Estimated or inaccurate meter readings can cause you to overpay for your energy. Unfortunately, these can easily add up, especially if your business utilizes a lot of energy. This is the reason why businesses with most energy-intensive usage prefer to install half-hourly meters to ensure that the energy suppliers correctly bill them for the energy they use.
Remember that if your business energy goes over a specific amount, then it’s a good idea to install a half-hourly meter at your business premises. You can find various types of electricity meters suitable for businesses, though the type your business uses can depend on the amount of electricity your business uses, when you use it, and how you use it. This page discusses why you should consider getting business electricity half-hourly meters.
Understanding Half-hourly Meter
If your business uses high amounts of electricity, there is a chance that your energy consumption can be closely monitored by specialized half-hourly meters, which are designed to automatically send meter readings to your energy supplier every thirty minutes.
The good thing about this is that it can save you time and effort of taking and submitting meter readings. It can also assist to lower your electricity bills because the energy supplier accurately charges for the energy your business uses.
Using this type of meter can also mean that you can negotiate for a business electricity plan that meets the budget and needs of your business. Therefore, you can decide to have a fixed-rate half-hourly tariff to lock your energy rate and avoid paying more money when there is an increase in energy prices over time. Accurate billing as well as a fixed-rate energy plan can then offer your business more budget certainty.
It’s worth noting that there is a difference between a half-hourly meter and a standard energy meter. One of the differences is that a standard business energy meter requires you to take the meter reading and submit it to your energy supplier, which can be at least once a month. With a half-hourly meter, it automatically sends your energy supplier the latest meter reading at thirty-minute intervals. You should remember that a smart meter for a business can only give monthly meter readings, but you can tell your energy supplier to adjust the settings.
The good thing about a half-hourly meter is because it provides the regular automatic meter readings. Because of this, the energy supplier can bill you accurately and it’s unlikely that the energy supplier can charge you incorrectly. Like a smart meter for a business, the detail offered by a half-hourly meter means that you can track the energy usage of your business, so you can introduce energy efficiency solutions so that you can lower your energy consumption.
Even better, more accurate meter readings can also make it easier for your energy brokers to get you a better business energy tariff at renewal. This is because all your data usage habits can be utilized while negotiating for a new energy contract. Click here to learn about different types of energy tariffs.
Ideally, if your business experiences a peak electricity demand of at least 100 KVA or even more every half hour, then it makes sense to install a half-hourly meter. This is mandatory, meaning you have no other option but let an energy supplier install one for your business.
On the other hand, if the peak electricity demand is less than 70 KVA each half hour, then installing a half-hourly meter is optional. You should note that there are some businesses that have energy consumption at the lower level, but they choose to have half-hourly meters as they have energy-monitoring benefits.
And, if you intend to relocate your business site, you need to check if the energy supplier already installed a half-hourly meter. You may also have to get a meter operator agreement for the service or maintenance of the meter and a data collector designed to process the half-hourly readings.
That said, half-hourly meters are only suitable for businesses that experience a high electricity demand of 70 KVA or more every half hour. Therefore, these meters are usually utilized by certain types of businesses. These include departmental stores, factories, distribution centers, and warehouses.
Reading a Half-hourly Meter
One of the key features of these meters is called an automated meter reading, meaning you don’t have to know how to read it. But if you need or want to read it manually, then the way you decide to take a reading can depend on the type of a half-hourly meter you have. For example, if there is a smart meter, then it comes with a display that can show all the details you want.
Energy suppliers can sometimes attract high-energy business consumers by giving them lower unit energy rates that are measured in kilowatt-hours. The unit rate is simply the amount an energy supplier charges for the electricity usage.
When you opt for a fixed-rate energy plan, the energy supplier fixes the unit rate. Regardless of this, your energy bills can still vary depending on the amount of energy your business uses. There are also other fixed half-hourly meter charges that can appear on your energy bill, such as the standing charge. A standing charge is a daily amount that the energy supplier charges to cover maintenance and installation of the electricity distribution network. This charge also covers the VAT and their administration cost. You should remember that VAT is charged 20 percent for high electricity consumption businesses.
Aside from these charges, you also need to pay availability fees for electricity. This covers maintenance and investment of the electricity network. An energy supplier can charge per unit depending on the agreed capacity for your area.
It’s also worth remembering that while energy usage amount and the type of energy tariff you are on can affect the energy costs, energy rates can also vary depending on the location of your business. Also, the number of employees you have who use electricity can also affect the energy costs of your business.