Half-hourly metering

What is a half-hourly electricity meter?

A half-hourly electricity meter is an advanced version of what you may know as a smart meter. Whilst there are many technical differences between the two, the principal is very similar.

The half-hourly meter or ’00/HH’ as it is commonly referred to in the industry, will submit a meter read every 30 minutes – hence the name.

In more detail:

As larger companies using heavy equipment and/or operate 24/7 e.g. manufacturers, hotels, event venues, supermarkets, etc. – consume substantially more gas and electricity than smaller businesses, they are required to monitor and track their usage very accurately.

As we move towards becoming Net-Zero by 2050, this is a strategic move implemented by the government to better utilise energy and reduce waste.

Business electricity consumers that use half-hourly meters are most likely to receive more accurate bills as there is little room for error – provided the meter is set up correctly.

Benefits of Half-Hourly meters

No time spent reading meters

If a company is large and has many sites & meters, half-hourly metering will work seamlessly in the background and takes no man-hours to send suppliers meter reads.

Accurate bills

Half-Hourly Data (HHD) is readily available from the supplier. Whilst it is rare for a mistake to be made, the HHD can be referred back to - and is very detailed.


Reduce carbon emissions

It is a government goal to reach Net-Zero by 2050 and we all have to do our bit in achieving a more sustainable world. With the technology available today, it has never been easier to keep track of energy distribution and minimise as much waste as possible


Half Hourly Data (HDD)

Every Half-hourly meter will be assigned a DC/DA (data collector/data aggregator) This can be your supplier or a third party company (e.g. Morrison Data Services, G4S) The data is a full capture of the meter read of every half-hour interval. This data is very important in the rare case of a billing issue or for fault finding.


Fault finding

The HHD can be used to highlight times in the day that reach peak capacity - when the most energy is used. This information can then be used to identify if there is a solution for energy reduction. If a machine is pulling too much power, for example, the data becomes very useful to reduce energy loss, energy and money waste.


How do half-hourly meters work?

Half-hourly meters require a phone line or internet connection to send usage statistics to a supplier on a regular basis because they are designed to submit meter readings instantly.

This means that business owners can focus on other aspects of their businesses without having to worry about submitting readings themselves.

In the United Kingdom, companies that use a lot of electricity on a daily basis rely on HH meters as a legal requirement.

Energy consumption has peak seasons (generally between 5 and 6 p.m. from November to February) and off-peak seasons when prices are frequently lower.


Electricity rates for half-hourly meters

There are a lot of variables to consider when arranging your business half-hourly electricity costs.

They can differ significantly from regular household electricity bills and from one supplier to the next, therefore you should use an energy switching service like Switch Squid to ensure your getting the best energy deal for your business.

Costs to consider with Half-Hourly metering:

Wholesale cost

Electricity prices are derived from wholesale energy market costs. Consumer demand, population growth, weather variations, international conflicts and trade treaties, and a range of other factors can all have an impact on the wholesale energy market. The higher the wholesale price paid by your supplier, the higher the price when it arrives at your business.

Non - Commodities

Non - Commodity costs can account for up to 60% of the delivered kWh rate. These costs include; costs to DC/DA and MOP third parties for providing Half-Hourly data services, kVA charges, charges for transporting the electricity from generation to your meter and government levies and taxes.

The physical location of your company

Electricity prices vary greatly around the UK. Depending on your Distribution Network Operator (DNO), you may find some electricity suppliers have better deals available. This is because they may own or maintain the entire network for this area and are not paying other DNO's to use a part of their network.

Season of the year (the TRIAD period).

There are three peak electricity usage periods in the year when the national Grid expects the highest total demand. These are commonly known as TRIAD. It is recommended that your power provider lets you know in advance when these periods are likely to occur because this is when you are likely to receive the highest electricity bill.

I'm not a high user - why do I have a Half-Hourly meter?

You may be looking to move or have recently moved into new business premises and have had to delve into the complexities of a half-hourly meter.

That burning question may be bugging you: ‘why do I need that?’ as you are a small energy user.

This is due to a change in the energy market in 2014 when OFGEM (The Office for Gas and Electricity Markets) introduced a legislation change: P272.


OFGEM P272 meant that any former ‘Max Demand’ meters had to be migrated to half-hourly. They are treated exactly the same as if the usage is high or low, including all non-commodities.

The main reason for the legislation change is to track energy loss in transmission. The data captured from this gives a better view of where, how and how much energy is wasted which in turn is used to reduce energy waste.

For a small company, the non-commodities alone could be more expensive than the energy costs annually so it pays to check what the metering setup is prior to signing a lease agreement. As part of the legislation, the meter cannot be removed for a standard meter.

Jargon Buster

If it’s useful, please see below for a list of keywords used in this guide:

HHD – Half-Hourly Data. meter usage data collected by your supplier or third parties.

MOP – Meter operator. Responsible for fitting and maintaining your half-hourly meter.

DC/DA – Data Collector/Data Aggregator. Responsible for collecting all data from the meter.

kVA  – Kilovolt Ampere – This is a reserve of power allocated to your meter. You are usually charged in pence per kVA per day. Your kVA is set by your DNO.

DNO. Distribution Network Operator – There are fourteen DNO’s that cover England, Scotland and Wales. They are responsible for maintaining the electricity infrastructure in their given area.

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