P272 is a regulation that mandates all AMR meters with profile classes 05-08 be switched to Half-hourly Metering by April 2017. The reasoning behind the introduction of this regulation was to enable suppliers to use more detailed energy data to calculate customers’ invoices, thus producing more accurate billing. A lot of attention has been given to this topic, and we previously discussed it on our blog. However, it is interesting to look back a year into the deadline and make note of some challenges suppliers have faced as well as some changes to clients’ invoices that the regulation introduced.
The greatest industry challenge of P272 came into play when customers decided to switch suppliers. Very often the incoming supplier would contract the meter as HH to adhere to the regulation. However, if the current supplier still hadn’t made the switch to HH in their system or on ECOEs, it caused objections and delays to the transfer of supply. The customers were left on out of contract rates for a certain period through no fault of their own. Even though these cases were common at the beginning of the process, they are becoming less and less so as a majority of meters upgraded to HH.
For the customers, the biggest change came in the form of two new charges introduced to their invoice.
Your kVA level is the level of power reserved from the distribution network that guarantees a certain volume of power will always be available for your site. This reserved level is then charged and passed through to your invoice and shows up as a capacity charge. All HH meters have this KVA allowance, and it is normally charged on p/kVa basis.
Under normal circumstances, such as a new HH connection, the electrician on site or the DNO project manager would recommend a certain set kVA level that is needed for the equipment on site to operate efficiently. With P272 HH meters, the default kVA was set to either 60/70/80 depending on the supplier.
Naturally, for some customers, this level was too high as they do not need that much power reserved, while for others it was too low as their usage patterns proved that they were breaching the reserved levels. The kVa levels can be increased and decreased as needed. In the light of DCP161 regulation where all excess capacity will be penalised, it is important to analyse your kVa levels and adjust your reserved KVA to match your usage.
There are two ways that this charge can be collected from customers:
P272 hasn’t been without its initial hiccups, but once implemented correctly, the benefits to the client are multiple. Due to the HH read signals, the billing is more accurate; the client can better monitor their consumption data and they can then employ that data to use their energy more efficiently throughout the 24 hours and ultimately cut costs.