The discussion of Half Hourly (HH) Electric Meters and the forced removal of Maximum Demand Profile Meters is hardly front-page news. Let’s be fair – it’s not exactly the thrilling dinner party chat you’d expect around a table of top businessmen.

KVA Assessment & Reduction

The discussion of Half Hourly (HH) Electric Meters and the forced removal of Maximum Demand Profile Meters is hardly front-page news. Let’s be fair – it’s not exactly the thrilling dinner party chat you’d expect around a table of top businessmen. For some businesses, it may not even be a subject they are fully aware of. So, why all the excitement from us, and why do we think in today’s climate, it should be on the lips of every successful and shrewd company owner?

Many businesses within the Laundry & Hospitality sector already have larger Agreed Supply Capacity (ASC) half hourly (HH) Electric Meters. However, other businesses will have found themselves changing from a non-HH profile to a HH profile. This is down to a Government directive known as P272, which has unfortunately led to all “Maximum Demand” profile meters being removed completely and replaced with HH profile meters.

As with any major Government directed change, additional costs are involved, and for some companies, these are significant. Those that have had their meter profile amended, including KVA (kilovolt-ampere) capacity charges, have been hit hard. In addition to this, a new measure known as “DCP-161” was introduced by OfGEM on 1st April 2018, to ensure that all HH supplies that exceed their assigned available KVA capacity pay more. Seems fair, right? Not to the businesses that will be subject to excess KVA capacity penalties for HH electricity supplies (thanks to the DCUSA – Distribution Connection and Use of System Agreement.) The ‘good’ news is, that this change will ensure the additional costs that DNOs (Distribution Network Operators) can incur when customers exceed their available KVA capacity levels, are recovered.

So how much exactly could this cost you? With the introduction of “DCP-161”, users who exceed their KVA capacity can now be charged an excess penalty rate, which could be up to four times higher than the standard KVA rate. The applicable rates vary by region and voltage, with costs expected to be higher in areas where there is a higher demand for capacity. Depending on the consumption profile, if the supply regularly exceeds its assigned available capacity, this change could increase overall electricity costs by 1-2% or more!

Businesses who are moving from non-HH to HH meters are extremely vulnerable. How do you know your available capacity, and who do you contact to get the information you need? You could call your existing supplier. However, if your supply or capacity contracts are due for renewal now, wouldn’t it be wise to negotiate and confirm your capacity charges, especially as excess charges will also be based on the supplier you choose?

This is where Fox Energy can step into help. Whilst it is essential to ensure your HH meter has an appropriate KVA ASC to prevent costly fines and charges, at the same time you can also review your capacity and find scope for immediate savings. Remember, you pay for each KVA of ASC whether you use it or not! Don’t be caught out paying for something that could have easily been avoided.

Another point to consider is that many businesses inherit the previous occupier or landlord’s KVA capacity and can end up paying far more than they need to, since the allocated KVA ASC could be far greater than they require.

Fox Energy recommends reviewing your businesses KVA needs on an annual basis, or more frequently, if you make major changes to equipment or routines, in order to establish your actual used and required KVA capacity. This can be obtained either directly from your supplier or via Fox Energy. Once the actual figures are established, it is possible to surrender your excess KVA capacity back to the networks, thus reducing your monthly electric bills, and in some cases saving thousands.

Consider it like this: if your HH meter has a KVA capacity of 350 KVA but upon investigation it is established that your peak usage was only 150 KVA, your business could surrender 200 KVA back to the network. In this situation you are only paying for what you need/use!

“350 KVA x 4p per KVA per day = £14.00 per day

150 KVA x 4p per KVA per day = £6.00 per day”

In the above example a daily saving of £8.00 would be achieved, amounting to an incredible annual saving of £2920.00!

Remember: it is very easy to surrender excess KVA back to the network, but much more difficult to obtain more. Proper calculations are critical; surrender too much and you’ll be fined for exceeding the KVA capacity allocated!

For more information on how to examine and determine your businesses KVA usage, and advice on reducing or increasing your ASC, contact Fox Energy, the TSA’s Energy Alliance Partner on 01233 884510 or visit



Water/Waste return ratios (Evaporation Rates)

A fact of life is that we all love choice. We want to choose which supermarket we shop in, what car to drive or what brand of clothing to wear. As of April 2017, with the opening of the water market, businesses in England and Scotland are now able to choose the water retailer they use. Halleluiah!

At Fox Energy, we noticed an irregularity with many laundries water bills, where companies were being charged an astronomically high percentage on their waste water/evaporation return rates by the wholesalers. In many cases, these are set at 95% by the wholesaler, implying that an incredible 95% of the fresh water that enters the cycle is returned to the sewers and only 5% is lost in the wash cycle – preposterous!

Having worked with several successful commercial laundries, we have established that the actual return rate can be closer to 60%, meaning the water providers are overcharging by up to an astounding 35% – a considerable amount of money per year! This is money that should be in the client’s cash flow and not the water retailers.

In association with several water retailers and wholesalers, Fox Energy investigate and correct return ration rates by having wholesalers fit temporary return meters and monitoring the actual returned water volume over a period of months. Once the actual rate is established and proven, the wholesaler can amend the ratio accordingly, in many cases vastly reducing waste water costs to businesses, especially when trade effluent (the most expensive part of water billing) is directly linked to this ratio too.

Fox Energy are also investigating the legality of having wholesalers back date clients’ bills to reflect the amended usage, which we hope could lead to large rebates!

For further information contact Fox Energy on 01233 884510 or email [email protected] to see if you are paying too much!