A Guide to your Half Hourly Meter

In this guide you'll find everything you need to know about Half Hourly Meters.

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Your Questions Answered

Energy can be complicated, especially when it comes to metering issues. Many larger businesses have a Half-Hourly Meter installed at their premises - but what is a half hourly meter? How do they work? What charges are associated with them?

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know, from who needs a Half Hourly Meter to how readings are taken.

Jump to Section
What is a Half Hourly Meter?
Is a Half Hourly Meter The Same as a Smart Meter?
Is a Half Hourly Meter More Expensive?
What Are Capacity Charges?
Who Has to Have a Half Hourly Meter?
Do I Already Have a Half Hourly Meter?
Why am I Required to have a Half Hourly Meter?
Can Any Business Get a Half Hourly Meter?
Why Have a Half Hourly Meter?
Can I Change my Half Hourly Meter?
I have a Half Hourly Meter, Do I Need to Take a Reading?
What is a Non-Half Hourly Meter?
Why Does My Half Hourly Meter Have Two Rates?
What Data Do You Get from a Half Hourly Meter?
Can you read a Half Hourly Meter?
How are Half Hourly Meter Readings Taken?
Can I Reduce the Charges Associated with my Half Hourly Meter?
What are the Benefits of a Half Hourly Meter?
How We Can Help


What is a Half Hourly Meter? 

A Half Hourly Meter is a type of electricity meter used by businesses. It records the user’s energy consumption at half hourly intervals, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Usage data is sent straight to the supplier so there is no need to take manual readings. A Half Hourly Meter can handle a larger capacity than a standard meter. That’s why it is typically used by businesses that consume a larger quantity of energy.

Is a Half Hourly Meter The Same as a Smart Meter?

A Half Hourly Meter is similar to a standard smart meter, but differs in several ways. Standard smart meters send readings to the supplier once a month, whereas Half Hourly Meters send readings every 30 minutes.

This is the key difference, but not the only one. For example, Half Hourly Meters are larger, operate at a higher frequency and typically come with additional charges (for more information about charges, see the next section, 'Is a Half Hourly Meter More Expensive?').

Is a Half Hourly Meter More Expensive?

Generally, Half Hourly Meters are associated with higher costs than standard meters.

For example, Capacity Charges apply to some Half Hourly Meters. Standing charges may also be higher for Half Hourly Meter customers. However, due to the frequency of reporting, Half Hourly Meters allow for greater accuracy of billing, letting you avoid expensive estimated bills.

Additionally, Half Hourly Meters are aimed at businesses that consume large amounts of energy, so the extra cost of having a Half Hourly Meter is lower in relation to their bill. There are two types of Half Hourly Meter: Whole Current (WC) meters and Current Transformer (CT) meters. If you have a CT meter, you will notice a Capacity Charge on your electricity bills.

What Are Capacity Charges?

A Capacity Charge is a fee you pay to ensure you are supplied with enough energy to meet your highest demand.

Your Capacity Charge is agreed between you and your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO). You need to ensure these are set at the right level to avoid overpaying.

If you set your Capacity Charge too low, you could end up paying a penalty if you exceed your energy usage threshold. If you set them too high, you will be paying more than you need to.

If you are a Tritility client, we can advise you on the right Capacity Charge level for your business. Get in touch with your account manager for more information. You can also read more about Capacity Charges here.

Who Has to Have a Half Hourly Meter?

Certain businesses are obliged to have a Half Hourly Meter. This is part of a 2015 legislation called P272. If your business has a peak electricity demand of 100 Kilo Volt Amperes (KVA) or above, more than three times per year, then you'll be required to have a half-hourly meter.

Businesses are assigned a classification according to how much energy they use. Customers with a ‘00’ classification must have a Half Hourly Meter. You can see your classification on your bill. See the next section, 'Do I Already Have a Half Hourly Meter' for more information.

If you have further questions, speak to your supplier, who will be able to advise you. If you source your energy through Tritility, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Do I Already Have a Half Hourly Meter?

To find out if you have a half-hourly meter, look at the Meter Point Administration Number/Supply Number on your electricity bill. If your profile class (the first two-digit number in the box to the immediate right of the ‘S’) is 00, then you have a Half Hourly Meter.

The diagram below shows how your Half Hourly Meter information appears on your bill, including where to find your profile class.

Why am I Required to have a Half Hourly Meter?

The government has to ensure that the country’s demand for energy is met. Half-hourly data is used to measure demand on the grid, and ensure that local networks are able to cope with the amount of energy being used. Businesses that consume larger amounts of energy were the first to be targeted by the legislation, because fluctuations in their usage will have the greatest impact on demand.

