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Half hourly business electricity meters explained

Larger businesses have their own unique energy needs and often consume significantly higher levels of gas and electricity than their smaller counterparts. Due to the importance of accurately measuring the power used by energy-intensive businesses, it is recommended to have consumption monitored in a more specialised way. This is normally done with the use of half hourly electricity meters (also known as HH or 00 meters).
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What are the benefits of half hourly meters?

Half hourly meters are designed to capture details about a business's electricity usage every 30 minutes, relaying the information to the supplier in real time.

Suppliers can ensure they're accurately charging firms when generating their bills, and businesses with high usage can benefit from a minimised risk of incorrect charges.

It also means that business energy customers can have their contracts flexibly tailored to their unique usage. They can opt for either complete budget certainty with set prices, or allow a supplier to pass charges through to them on a variable basis.

Which businesses can benefit?

If your business has a peak electricity demand of 100 KVA or higher, more than three times a year, then you'll be obligated to have one of these meters installed. Some businesses with slightly lower usage can opt to have the meters installed.

Businesses that opt in do so to get more accurate energy billing. Call UswitchforBusiness today on 0800 188 4930 or request a call back to see how much you save on your commercial energy costs.

Please note: due to industry changes, it is becoming more common since 2016 that all businesses with a peak demand of 75 KAV more than three times a year will get a half hourly meter due to new Settlement rules.

How do half hourly meters work?

Because half hourly meters are intended to submit meter readings so frequently — which means business owners don’t need to submit readings themselves — the meters do require a phone line or internet connection to send usage details to a supplier regularly.

HH meters are often used by UK companies that use a large amount of electricity on a regular basis.

They're beneficial because the half hourly metering ensures that businesses are paying the correct amount for electricity at all times.

There are peak times for energy usage, when demand for electricity is highest around the country (usually around 5-6pm between November to February), and there are non-peak times, which are usually cheaper.

Half hourly meter electricity prices

There are several factors that can affect the price of your half hourly electricity bill.

They can be quite different from standard residential electricity bills, and they can vary from supplier to supplier, so it's worth getting a broker or compare business energy brokers to help compare the market for you.

Some of the main factors that can impact the quote you get from a supplier include:

  • Wholesale electricity prices - the higher the price your supplier pays on the wholesale market, the higher the price will be by the time it reaches your business.

  • Your contract terms - each electricity supplier has their own way of negotiating contracts, but generally, the longer your contract term, the cheaper your rates will be. However, it should come down to what works for your business.

  • The location of your business - electricity rates can vary right across the UK, but business location isn't something that many businesses can be flexible with.

  • Time of year (the TRIAD period) - the TRIAD is three peak electricity usage periods when the National Grid anticipates overall demand to be at its highest. Your electricity supplier should offer a TRIAD warning service to let you know when to expect these periods to occur as they will give you your most expensive rates.

Does my business have a half hourly meter?

If you've currently got a half hourly meter this is something you're probably aware of. You’ve either been told by your supplier that you need one, or have been asked to have one installed.

However, some businesses move into premises without realising that they've got an half hourly meter. The easiest way to check if you have one is to see if your supply number (S number) begins with '00'. The supply number can be found on your energy bill.

How do I save money with a half hourly meter?

First and foremost, the half hour electricity metering means you get data about your company's energy usage much more frequently than most households and small to medium-sized businesses.

This means you can save money in the following ways:

  • If you decide to switch to a new electricity supplier, it's far easier to compare contracts and prices as you'll have accurate data about your energy usage.

  • With your electricity usage data, you can start to shift some of your business's most energy-intensive work to periods when rates are lower.

Can I switch my half hourly meter tariff for cheaper rates?

Yes. Businesses with an electricity demand of 70kW or more can switch their supplier and tariff as a means of getting a cheaper deal for their electricity.

It's recommended to use a broker to help switch energy supplier. That's because businesses that consume high levels of electricity are often expected to negotiate deals with suppliers on a case by case basis, which can be difficult for business owners who haven't had a lot of experience in the industrial electricity market.

A broker will be able to get prices from a wide panel of suppliers on your behalf, negotiating a deal that lowers the cost of your business's energy bills while keeping the benefits of a half hourly meter.

Brokers will also be able to process any paperwork and handle the administrative side of the negotiations to make the switch as easy as possible. That way, businesses can focus on what matters to them.

To ensure you're getting a fair deal for your half hourly rates, visit UswitchforBusiness or get started below.

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