Introduced by Ofgem, DCP 161 came into force on 1st April 2018 to ensure that any half-hourly (HH) metered sites are billed fairly and correctly in respect of their Agreed Supply Capacity (ASC). Each HH meter across the UK has an ASC, which is measured in kVA and forms part of the site’s Connection Agreement with the local distribution network (DNO) The ASC is charged at a rate which has been agreed within the supply contract and is affected by both voltage level and area. The penalty charge for exceeding your available capacity will increase on average, by an estimated 81%. This charge will vary significantly from region to region.

The purpose behind this new legislation is to assist the Distribution Network Operators with balancing out network usage. The legislation will help encourage customers to manage their load more diligently or to request the correct level of capacity upfront. As a further note, when looking to review contracted ASC it should be noted that if a supply does demand higher than its contracted Available Capacity, not only does it attract Excess Capacity charges, but there are potential liabilities that the DNO could levy in relation to the physical impact of that Excess Capacity on the network infrastructure. In the current climate where local networks are being required to carry increased load requirements, this may become more prominent.

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