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New business electricity meter: what you need to know


A new electricity meter can cause headaches if you have a new electric connection or take over an existing business electricity supply. Our guide should help.

How long does it take to get a business electricity meter?

Small to medium sized businesses should generally try to organise a meter one month before needing electricity. Once the paperwork has been sorted expect installation in 10 to 15 working days.

Where can I find information about my business’s new electricity meter?

Please see specific information pertaining to different issues below. Of course, you can always give us a call (or request a call back using our form) if you want quick, no-obligation advice.

New electricity supplier – new connections

Any information you might need should be on the connection agreement.

Existing supply in new premises

Your landlord should be able to provide any information you need. If not, we can advise you of the Distribution Network Operator’s phone number, who should be able to provide you with this. If you are unable to find the information, then a test on the supply may need to be carried out by a supplier or the National Grid. Should you need to take readings of your current business electricity meter, our guide can help.

Getting an MPAN number

You should already have received an MPAN number from your business electricity supplier. You may need to get in touch and ask for one to be generated – contact details are available on this page if you cannot find your connection agreement. If you are struggling to understand what an MPAN is or why you need it, our dedicated guide has the answers you need.

How to get a smart meter

We have a helpful guide explaining what a smart meter is and how to get one. Probably the best way to investigate the options is to give us a call (or request a call back using our form).

How to get a meter upgrade

There are many ways to upgrade a business electricity meter. Calling your existing supplier may seem the simplest but can often result in a tangle of complex terms and conditions, nevermind the myriad types of business electricity meter potentially on offer. If you want to get no-obligation advice fast, give us a call (or request a call back using our form).

What is automatic meter reading (AMR) and do I need it?

There are several types of AMR – using touch technology, handheld devices and radio frequency – but all are identical in that they are mostly a tool to save business electricity suppliers the expense of regular trips to read a meter. For business electricity consumers, AMR hosting potentially offers a useful way to track electricity consumption over the internet. Analysis can offer useful insight into areas such as charting load profiles, analysing tariff components, and verifying electricity usage and bills.

How to tell if you have a single supply or three-phase supply

Your connection agreement should usually have this information. If it doesn’t, you can ask your supplier or the distribution engineer in charge of the supply installation. If you don’t know what the difference is between single supply and three-phase supply, it is probably not relevant to you. Generally only businesses using large, specialised machinery (as opposed to offices, retail or services businesses) need a three-phase supply.

How to work out your supply in kVas

Essentially, the kVa of your supply is the limit to how much electricity you can pull from the grid at one time (known as the Available Supply Capacity or ASC). Measured in Kilo Volt Amperes (kVa), this number should be on your connection agreement (ask the distribution engineer if you are unsure). Again, if you don’t understand why you would need to know this, it probably isn’t relevant – only energy intensive businesses like manufacturing will tend to get close to this limit.

How an Available Supply Capacity (ASC) above 70kVa may affect a business electricity switch

If your ASC is above 70kVa, to switch electricity supplier, we will need to see a copy of your connection agreement. There is no need to worry about the details (as we will sort everything out for you) but basically you will probably need Current Transformer Metering (rather than Whole Current Metering). The name and telephone number of your Distribution Project Engineer will also be very useful if you can find it – your new cheap business electricity supplier may need to ask them some questions.

What is P272?

P272 is a regulation from Ofgem, the Government regulator of UK electricity and gas markets. P272 requires that all maximum demand meters with an AMR be settled on actual Half-Hourly (HH) consumption. P272 roll out is set for April 2017. There is guidance available from Ofgem on P272 but requirements around P272 can be quite technical so the best plan might be to give us a call (or request a call back using our form).

There is more information and resources concerning business electricity on our dedicated page.

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