Can Any Business Get a Half Hourly Meter?

Not every business needs a Half Hourly Meter. Whether you need one will depend on how much energy you consume (see 'Who Has to Have a Half Hourly Meter'). If your business is not required to have a Half Hourly Meter, getting one installed is unlikely to benefit you.

This is because there are additional charges associated with Half Hourly Meters which, for smaller consumers of energy, are likely to outweigh the benefit of more accurate bills. If you have moved to new premises and inherited a Half Hourly Meter, speak to your supplier about the options.

Why Have a Half Hourly Meter?

In short, this comes down to how much energy you consume. Most businesses with a Half Hourly Meter will have one because they consume enough energy to fall under P272 legislation. This legislation, introduced in 2015, required businesses with an old 'max demand' 05-08 profile to upgrade to a new Half Hourly Meter (see 'Who Has to Have a Half Hourly Meter' for more information).

If you're not required by law to have a Half Hourly Meter, it is not usually advisable to install one.

Some businesses have inherited a Half Hourly Meter from the previous occupant of their premises. If this is the case, and you aren't sure whether you're required to have one, get in touch with your supplier or Energy Consultant, who will be able to advise you.

Can I Change my Half Hourly Meter?

If, for example, you have taken on new premises that have a Half Hourly Meter, but you’re not required to have one, you may be wondering whether you can have your meter replaced with a standard one.

Half Hourly Meters are wired to take a larger capacity, and this wiring would need to be replaced in addition to the meter itself. This could be time consuming and costly, and it is therefore rare for a business to revert back to a standard non-half-hourly meter once one has been installed.

If you’re considering replacing your Half Hourly Meter, speak to your supplier for advice. If you sourced your energy through Tritility, we will be happy to advise on your options. We support clients with all aspects of new connections, from wiring and laying pipes to applying for planning permission and meter exchanges. Find out more on our New Connections page.

I have a Half Hourly Meter, Do I Need to Take a Reading?

No, your usage will communicated to your supplier every half an hour. The display on your meter will give you a reading, so you can take one if you wish, but you do not need to send this to your supplier.

What is a Non-Half Hourly Meter?

A non-Half Hourly Meter may either be a standard smart meter or a legacy (i.e. non-smart) meter. If it’s a smart meter, it will send a reading to your supplier once a month. If it’s a legacy meter, you will have to take monthly readings yourself and send these to your supplier.

Why Does My Half Hourly Meter Have Two Rates?

Some energy tariffs come with a day rate and a night rate. The night rate typically runs from midnight to 7:00am, and is cheaper than the day rate. This is to encourage energy customers to spread their usage out throughout the day to ease pressure on the grid.

What Data Do You Get from a Half Hourly Meter?

If you want to see the data from your Half Hourly Meter, you can request this from your supplier. It consists of a spreadsheet showing your energy use at half hourly intervals.

Can you read a Half Hourly Meter?

Yes, you can. To read your Half Hourly Meter, look at the LCD display on the front. However, there is no need to send this to your supplier as it will happen automatically.

How are Half Hourly Meter Readings Taken?

Half Hourly Meter readings are taken automatically. A SIM card in the meter sends your half-hourly usage data via 4G to your supplier. You therefore don’t need Wi-Fi to have a half hourly meter, however you do need to be within range of a mobile signal. Luckily, this applies to most businesses in the UK.

Can I Reduce the Charges Associated with my Half Hourly Meter?

One way to explore whether you could reduce your charges is to carry out kVA analysis. This involves looking at your consumption to determine whether your capacity charges are set too low (and therefore resulting in penalties) or too high (resulting in overpayments).

If you’re a Tritility client, we can help you do this. Get in touch with your account manager to find out more.

What are the Benefits of a Half Hourly Meter?

Half Hourly Meters prevent you from receiving estimated bills, but that’s not the only advantage. They also give you access to more detailed information on how you use energy, which can help in your future business strategy.

For Tritility clients, one major advantage of having a Half Hourly Meter is that it enables you to connect your meter with our online Energy Management System. This gives you full visibility of your energy consumption, as well as your expenditure and carbon output. You can find out more about our Energy Management Services here.

How We Can Help

Managing your energy can be time consuming and complex. As prices rise, more and more businesses are looking to reduce their energy usage. When you procure your energy through Tritility, you can rest assured that the day to day management of your energy is covered.

What’s more, half hourly meter customers can access our energy monitoring platform, which gives you full visibility of your expenditure, energy use and carbon output.

To find out more about our services, browse the 'What We Do' links below. You an also get in touch, or hit 'Get a Quote' to find out how much we could save you against your existing renewal quote.
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