DCP 161 | Excess Capacity Charges are due to Change

What is DCP 161?

From the 1st April 2018 Ofgem are introducing DCP161 to ensure that half hourly (HH) supplies that exceed their assigned available capacity are charged an excess penalty rate potentially up to three times higher than the standard rate.

Prior to the introduction of DCP161, if a half hourly supply exceeded the designated available capacity there was no penalty, other than an excess capacity charge imposed by the supplier. To mitigate against higher DUOS charges, consumers often benefited by setting the capacity level to much lower than their maximum therefore only ever paying from what they used. Prior to April, the local DNO (Distribution Network Operator) picked up the charges for exceeding this limit, but now due to this change will be able to recover the additional costs.

How much more will I have to pay?

The new excess capacity rates will vary by region and voltage, with costs expected to be more in areas where there is a higher demand for capacity. It is estimated the penalty charge will increase on average 70 – 80%, with the lowest increase in London and Central Scotland at 28% and the highest increase in South West England at 126%.

Should the assigned capacity be regularly breached, the introduction of DCP161 has the potential to increase overall electricity costs by up to 1-2% or more, depending on the consumption profile of the supply.

*Image source: Stark

The P272 Issue:

All meters with a profile class of 5-8 will have been or are due to be converted to HH meters. Consumers going through this transition are vulnerable as the available capacity may not be clear from the onset.  To avoid usage exceeding capacity levels it is essential to understand the available capacity and maximum demand levels of these supplies. Any sites that are incurring excess capacity charges will need to agree a revised capacity or take energy saving measures to reduce their maximum demand.

How can Nationwide Utilities help?

We recommend consumers with HH supplies assess the capacity levels against your actual usage to see there is a risk of being charged penalty fees. Our Energy Analyst team will review your electricity capacity to make sure you’re not paying over the odds.

  • Half Hourly data audit to establish whether the current capacity level is suitable and identify the number of breaches in the last 12 months.
  • If an amendment is required, we will negotiate with the electricity supplier and local DNO to set a more appropriate capacity level.
  • Monthly Capacity Reporting to help establish patterns / trends and to identify periods of high-energy consumption.

If you would like to increase your available capacity or would like to find out more on how to avoid avoid excess charges by reducing your energy consumption, please speak to one of our Energy Brokers on 0800 862 0861 or alternatively, send us a message.

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