DCP161: Another acronym you need to know about

The seemingly endless stream of new energy legislation will continue in April 2018 when DCP161 comes into force.

We have mentioned this legislation before in our blog on what ‘KVA’ means to your business, so check that out for some background on where this new amendment to the Distribution Connection and Use of System Agreement (DCUSA) came from.

What does it mean?

In short, DCP161 means that any Half Hourly (HH) meter drawing more than its assigned capacity of electricity (KVA) into a building will incur significantly higher charges than its agreed rate.

The added charges can be as high as three times your usual rate and could have significant impacts on businesses who don’t monitor their consumption effectively.  They are intended to cover the cost of the effect this has on your District Network Operator (DNO)…

…quick break… if all of these acronyms are boggling your brain, visit our jargon buster.  It should help you get your head around the energy industry’s tongue-twisting terminology.

Currently, anyone exceeding their KVA isn’t penalised financially, unless it is exceeded to an extent that it causes a power outage and requires costly repairs.

The charges DCP161 will incur depend on your business’ geographical area and voltage.  If demand is high for power near your premises, you’ll be charged more.

If this becomes a regular occurrence, you could expect your electricity bills to increase by a few per cent per year.

Half hourly meters – more control for everyone

The roll-out of P272 legislation across the UK was hailed by energy managers, allowing them to see more detail on what power is used, where and when (to within 30 minutes).  Clearly, it’s now also a major advantage for suppliers, who are using the extra information available to them to add on charges wherever they can.

Key points to consider

  1. If you don’t know what your site’s KVA is, you need to find out. Your supplier can tell you this or you could work with an expert to negotiate a higher KVA for you at the most advantageous rate.
  2. Find out if your building ever exceeds its KVA. If it does, you have a decision to make.  Often the cost of increasing your KVA can be cheaper than the charges your supplier will impose on you for exceeding it under DCP161.

Need some guidance?  We can help you decide whether you need to increase your building’s capacity. If so, we have the knowledge and connections within the energy industry to get you the best deal possible.

Get in touch today!