A new regulation that will allow businesses to get a more detailed breakdown of their energy consumption will come into effect on 1 April, and Orchard Energy is urging businesses to make sure they take advantage.

The P272 OFGEM regulation will require energy suppliers to use more detailed energy usage data, known as half-hourly consumption data (HH), to calculate customers’ bills and use advanced automatic meter reading (AMR) meters.

The P272 Implementation Date has been pushed back a year, from April 2016, to reduce the risk of contract interruptions. But there is now just one month remaining until the changes come into effect.

P272 affects any business that has a maximum demand supply (Profile classes 05-08 inclusive) and has an AMR fitted. If this applies to your business meter then it will be converted into a fully compliant half-hourly meter automatically by your electricity supplier.

Since November, suppliers have been obliged to move sites in Profile Classes 5-8 with advanced meters to HH settlement within 45 days of customer acquisition or contract renewal.

The conversion to HH metering will give businesses a more detailed view of their energy costs as utility management companies, such as Orchard Energy can retrieve energy data from sites on a half-hourly basis.

With half-hourly meters there are specific agent services and agreements which are a requirement.

This includes a Meter Operator Provider (MOP) and a Data Collector (DC).

A MOP is responsible for the installation of the meter and for servicing the meter.

A DC is responsible for retrieving the details of the energy consumption at a business and providing this consumption data to the energy supplier. This allows the energy supplier to bill on this actual consumption. Orchard Energy can negotiate both on a business’s behalf.

Orchard Energy managing director Amar Hussain said: “If a business is contacted by their distribution company directly to agree a kVA level, then they should consider seeking advice.

“Businesses that reduce energy consumption at peak times, such as early in the morning and late afternoon, and particularly in winter, will see a reduction in their unit rate when they come to negotiate their next contract.”