.

MSM mpan

Some businesses with slightly lower usage opt to have the 30-minute meters installed anyway – mainly because of the promise of accurate billing – and if your meter is class 05, 06, 07 or 08, P272, a recent legislation change from Ofgem, the industry regulator, to alter the way that billing and settlement is handled for certain meters, will mean you are now on half hourly billing.

How does a half-hourly meter work?

In order to be able submit accurate meter readings so frequently, half-hourly meters are fully automated, which means there's no need for you to manually submit readings.

The meters typically rely on a phone line or internet connection to send usage details to a supplier, who then uses these readings to determine the cost of your business energy bills.

Can you switch my half-hourly tariff for cheaper rates?

If you’re looking to save money on your business electricity bills, you can compare deals and switch to another half-hourly supplier.

We recommend that you compare deals using a business energy broker - businesses that consume high levels of electricity are often expected to negotiate deals with suppliers, which can be difficult if you haven't had a lot of experience in the industrial electricity market.

MoneySuperMarket has teamed with Bionic to save you the time and effort of comparing quotes. Call the business energy experts for free now on 0800 088 6986 - they'll compare prices from a wide panel of suppliers on your behalf, to negotiate a deal that will cut your business energy bills and continue to enjoy the benefits of a half hourly meter.

Bionic will also process any paperwork and handle the administrative side of things to make the switch as easy as possible, enabling you to focus on running your business.

Call 0800 088 6986 now, or leave a your postcode here, and they’ll give you a call back.