New Energy Cost for Businesses

The energy industry is preparing for a major change in the way some meter profile classes are going to be billed. The change takes effect in April 2017 and will mean certain meters will require an additional contract for the maintenance of those meters and the collection of the consumption data. Such arrangements will mean usage is collected remotely every 30 minutes via a GSM signal or telephone line.

Ofgem has initiated the change and called it P272 – Mandatory Half-hourly Settlement for Profile Classes 5-8. The idea behind the change is to have bills based on more accurate data, benefitting both customers and the energy industry alike.

Customer awareness

Research supplied by Npower based, on a survey of over 100 senior business contacts, in the retail sector found little awareness of the forth coming changes. Over 81% of respondents said that they hadn’t heard of P272 when it was explained to them; alarmingly this figure was even greater amongst larger companies (those with over 500 employees). When asked to speculate what they thought P272 might be, some responses included a chemical compound (15%), a type of sweetener (5%) and a space exploration project (2%)! The research also showed that over 55% of retailers were unsure of how many meters they had in their estates. Not surprising 67% of respondents were unaware of any cost implications for P272.

Savings and better rates

The processes around P272 will mean energy usage is measured based on half-hourly readings, this will allow suppliers to price contracts based on actual consumption patterns and will therefore provide your clients with an invoice that better reflects the actual cost of your energy. The accurate data provided by advanced meters will also allow customers who consume less energy at peak times (for example early mornings and late afternoons) to negotiate a reduced unit rate when their contract next comes up for renewal.

What happens next?

It might all sound complex but most of these changes will be made by energy suppliers behind the scenes. Customers will need to arrange their initial half-hourly data collection and meter operator contracts. However, the provider will do the work to switch the meter over to half hourly readings; a lot of these changes will be taking place remotely so a visit may not even be needed.