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P272 – looking back on a year of change

For many larger business energy users 2016 was a year of change; a year during which it may have been necessary to take a fresh look at energy consumption – and in particular at ways in which usage patterns might be shifted and rising non-commodity costs mitigated. The move towards half hourly settlement of energy consumption has had a significant impact on the business energy landscape during the past year and as we prepare to say goodbye to 2016, we must look towards a new year which will bring with it the final deadline for compliance with P272 legislation.

The P272 process began during the latter part of 2015, with many milestones passed during 2016. Here we take a look at the changes so far, and focus on what businesses should be doing in the countdown to the deadline – now only four short months away.

The story so far

Around 160K businesses are caught by the P272 legislation. The overarching aim of P272 is to take some of the guesswork out of balancing and settling the electricity marketplace. It should eventually result in significant savings for the industry and for business consumers, although some businesses will potentially see an increase on their energy bills in the short term. Although progress was initially slower than Ofgem would perhaps have liked, we have already seen a surge of activity during November: a time when high number of new contracts were placed, triggering an obligation on suppliers to transition customers over to half hourly settlement. With advanced meters in place and half hourly data collected and collated, both suppliers and consumers will benefit from improved visibility of their consumption patterns. The April 1st deadline is one which we can expect Ofgem to enforce and which, whilst the responsibility for meeting it lies with suppliers, business would be wise to prepare for.

The race to the finish line

As 2017 begins, suppliers and service providers will be working hard behind the scenes to get systems and processes in place, so that customers can be transitioned smoothly and data properly stored, accessed and analysed. It’s no small undertaking; whilst the marketplace will become a much more efficient place, the infrastructure must be adapted to accommodate the new requirements – and the system will inevitably become much more complex. This is only the first round of changes in an evolving energy market place, which will eventually see smart meters introduced across all business and domestic energy users.

It’s important that businesses engage with P272 as the transition takes place. It’s also in their best interest to be properly informed: of the changes they will see on their bills, of the ways in which new costs can be kept to a minimum, and of the way the new data can benefit them. By keeping abreast of the changes, businesses can ensure that 2017 doesn’t bring with it any unplanned demands on their energy budget. Read more about what your business should be doing to prepare. 

If you’re business is affected but you’ve yet to hear from your supplier, it would be prudent to make contact with them. Alternatively, you could get in touch with an expert like Inenco, who can help you find out everything you need to know and make sure you fully understand what the impact on your business will be. Once you’re aware of your transition date, your priority should be to appoint MOP and DC/DA providers. You’ll find helpful tips on doing this right here on the P272 Hub – and if you’d like more information, practical help or advice, please get in touch. We’re here to help. [contact info/link]