DCP 161 and the impact on Half Hourly Meters

What is DCP 161?

DCP stands for Distribution Connection and Use of System Agreement (DCUSA). DCP 161 reintroduces higher charges for excess capacity that are on average 73% above normal rates.

This will impact customers with Half-hourly meters who exceed their agreed capacity.

What are Distribution Use of System (DUoS) charges?

These are the charges to cover the costs of managing and distributing electricity within local distribution networks, managed by the respective Distribution Network Operator (DNO).

Who are DNOs?

DNOs are the companies responsible for carrying electricity from the high voltage transmission network to industrial, commercial and domestic sites. The DNO’s are responsible for billing the supply capacity charge.

What is the Supply Capacity charge?

The Available Supply Capacity (ASC) is the highest (agreed) amount of power that a site can pull from the grid during a half-hour period before incurring additional charges.

The Supply Capacity charge is the cost paid by a customer for their agreed portion of electricity demand from the grid. Previously, if a site used more than their agreed capacity, the customer would be billed at the same price for excess capacity.

What changed?

As of April 1st, 2018, with the introduction of DCP 161, excess capacity charges are now billed at a much higher rate than the price of agreed capacity. Excess capacity charges are now on average, over 70% higher than available capacity charges but this varies depending on the DNO. In several regions (Distribution Networks), customers will be paying double the standard price.

This change came about because it was identified that some customers could take advantage of the previous billing method by agreeing on low capacities but regularly exceeding that amount, as the rate was the same. This put significant strain on DNO’s who were tasked with regulating the load of their networks.

The following shows an estimate of how much more will be paid on average:

DNO (ID) Average ASC 2018 (p/Kva/day) Average Excess Capacity 2018 (p/Kva/day) Difference (p/Kva/day) Difference (%)
22 3.03 6.83 3.80 126%
21 3.25 6.59 3.34 104%
15 2.37 4.52 2.15 93%
23 1.52 2.79 1.28 88%
11 3.42 6.03 2.60 83%
16 3.28 5.84 2.55 79%
27 3.70 5.99 2.41 78%
26 3.69 6.08 2.39 76%
24 3.80 6.16 2.35 73%
25 3.94 6.24 2.30 70%
10 3.81 6.20 2.39 69%
14 4.40 7.18 2.78 67%
19 4.01 6.43 2.42 66%
20 3.67 5.84 2.17 66%
13 3.80 5.91 2.11 60%
17 5.15 6.68 1.53 33%
12 6.15 7.56 1.41 28%
18 3.94 4.91 0.96 28%
Average 3.79 6.08 2.34 73%

Who is affected?

  • This change affects every customer with half hourly meters and an agreed supply capacity.
  • Some customers will be affected by much higher charges than others, depending on their distribution network (location).

How Pulse Business Energy can help your business:

  • Pulse will help to identify any sites which will incur excess capacity charges on a regular basis so that operational changes can be made where possible.
  • Pulse can also provide additional analysis to work out which sites would benefit from a supply capacity increase to avoid recurring excess charges.
  • Pulse can also analyse the patterns in the customer’s demand profile to advise when it would be beneficial to reduce/regulate usage.


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