Major energy legislation change is "great opportunity"

The switch to half hourly settlement is a great opportunity for organisations to take control of energy use. Lisa Gingell, director of PR and marketing, Energy Services Division at Utilitywise plc, explains the impact P272 legislation will have on business.

272 legislation is the latest regulation to hit SMEs and is due to take hold by 1 April 2017. An amendment that has been proposed to the balancing and settlement code (which defines the rules of the balancing of electricity in the UK), it will result in the requirement for half hourly (HH) settlement of all meters in the profile classes 05-08.

It is aimed at businesses that are currently operating under the Maximum Demand (MD) metering system and the transition to an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system. Energy suppliers will need to change the way in which they settle these sites which means that energy bills will be based on what a business actually uses at different times of the day and will reflect the costs associated with supplying power to the business at that time.

It is true that signing a fixed procurement deal will remove the risk of a fluctuating half-hourly settlement affecting these class 05- 08 meters. However, if you could use this HH settlement change to start taking control and actively manage consumption now and for the future, big rewards can be reaped.

At Utilitywise, we believe that the switch to HH settlement is a great opportunity for businesses to take control of their energy use as we believe it will act as a spur to help lower energy consumption overall.

First, you need to know the key components of your utilities bill (the commodity and non commodity costs). In particular, DUoS timebands, which are focused on the weekday evening peak hours, with additional 12 2pm for Londonbased businesses, see a higher price per kWh than any other time of day. Reducing consumption at these times will bring significant monetary savings on your utilities bill. In addition to this are the winter TRiADS which, between November and February each year, charge TNUoS based on your consumption during the three halfhourly periods of highest demand determined by The National Grid.

Second, you need to know how, when and where your building is using energy. By understanding your building’s energy profile and what systems, processes and equipment are influencing a rise and fall in consumption, you can identify opportunities to change.

Businesses can take control on P272 changes by implementing behavioural change practices - educating staff on areas they can influence and reduce consumption, and by implementing controls technologies to programmatically ensure out of hours consumption is consistently low and, that during in-hours, you are controlling (load shedding and shifting) around the DUoS and TRiAD periods.

Utilitywise has created a guide to load shifting and shedding in 2016 for maximum effect in 2017. Some of the most important points are:

• TNUoS / DUoS: Peak prices are driven by charges for the transmission and distribution networks that deliver electricity from generators to wherever it is consumed. Businesses need to reduce, if they can, peak consumption, which will allow them to make considerable savings on capacity charges;

• Switching off: In its most simplistic form load shedding and shifting ‘could’ be switching off a piece of electrical HVAC equipment during peak periods and switched back on afterwards. In reality doing this would affect the building performance and comfort levels would be adversely affected. By controlling the HVAC equipment in a more sophisticated way, such as pre-cooling a building, the electrical load can be shifted affectively without disrupting the comfort levels in the building;

• IoT-enabled BeMS: Installing IoT-enabled BeMS complete with cloud based software, users can programmatically configure the implementation of load shedding/ shifting activities around the DUoS time-bands while maintaining a watchful eye on the internal conditions to ensure business functions are not affected;

• TRiAD warnings: Taking a direct feed from the Utilitywise energy markets team, IoT enabled BeMS devices can receive warnings and in turn, quickly implement preagreed ‘additional’ load-shedding activities around the winter TRiADs. Providing additional cost savings to businesses;

• Savings: IoT enabled BeMS complete with DUoS load shedding and shifting capabilities can deliver up to 30 per cent off a business’ utilities bill. By incorporating TRiAD warnings, some of our retail clients expect to save an additional £150,000;

• Behavioural change: By demonstrating and educating your building occupiers, businesses can achieve additional savings in both consumption and cost. Influencing and changing the demands they have on the internal environment by educating on proper use of heating and cooling controls; and

• Energy bureaus: The development of P272 is also spurring the need for a forward thinking energy bureau.

The key to taking control of your growing utilities bill and implementing intelligent load shedding and shifting practices is down to an understanding of where and when you use energy and at which point in the day the costs are at their highest.

With less than a year to go before the deadline to implement P272, now is the time to get your building and operations demand response ready. The ability to actively manage consumption around the higher priced DUoS and TRIAD time bands is where the power lies.

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