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Half-Hourly Data: A Common Form of Interval Energy Data

Energy Lens is ideal for half-hourly-data analysis (download a free trial). But what exactly is half-hourly data, where does it come from, and why would you want to analyze it anyway?

Half-hourly data is a record of the energy used in every half-hour period of every day.

Half-hourly data is a common form of interval energy data. It is collected by a half-hourly meter, which, every half-hour, records how much energy was used in the previous half-hour.

Raw half-hourly data opened in Excel

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The picture on the right shows some raw half-hourly data that has been opened in Excel. Cell B2, for example, shows that 177 kWh of energy was used between 00:00 and 00:30 on the 1st August 2012.

Half-hourly data in the UK

Half-hourly data is common throughout the world, but it is particularly prevalent in the UK, where half-hourly metering is mandatory for all electricity customers with a maximum power demand (peak load) greater than 100 kW.

This means that UK buildings which, over any single half-hour period, draw an average power of 100 kW or more from the grid, will almost certainly have a half-hourly meter, and easy access to their half-hourly data through their electricity supplier.

How big an electricity bill is that?

Unfortunately there isn't a rule that ties the half-hourly metering requirement to a minimum annual electricity bill. However, very approximately, if the electricity bill costs more than £30,000 a year, it's likely that the electricity meter will be a half-hourly meter.

So how can I find out if a building has a half-hourly meter?

To find out whether a building has a half-hourly meter, you simply need to ask the energy supplier. Alternatively, you can check the electricity bill: half-hourly metered accounts have an MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number) starting with 00.

Half-hourly data outside the UK

Please see the page on interval energy data.

What's so good about half-hourly data anyway?

Half-hourly data is a common form of interval energy data. Such data is is invaluable for businesses wishing to cut their energy bills through energy management, and for energy consultants wishing to rapidly investigate the energy-usage patterns of their clients.

Energy Lens is an Excel add-in that makes it trivially easy to create illuminating charts and tables from half-hourly data. You can download a free trial to try it out.

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