Guide to business electricity half hourly meters

19th Sep 2023 | Mollie Pinnington | 4 minute read

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what is a half-hourly electricity meter?

A half-hourly meter is a type of business energy meter that takes meter readings automatically every 30 minutes. The data captured from your meter is then sent straight to your energy supplier. Your supplier can then ensure that they are charging you accurately each month depending on your energy usage.

Using a half-hourly meter can tailor your business electricity quotes to fit the exact needs of your business. Suppliers will use your half-hourly data to offer you better rates and deals.

How to know whether your meter is half-hourly

If you have an electricity demand of over 100,000 kWh per year it is most likely that you will already have a half-hourly meter. However, if you are still unsure there is a couple of ways you can find out.

You can check your most recent energy bill. If your supplier number(S) starts with 00 then you have a half-hourly meter.


What is the difference between a half-hourly meter and a smart meter?

Although half-hourly meters and smart meters are similar in the way they work, they are not quite the same thing.

Smart meters and half-hourly meters are both always collecting data, however, a half-hourly meter sends the meter information to the supplier every 30 minutes, whereas the smart meter does this once a month.

Smart meters are also a lot more user-friendly for energy consumers. You can use a smart meter to help you reduce your usage and see this through the easy-to-use monitor that comes with it.

Another difference between the two is, that half-hourly meters can incur extra charges and are not optional for some businesses with a large electricity usage. However, if your business doesn't have a large energy spend these charges will not be worth it.


Why do you need a half-hourly meter?

If your business peak demand is over 100,000 kWh per year, then you will be obliged to have a half-hourly meter as part of the P272 legislation.

Businesses are given a different profile class depending on the amount of energy they use. If your business has a 00 class then you should have a half hourly meter. Your business class is the first two numbers next to the big S on your energy bills.

The reason for larger energy users being required to have a half-hourly meter is to ensure the country's demand for energy is met. Half-hourly data is used to measure demand across the grid. This ensures that all local networks always have enough supply to cover demand.

What types of businesses usually have a half-hourly meter?

From looking at the businesses we work with at Resolve Energy, most electricity-intensive businesses that require HH meters are:

  • Manufacturing companies
  • Warehouses
  • Factories
  • Large stores
  • Schools


Will having a half-hourly meter affect your bills?

A half-hourly meter will ensure that your business is billed accurately for its energy use. By your supplier having extra information on your energy usage there is less chance of you being overcharged. When it comes to getting a new contract, with a half hourly meter you could be offered better rates as you are a large energy consumer, therefore this could further benefit your business's budget.


What are the benefits of a business having a half-hourly electricity meter?

No need for meter readings

As all your meter readings are sent directly to your electricity supplier, there is no need to do this manually. This takes out the risk of any human error when the data is collected.


Accurate bills

By all your electricity usage information going directly to your supplier, there is less chance you can be overcharged for energy. Inaccurate bills sometimes happen due to human error or suppliers having the wrong information about your usage. With a half-hourly meter, both of these issues are taken care of.


Easier to predict and monitor usage

With this type of meter, you can use data to predict your peak usage throughout the day. This could help you work out where you are wasting the most energy. This kind of data will be invaluable to your business if want to become as efficient as possible and reduce your energy bills.


Better pricing options

As energy suppliers can see your electricity consumption patterns for different times of the day, you can get more tailored tariff options based on your actual usage.


What are non-half hourly meters?

Half-hourly meters are not the only business electricity available. Not all business consumers require a half-hourly meter, in this case, you will most likely have a standard meter or a smart meter.

A smart meter might be a good alternative for businesses that have a lower demand capacity but still want the benefits of automatic monitoring.


Should my business have a half-hourly meter?

If your energy usage is not above a certain threshold it is not advised that you change to a half-hourly meter. Unless you have a large energy consumption the charges associated with a half-hourly meter are not likely to outweigh the benefits.


How should I compare tariffs for a half-hourly meter?

As half hourly meters require bespoke quoting we cannot offer a quick quote at Online Energy. However, we can still use our strong relationship with suppliers to offer competitive prices for your energy contract.

If you would like to get bespoke quotes from us, just click here and fill in your details. We will get back to the same day with quotes for your business.

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