What is DCP 161?

DCP stands for Distribution Connection and Use of System Agreement (DCUSA) Change Proposal with DCP 161 reintroducing higher charges for excess capacity.

Previously, any capacity above your contracted amount has been charged at the same rate as your available capacity. From April 2018, if you exceed your contracted capacity you will incur a higher charge for the excess each month you went over.


How much more will I have to pay?

Excess charges are on average 73% higher than your available capacity charge although this does differ depending on your Distribution Network Operator (DNO). In several regions you will be paying double the standard price.

Take a look at the map and table to see whether you fall in a region with a severe penalty for excess capacity.

Table for DCP161

Why are my charges changing?

This change has been implemented because the previous charging methodology sent the wrong message to consumers. Previously, a consumer could benefit by setting a capacity much lower than their actual maximum import capacity – therefore only ever paying for what they used. This potentially caused issues for the DNOs when managing current and planning for future load requirements.

The new charging structure is much more cost reflective for the DNO, however this excess charge is incurred for individual months rather than being in line with your annually set contracted capacity. Therefore, a user could still set a contracted value lower than their maximum capacity and save money.


What can I do now to avoid paying excess charges?

You should be reviewing your contracted capacity across your business to make sure that you are aware of any sites which will incur excess capacity charges on a regular basis from April 2018. Additional analysis to determine how regularly you breach your contracted capacity can also influence whether you manage energy better at site or start the process to increase your capacity with your DNO.

How can we help?

All of our existing customers have free access to our cost reporting functionality on our analytics platform. This allows you to review your contracted capacities using up to 5 years of historic data with RAG ratings to make things simple. Check out the full range of Stark’s cost analytics here.

Alternatively, our Invoice Validation Services team are experienced in reviewing contracted capacities and project managing any required reductions on your behalf.

If you are not currently a customer then get in touch now!