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How to change your meter type (change of measurement class)

homecustomer help centre help and advice how to change your meter type

The type of electricity meter your business has depends on how much electricity you use. That means your meter may need to be reprogrammed or replaced if it doesn’t suit your current energy usage. This is known as a “change of measurement class” (CoMC).

Here we explain what measurement classes are and when you might need to change yours, with step-by-step instructions how to do it.

What’s a measurement class?

There are two main types of business electricity meter which differ according to how they measure your electricity usage:

  1. Non-half hourly These meters are read manually by you the customer or a data collector once a month or once a quarter. Your bills are settled based on this monthly or quarterly data.
  2. Half hourly These meters automatically send readings every half an hour to a data collector, who submits them to your energy supplier. There’s no need for manual meter readings, and your bills are based on this half-hourly data, so they’re more accurate and timely.

These meter types are divided into seven Measurement Classes (A-G) depending on how they measure your electricity and how much you use. Only the four classes listed in the table below relate to business premises.

Non-half hourly meters (A) also have a Profile Class (1-8) which reflects how much energy you use and when you use it.

measurement class table

How can I find out my meter type?

Look for your 21-digit “S” supply number (also known as Meter Point Administration Number, or MPAN) on your electricity bill. The Profile Class is the first two digits of this number.

Meter-Display-300x85

In the example above, “04” indicates that your Profile Class is 4, so your meter is non-half hourly.

Why would I need to change my meter type?

There are two main situations where you’ll need to change your meter type:

  1. You upgrade to automated meter reading (AMR) or smart meter If you have a non-half hourly meter and would like to switch to automatic meter readings by upgrading to an AMR or smart meter, you’ll need to upgrade your meter to half-hourly.
  2. Your energy usage is too high for your current measurement class If your energy usage is higher than expected when you signed your current energy contract, you may have to change your meter type to accommodate your actual consumption. Under regulations known as P272 and P322, meters of a certain size now have to be half-hourly.

What’s P272 and P322?

Traditionally, only businesses with the largest demand (over 100kW) were required to have half-hourly meters. That changed with the introduction of regulations P272 and P322 on 1 April 2017.

All businesses in Profile Classes 5 to 8 are now required to have half-hourly meters. In practice, this means that if your demand rises to 69-100kW or above, you’ll have to upgrade your meter type to half-hourly.

Part of Ofgem’s transition to a smarter electricity grid, switching more businesses to half-hourly metering not only helps suppliers balance the network, it’s also good for your business. You’ll get more accurate and timely billing, and the half-hourly data can give you a more accurate picture of your energy usage so you can find ways to make savings.

How do I upgrade my meter to half-hourly?

Three different companies will be in involved in upgrading your meter.

  1. Your local distribution network operator (DNO), who controls the electricity network in your area and the incoming supply cable to your meter.
  2. Your energy supplier, like SSE Business Energy, who supplies your energy. You can choose your supplier and a type of energy contract to suit your new half-hourly metering.
  3. Your meter operator (MOP), who operates your meter. You can choose your meter operator, who will visit your property to adjust or replace your current meter.

If you’re an SSE Business Energy customer, you’ll need to take the following steps to upgrade your meter:

  1. Contact your local DNO to upgrade your incoming supply. Find out who your distribution network operator is and get in touch to arrange a new connection agreement for the capacity you need.
  2. Arrange a half-hourly metering contract with a MOP of your choice. Here’s a list of accredited meter operators to help you choose one.
  3. Contact the SSE Business Energy sales team to arrange a new half-hourly supply contract: Call 0345 072 9466 or email us at mbs.direct@sse.com If you use a broker, contact your account manager.
  4. Fill in the Upgrade to Supply Form and return it to us at mbs.direct@sse.com. Most of the information you need can be provided by your DNO (see step 1.)
  5. We’ll then arrange for your chosen MOP to visit your business to upgrade your meter. Your appointment will usually be about two weeks after you submit your form to us. Please note that you must ensure that the DNO has upgraded your incoming supply before the MOP visits. If this work hasn’t been done in advance, the MOP won’t be able to upgrade your meter and could charge you for the visit.
  6. After the MOP’s visit, we’ll convert your account to half-hourly billing and your upgrade will be complete.

The whole process takes about five weeks from the day you first contact us.

Will I get a new meter when I upgrade my meter type?

Most businesses won’t need to replace their meters to upgrade because they already have advanced meters capable of sending half-hourly meter readings. These meters just need to be reprogrammed.

But in some cases, the DNO may decide that the best option is to install a new meter. This won’t be an upgrade to your supply but a new connection with a new supply number (MPAN).

If you need a new connection, you’ll need to fill out an Electricity New Supply Form. Find out more by calling our new connections team on 0345 070 9385.

Can I downgrade my meter to non-half hourly?

The industry rules don’t allow you to downgrade a half-hourly meter to non-half hourly. That’s because Ofgem wants to move as many businesses as possible onto half-hourly meters to help us transition to a smarter national electricity network.

Where can I find out more?

Call us on 0345 072 9466 or email us at mbs.direct@sse.com. We’ll be happy to help.