Why you should keep an eye on your KVA charges

To larger consumers of electricity, KVA charges are nothing new but they are often overlooked when it comes to an avenue for savings. All too often businesses focus on good unit rates, when they could be wasting hundreds if not thousands of pounds a year on a KVA allowance they don’t need.

What is KVA and who has it?

The amount of capacity reserved on the power network for your use at a point in time (Authorised Supply Capacity) is measured in KVA. All electricity supplies have a KVA level allocated to them, but only if you have a Half Hourly metered site you pay for the privilege.

Half hourly meters are typically installed at larger business sites with a high energy consumption, such as factories. A Half Hourly meter is compulsory if your maximum demand (the highest kW value in any half-hour period during the day) exceeds 100 kW, and optional between 70 kW and 100 kW.

Until April 1st 2017, only meters with a profile class of 00 were considered Half Hourly meters. With the completion of the new Ofgem P272 legislation, the profile class of all other maximum demand meters formerly classed 05-08 will have been updated to 00 set up to take half-hourly readings. This also means that those sites will now have KVA charges added to their bills.

Can and should I influence my KVA?

It is important that your KVA is set at the correct level so you don’t pay for capacity you don’t need. If you have multiple sites with potentially the wrong kVA level, the additional costs can quickly pile up.

The suggested KVA level is just above your maximum demand. Especially if your meter has just been changed to a Half Hourly according to P272, if you have recently moved into new premises, or if you have changed the use of a premise, the level at which you are being charged will almost certainly be inaccurate. In those cases, its essential that you at the very least start to monitor the KVA levels. We can help you with this.

Even if you have had a Half Hourly meter for some time, it makes sense to review your KVA level. Simply by doing this helped save a distributor of frozen food more than £2,000 a year by reviewing several of their sites’ KVA levels.

By reviewing your demand over the last 12 months and discussing any future expansion or consolidation plans you might have, we can establish not only your current demand but also plan for any future demand you could develop. In most cases a reduction will avoid unnecessary costs.

Don’t just assume the network has it right and that your supplier is passing it through at the correct level, have it independently checked and monitored for peace of mind. You never know, there could be a nice saving to be had, a saving that comes straight off your bill and back in to your budget. Simply get in touch with us to find out more.

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