It’s now only 12 short months until all businesses in profile classes 05 to 08 will be required to have their energy bills settled on a half hourly basis. If your business is affected, it’s time to make sure you’re properly informed on the implications – as the changes brought about by P272, and in particular the new MOP and DC charges, could potentially push your energy costs up, as well as making a significant difference to the way your bills are broken down from the time you next renew your contract.
For suppliers, the race towards next April’s deadline has already begun. Those businesses with new contract start dates before April 2017 will already be transitioning to non-half hourly billing and settlement.
Whilst the reclassification of meters already fitted with automated meter reading (AMR) technology from NHH to HH settlement should be a relatively straightforward remote process, the sheer numbers of meters involved (around 160,000) makes this task a logistically difficult and time consuming one. Bear in mind also that this legislation forms part of a longer term policy plan, which will see all small businesses and homes fitted with smart meters by 2020, and you begin to understand why the initial timescales laid out by P272 were eventually extended by P322. This later change to the P272 legislation means that a phased introduction is now already underway, whilst the later final deadline of 1st April 2017 looms ever closer.
The message is simple – if you’re affected, be informed. When the changes come to you, make sure you have your energy data in order and that you make your own choices about your MOP and DC operators, rather than letting the choice be made by your supplier. The default option will not usually be the most cost effective one. Preparation is everything, and those businesses who don’t take the time to understand P272- or seek the help of an expert- and aren’t ready to take full advantage of the tendering process upon renewal, will be likely to face unexpected costs.
As you move forward under the new settlement regime, it will become important to have accurate insight into the times and ways that your businesses uses energy. It may be possible to mitigate costs – by changing processes wherever possible to shift usage to non-peak times. DUoS and TUoS charges will also become an important consideration. The data will be available, and how you use it will become crucial.
P272 is an important piece of a much larger energy puzzle, which aims to help solve how to transition to a smarter, low carbon energy market. Here in the UK it will also help to balance the grid, by changing the way we all think about energy consumption. For now, P272 may seem like an unnecessary burden – but savvy businesses will seek better understanding to make sure they see maximum benefit and minimum additional cost, once half hourly billing is in full swing.