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How will the Market-Wide Half-Hourly Settlement (MHHS) affect metering?

There will be no getting away from the roll-out of HH (Half-Hourly) meters that is being enforced by Great Britain’s energy regulator.

Metering is changing for businesses and organisations in the UK and will be backed up by legislation, which has set out a time-frame for action.

How energy usage is measured will be driven by data, with billing becoming more regular and precise. Sketchy consumption periods, monthly and quarterly, are being phased out.

Ofgem has taken this decision to ensure that energy use is properly accounted for, in line with the government’s Net Zero and sustainability targets.

With that, the Market-Wide Half-Hourly Settlement (MHHS) is now starting to take effect. As a consequence, there is no longer an option to place NHH (Non Half-Hourly) meters on-site. 

Going forward, all metering installations will be HH (Half-Hourly) compatible, with 52 per cent of all non-domestic meters currently being smart devices. This figure is now certain to rise.

How do NHH, HH, advanced and smart meters differ?

HH and smart meters possess the technology to record half-hourly consumption data, both of which satisfy the new requirements.

SMETS (Smart Metering Equipment Technical Specifications) are smart meters that transmit through a secure communication network, the DC (Data Communication Network)

Supplies under 100kVA have tended to be NHH (Non Half-Hourly) metered, under the P272 balancing and settlement code. The new mandate, P432, replaces those guidelines.

NHH meters are supplied on daily, monthly and quarterly tariffs, but are becoming outdated. For those that are unsure which meter is in place, an ‘00’ in the top left-hand box is HH.

NHH can be upgraded to HH, but the government are pushing for all meters in the UK to have smart capabilities, which will reduce the manpower required for data collection.

NHH and HH are both regarded as settlement types, but segmentation will be defined by meter type, such as SMETS, advanced and traditional.

AMR (Automated Meter Reader) devices should play a key role in the transition, as an upgrade attached to NHH and gas meters.

They would, effectively, perform as an additional connection channel capable of sending HH data to the supplier and MOP (Meter Operator Provider), which confirms usage.

This is classed as advanced metering, although only HH and SMETS store data on site. AMRs are battery-powered, but last for five to seven years and can come under a warranty.

The creation of a load-shaping service is likely to contain criteria for commercial customers, rather than domestic, who can just opt-out.

Who collects, aggregates and validates this data?

The MHHS sanctions state that suppliers should inform a relevant Registration Service that has been appointed to deliver metering and data services.

Appointment notices, where Meter Operators and Data Collectors separately update the registration service, will no longer be required.

The MOP and DC are likely to be renamed and restructured, while the DA (Data Aggregator), an organisation which is accredited to collect HH information, won’t exist at all.

This will increase centralisation as Elexon, the independent National Regulatory Authority that compares contracts to volumes, handles the aggregation itself.

There will be an 18-month process of every single supply, which is around 30 million in total, being de-appointed from the MOP and DC/DA, then reappointed with new terminology.

The Meter Operator becomes Metering Services, the Data Collector becomes Data Services, with Data Aggregation switching to Market-wide Data Service.

The Meter Data Retrieval (MDR) is a role that is being created, under MHHS, which will allow for data collection without the need for supplier input.

These developments make for easier retrieval of data from most meters, which the Data Communications Company (DCC) are responsible for, with Ofgem regulating them.

How many meters is this going to affect?

There are 30 million meters moving over to the new operating model, with 2.6 million of them being commercial, although a high proportion are already capable of HH data collection.

Appointments are required on 600,000 to make them compatible, with the rest all being digital. Around 50,000 supplies still remain unmetered.

The UK market size for SMETS and traditional meters, for domestic and microbusiness customers, is 95.7 per cent, with data and metering services taking centre stage.

Advanced metering for I & C (Industrial and Commercial) and SME businesses, makes up 4.24 per cent of the marketplace, which is known as a two-way communication process.

When is the deadline for these changes to take effect?

If a current meter isn’t HH, AMR, SMETS, or smart, it will have to be changed by March 2026. The timeline for how this will develop is as follows.

2023/25 – System Integration Testing.

April 2024 – All new connections now should be HH, no NHH metering should be done going forward.

December 2024 – Suppliers expected to slow down mass agent appointments.

April 2024/April 2025 – This is the last time-frame before migration begins, during the latter period, which may present time constraints.

March 2026 – All migrated/meters replaced/converted to HH.

How can Assured Energy support with this process?

Assured Energy are putting a framework in place, with a provider, to make the transition seamless for clients, which can assist SME customers. 

Upgrades, installations and conversions can be covered, in an end-to-end process, along with any software requirements.

Assured Energy can negotiate with suppliers, to gain favourable rates, and handle installations, without impacting on productivity.

The earlier that we become involved, the easier this transition will become, for clients, and our metering team are experienced in processing HH data.

Suppliers are expected to move away from any big shifts in portfolio, from December, and fines could even be introduced for non-compliance.

The events mentioned in this blog have been three years in the making and could change again, but Assured Energy will continue to guide clients through alterations to the process.

Do you want to know more about metering services? To contact us, call 0330 221 9899, fill out an enquiry form or utilise the live webchat.


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