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Energy billing is changing – what is P272 and how does it affect your business?

P272 is a regulatory change which alters the way business energy use is metered and billed in the UK. We spoke with Marc Wheatley of Full Power Utilities to find out more about the regulation and how it affects you and your business.

What is P272?

“P272 is a regulation which requires energy suppliers to use more detailed half hourly energy consumption data, to calculate customer’s bills using advanced Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) meters.

The P272 regulation is an industry-wide, mandatory change to certain types of commercial electricity meters. It affects meters with profile classes 05, 06, 07 and 08; allowing them to record and submit (to the relevant supplier) electricity consumption figures automatically and more frequently. It does not affect domestic meters (profile classes 01 and 02), nor does it affect smaller commercial meters (profile classes 03 and 04).”

Why was the P272 regulation introduced?

“P272 has been introduced to allow for more accurate and more frequent recording of commercial electricity consumption, through half-hourly (HH) submission to the relevant electricity supplier. This will allow suppliers to provide more accurate consumption bills for their clients. Furthermore, it will allow the relevant Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to work out a more accurate Maximum Import Capacity (MIC) charge – a charge which is passed onto the end user.”

What impact has the P272 regulation had on your customers?

“For the majority of our clients, the updates to their meters have been activated remotely with no disruption to the supply and so business operations have continued uninterrupted.

Unfortunately, along with HH settlement comes new charges appearing on the invoice, however, not all of our customers have seen their bills increase. Some end-users have seen a decrease to their unit rates, depending on their patterns of usage. In addition, some customers have seen an extra price line appear on their bill known as a MIC charge. A MIC charge will only appear if the customer had a transformer meter which has now been replaced with a Whole Current (WC) meter.”

What are the benefits of the P272 regulation for customers?

“Customers will benefit from more accurate billing which will help small businesses to budget accordingly. They will also benefit from greater insight into their energy consumption which provides business owners with more information to take action and ensure they are on the most suitable tariff. These changes also present an opportunity for business owners to identify and implement energy saving measures.”

What should businesses do if they are unsure whether they are compliant with P272 or they would like further information?

“P272 is industry wide and mandatory. The deadline for all commercial electricity meters with profile classes 05, 06, 07 or 08 to submit HH data in this way was 1st April 2017. If you are unsure as to whether your electricity meters are now compliant, you should contact a specialist energy consultancy, such as Full Power Utilities.”

Are there any other metering regulations that customers need to be aware of?

“The Heat Network (Metering & Billing) Regulations 2014 are another important set of regulations which all businesses (and individuals) that supply and charge for heating, cooling or hot water through a communal or district heat network should be aware of.

The regulations have been introduced to increase the usage of heat meters on shared heating systems allowing customers to be billed based on actual consumption rather than sharing the cost of energy through the communal service charge. Studies have shown that energy usage reduces by up to 20% when customers are billed on actual consumption.

For more information on this we recommend you speak to Sustain.”

This blog originally appeared on the Sustain website

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