Electricity Pylons, available capacity chargesFrom 1st April 2018, DCP 161 will come in to force. DCP 161 introduces new charges for half-hourly metered sites that use more capacity than they have been allocated under their connection agreement.

Currently, if a supply exceeds its available capacity, other than the charge the supplier adds for the excess kVA, at the standard rate, no penalty is charged. As a result, there has been little incentive for consumers to actively review and increase capacity where required.

Under the new DCP 161, users who exceed their capacity will be charged an excess penalty rate which could be up to three times higher than the standard rate. Depending on the consumption profile, if the supply regularly exceeds its assigned available capacity, this change could increase overall electricity costs by up to 1-2% or more.

So what can you do?

Firstly, check your available capacity demand profile on some recent invoices to make sure you are not already being charged for excess capacity use. Businesses that have recently moved to half-hourly settled meters through the P272 process, need ensure the available capacity was set at a suitable level.

If all sites in your portfolio are comfortably below the agreed capacity limit, then there’s no need to worry, though if your consumption is significantly below you could always look at reducing your supply capacity agreement!

If, however, your demand occasionally peaks above the allocated site capacity then you need to start thinking strategically. To avoid these potentially significant excess charges, there are two options:

1. Reduce consumption to bring it below the agreed threshold.

2. If you can’t reduce your consumption, then you need to apply to your District Network Operator (DNO) for an increase in agreed capacity. There may be a fee associated with this, particularly in regions where the network is already very constrained.

If you want to increase your available capacity or are looking at ways to reduce your energy consumption and avoid excess charges,  contact Enerteq  today on 01423 815299 or click the button below and we’ll be happy to offer some advice.

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