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Don’t Pay Over The Odds Under P272

By April 2017, all businesses that fall into profile classes 05 – 08 must provide half-hourly usage data to their suppliers via automated meters. Consumption will be billed and settled by suppliers on a half-hourly basis, making energy bills far more accurate. If your business is due to make the switch to half hourly metering under P272 over the next eight months, it is important that you act now to avoid higher charges.

The responsibility falls upon suppliers to ensure all business meters are upgraded in time for the P272 deadline. They will also appoint a default Meter Operator (MOP) to maintain the meter and a Data Collector (DC) to collect and process all consumption data going through each meter point – these will introduce new metering charges to many businesses under P272.

1) Shop around to reduce MOP and DC costs

Businesses could save up to £700 for each meter point by appointing their own MOP and DC rather than going with their supplier’s default option: with a total of 160,000 business sites impacted, it is estimated that collectively, businesses could save up to £116 million each year by shopping around for more competitive contracts. Half hourly data is critical to better understand your business’ energy consumption and identify opportunities to reduce costs; contracting directly with a DC will also ensure your business accesses its energy usage data, providing you with essential insight into how, when and where energy is being used across your sites.

2) Start to think flexibly

P272 will bring more accurate charges, but for some businesses it could also see energy bills increase. The non-commodity cost of energy consumed during peak demand periods is higher, and businesses billed and settled on a half-hourly basis are charged according to when they use energy. Those businesses switching to half-hourly billing under P272 could find themselves paying higher non-commodity costs – but understanding your energy data is key to identifying opportunities to avoid these costs through flexibility (such as switching some consumption outside peak demand periods). You can find out more about how P272 is key to unlocking flexibility here.

3) It pays to take action

Those businesses that take action now to prepare for P272 will reap the benefits of accurate billing and access to data to inform energy reduction plans. Those who view P272 as a simple industry process that doesn’t need attention could find themselves facing higher charges at a time when energy costs are rising.

If you have questions about P272, or would like expert advice on selecting MOP or DC providers, help is available.