Energy Icon - illustration of a light bulb and flame

Half hourly electricity meters

If you run a large, industrial or energy-intensive business, you should have heard about half-hourly electricity meters and might have one installed at your business premises. But if you’re not exactly sure what one is, or you’ve never heard of them at all, you might be surprised to learn that your business may have to change its electricity meter if it uses a certain amount of energy. Here's all you need to know.

3 min read

A small business owner stands in front of his workshop with bikes and other products in the background

What is a half hourly meter?

Also known as HH meters, a half-hourly electric meter is a special kind of business energy meter that sends updated readings to the energy supplier every half hour via a phone line. There’s no need to know how to read your half-hourly meter as it automatically provides your supplier with accurate and up-to-date energy usage readings, all without the bother of taking and submitting meter readings manually.

Automated half-hourly readings mean you’ll be billed accurately so you’ll only ever pay for the electricity you use, alongside any other standing charges, taxes and government levies that usually appear on your bills.

As half-hourly electricity readings are very detailed, they also have the benefit of making it far easier to identify the periods when your business is using the most electricity. The information provided by a half-hour meter can be a huge help if you’re looking to reduce your usage and become more energy efficient.

Does your business need half hour metering?

Large companies that use energy intensively, like factories, warehouses and very big offices, are the main types of businesses that make use of half-hourly electricity meters. If your business has a maximum demand of 100kW or greater in any half-hour period during the day, then the law states that you must use half-hour metering. Businesses with a maximum demand of 70kW or more can also opt to have a half-hourly electric meter installed.

If your business is in any of the following  industries, then it's likely to need half-hourly metering:

  • Department stores
  • Distribution centres
  • Factories
  • Warehouses

If you've just moved your business to a new building, then you may already have a half-hourly electric meter installed. You can check what type of meter your premises have by taking a look at the 'S number' on a previous energy bill. If the number in the top left box is 00 then this means you’re on half-hour metering (see example below):

Example of 00 class meter on energy bill S number

How does half hourly pricing differ from regular pricing?

Half-hourly electricity readings give the supplier remarkably accurate and regular information on which to base their billing. This means that half-hourly electricity meters are able to tailor their charges much more to individual business needs than regular energy pricing.

Incorrect meter readings can quickly lead to inaccurate energy bills, which can cause financial problems whether your bills are too low or too high - too low and you could suddenly find yourself landed with a big energy bill to make up the shortfall, too high and you’ll be throwing money away each month.

If you run an energy-intensive business, these costs can quickly add up, so it’s vital your usage is accurately monitored. A half-hourly meter takes the pressure off you to provide accurate readings and helps ensure you’re always billed correctly.

Some suppliers often offer lower rates to higher-consumption businesses, so it makes sense to shop around and compare deals from multiple suppliers to make sure you're on the best rates. This is something you can do in one call to our energy experts. 

As a high-end energy user, you'll also need to pay availability charges for electricity. This is to cover the investment and maintenance of the electricity network and is charged per unit according to the agreed capacity for your site. 

What is P272?

P272 is a mandatory regulation that came into effect in November 2015. It was introduced by the energy industry watchdog Ofgem to change the way that energy suppliers handle billing and settlements for their business energy customers. It’s one of the biggest changes in the business electricity market since the deregulation of the energy sector and enables suppliers to produce more accurate bills to the benefit of everyone.

In a nutshell, P272 requires certain businesses to change from using Maximum Demand Meters, also known as Non Half Hourly Meters (NHH), to Half Hourly Electric Meters (HH). The deadline for this Change of Measurement Class (CoMC) to be implemented was April 2017.

If your meter profile class was originally 05, 06, 07 or 08, then your supplier should have already been in contact to set up your meter to take half hourly electricity readings. Depending on what was previously agreed with a supplier, the change to half hourly electricity meters can have an impact on contract structure.

Can you switch your business to a half hourly electricity tariff?

If you think your business could benefit from half hourly metering and it has a maximum demand of 70kW or more in any given half hour period, then yes, it’s possible to switch to a half hourly electricity supplier or tariff. Changing to a half hour meter can be a bit more of a complicated process than switching regular energy contracts, but it’s well worth the effort as it could help secure your business cheaper energy rates.

Luckily at Uswitch for Business, we’re proud to count talented energy experts with a great deal of industry knowledge and experience in half hourly metering among our staff. We’ve got access to a wide panel of half hour metering energy suppliers and tariffs and can help to make this process as simple as possible for you.

We can handle all of the negotiation and paperwork involved in switching to a half hour meter, leaving you free to concentrate on running your business. And the best part? Our services may save you a bob or two, but they won’t cost you a penny.

Give us a call today on 0800 188 4930 to hear how Uswitch for Business can help you reduce your business electricity costs with a half hour meter. Or if you’d prefer, simply fill in the form on the right and we’ll call you back.

What is a half hourly meter?
Does your business need half hour metering?
How does half hourly pricing differ from regular pricing?
What is P272?
Can you switch your business to a half hourly electricity tariff?

Compare business energy suppliers with Uswitchforbusiness

Compare business energy prices and switch today

How Uswitch business energy comparison works


We find your details

Just enter your business address and we'll use industry data to accurately find and understand your energy usage.


We talk through your quotes

One of our UK-based experts will search our supplier panel and give you a call to talk you through the results on screen.


You choose the deal you want

With all the information to hand, you choose the deal that best suits your business and we'll handle the switch for you.

Your comparison is free.

If you decide to switch, we’ll be paid a commission by the new supplier that is included in the prices we quote.

Compare business energy suppliers with Uswitchforbusiness

Compare business energy prices and switch today

We’ll use smart data to find your current energy supplier and usage for you

Tooltip icon

Get to quote quicker

By clicking start quote you agree to give us permission to search industry held data to look up your current supplier and usage so we can provide accurate quotes without you having to find your old gas and electricity bills.

For more information on how we retieve and use your data take a look at our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Industry data
Compare Business Energy