Half Hourly Meters

Large users of energy have half hourly metering systems in place. This guide explains how they work and how to get the best contract rates.

What is a Half Hourly Meter?

Electricity meterAny UK corporation that uses more than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year have these meters installed as a mandatory requirement. These meters, also known as “00” meters because of the numbering, “Smart” or HH, measure and record consumption automatically.

The example meter shown has a reading of 38,177. The name half hourly is derived from the fact that these meters are automatically read by your supplier every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Large users of energy such as manufacturing plants, printers, department stores and assembly plants will have these installed. Regulatory legislation makes this a mandatory requirement by law to have these meters operational.

How do They Work?

Smart meter conceptThey work in the same manner as a regular meter with usage and consumption recorded. HH meters automatically transmit the data back to your power supplier via mobile phone signals or a fixed data line every 30 minutes.

Your power company stores this data and is available to access directly for further analysis.

Once you have access to your personalised data there are three main uses for this information.

  • Calculating a unit charge and daily rate to produce your invoices. Because the data is automatically read, bills are never estimated and are 100% accurate.
  • Historical data is used for negotiating on your next electricity contract.
  • Manage usage and implement efficiency programmes via an energy management system.

Which Businesses Have These Meters?

There are three main scenarios in which a business could have an HH meter installed as follows:

  • If your maximum demand in any 30-minute period is more than 100 kWh, then a mandatory meter is required. Most meters are installed due to this legal obligation.
  • Other business owners that require access to their consumption data every 30 minutes may request a voluntary installation.
  • Light usage is mainly for residential premises as part of the government roll out. These meters are also known as smart meters and perform the same tasks as a traditional meter.

How Can I Compare HH Prices?

Smaller businesses with an annual consumption below 100,000 kWh can simply get online quotes from a variety of sources. Unfortunately for 00 meters the process is more complex, although just as straight forward.

You can either contact your current provider for their rates or use the services of an expert broker. There are additional processes involved to access the cheapest deals based on the wholesale market. Here’s how it works:

  • Contact a broker and provide your company information such as meter number and meter address.
  • Provide a Data Release Letter (DRL) so that the broker can access your data from your current provider. The tendering process can’t commence until your broker received this letter.
  • An invitation to tender (ITT) is arranged and submitted to all energy suppliers. Within a few days, a range of rates is provided for the client to review.
  • The pricing presented is usually only available for 24 hours due to the volatile nature of the wholesale market. Prices are always based on the current wholesale market, which are usually higher in the winter months. Speak to your broker for the best time to negotiate your rates.
  • Switching takes between 4-6 weeks depending on contract renewal dates.
  • Brokers will assist you through this entire process, saving you time and money.

Some of the customers we have worked with have literally saved over £300,000 per year because:

  • a) Their meters were grouped together as a “group buy” and bid together to leverage buying power.
  • b) Their meter types were changed to take advantage of lower night and weekend rates.

A good broker will find the right deal available for your circumstances.

Examples of Rates

It’s difficult to provide examples of tariffs because every business situation is different.  The unit rate is where to concentrate efforts on as the standing charges are quite low. Here are some example rates of customers coming to us. We were able to reduce the overall annual pricing for all of them.

Consumption Day p/kWh Night p/kWh Charge/ mth
2,411,000 kWh 9.523p 6.700p £93.07
11,000,000 kWh 6.836p 5.255p £26.67
3,450,000 kWh 10.15p 7.27p £82.65
452,500 kWh 9.8p 6.4p £30.42

There is great variation in these prices because the consumption demands vary, and different brokers negotiated the contracts. Get in touch if you have a half hourly meter so our energy broker team can help you.

Uses of the Meter Data

Apart from being able to negotiate rates with the data collected you can use that to see where your business could save money.

There are plenty of free and paid energy management software solutions on the market today that help you interpret the data. Some of this may be information overload, so it’s important to have an expert on hand to help you understand how to use it.

Most companies save money by reducing consumption during the night time periods (by switching off machinery, lights and computers) but there are other options to help you reduce costs.

Every one of our HHM clients gets access to our proprietary management software so just ask our consultants about our software solutions when you call.

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