Publish on: 06/24/16 12:25 PM
Written by Elizabeth Ireland
There are significant changes afoot for business energy customers – you might want to make a note in your calendar for 1st April 2017. With the introduction of p272 legislation, your electricity bill is about to get a lot more complicated. Over 100,000 business owners will be affected by the changes to business electricity billing. Read on to find out how these new regulations will affect you, and how you can make them work to your advantage.
From the start of April 2017, your business energy bill will be calculated in a completely different way. Instead of an annual reading, your electricity meter will automatically send a reading every half an hour, meaning your energy supplier will calculate your bill based on an extra 17,519 readings, or 17,567 in a leap year.
Chances are you’re currently on a 05-08 electricity meter, which is also known as a Max Demand Meter. Energy companies calculate your bill based on one yearly reading; after fiddling with the numbers, they eventually land on something that looks like your bill. While this might make for an easy-to-read utility bill, it doesn’t give an accurate picture of when you use electricity.
The biggest thing you’ll notice is that your bill is about to get very confusing. And while you might be able to take advantage of off-peak power like never before, it also means you might get stung by peak prices. It gets more complicated when you consider that each energy supplier will roll out this switch in a different way, and there are currently no set standards for peak times.
You may already be using an HH meter. As of the 5th November 2015, all businesses using an automated and accredited electricity meter within the 05-08 class were switched to HH billing. However, all maximum demand meters outside of this remit will be switched over on or before the 1st April 2017. For many businesses, this means budgeting for a hike in prices in 2017. Charges will vary at different times of the day, so the 3 pm tea break could soon get a little more pricey. That said, companies with atypical office hours could see a fall in their energy bills, as they will be able to make the most of the off-peak power.
Another factor to consider will be the additional charges for managing this new billing process, which the energy companies will naturally be passing on to the business customer. Your fancy new meter will require a meter operator and a data collector, so it is essential that you shop around to find the best deal, or you risk getting lumbered with one appointed by your utility provider.
Change can be a good thing, provided you’re well prepared. As we all know, data is power. So, while you might not be able to make head nor tail of your HH bill, in the right hands, this data could be very compelling. With a stronger understanding of how you use your energy, a business energy broker will be in a better position to negotiate with your energy supplier.
The complicated HH billing process may seem a little daunting, however, here at Watt HQ we have a dedicated team who specialise in handling the p272 legislation. So if you have any queries or concerns about the switch, or how your business will be affected, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is happy to assist you with any query, big or small, and if we don’t have the answer, we have direct access to the suppliers who will. Which means we can obtain the relevant information and update you as soon as possible.
Watt Utilities is a family run, commercial energy consultancy based in Manchester (UK). Since 2000 we’ve helped over 855 thousand business owners pocket a total of £120 million in savings, on their gas and electricity bills. We have a dedicated team of savings specialists who can help guide you through the process of switching your gas and electricity providers to get you the best available deal, and with only a few key pieces of information we can take the hassle out of switching your business energy by doing a full market energy comparison, to find the most current tariffs, at the best rates, which are perfectly suited to your business’s needs