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Businesses will be given penalty charges if they exceed their assigned capacity from 1st April

On April 1 2018, Ofgem will introduce a new measure known as DCP 161, which will affect all businesses on half-hourly (HH) meters.

Currently, businesses that use more than their available capacity are only charged for the excess kVA they use at the standard available rate, meaning, there has been no incentive for end users to actively review and increase capacity where required.

Once DCP 161 comes into force, businesses will be given penalty charges if they exceed their assigned capacity. This is to enable distribution network operators (DNOs) to recover additional costs they’re exposed to when this happens.

This penalty could be as much as three times the standard rate, so it’s vital that businesses with HH meters monitor their usage and ensure that they do not exceed their capacity.

Clearly, this could have a serious impact on your business’ energy costs. So, how can you manage these changes?

  • If you’re on a half-hourly meter, you will need to monitor your usage carefully to ensure that you don’t use more than your assigned capacity and adjusting your capacity when necessary.
  • By changing the times at which you consume electricity to avoid expensive peak periods, you can cut the amount you will pay.
  • Optimising your available capacity level is another common way of cost reduction, alongside checking your charges against published rates in order to identify overpayment.
  • And don’t forget energy efficiency – less consumption is the best way to protect your business against rising electricity costs!


Inenco are a completely independent energy consultancy, helping thousands of companies to purchase their commercial energy. We know that when you’re focused on your core business activities, it can be difficult to keep on top of your energy commitments. That’s where our expert team come in – they can handle all of the intricacies for you, leaving you free to concentrate on your business.

To understand the impact of DCP 161 on your business and to discuss opportunities to minimise costs and save you money, talk to one our team today.