Large energy users ‘must beware unexpected reserved capacity charges during lockdown’

That’s according to Stephen Ball, Director at Cost Advice, who spoke to ELN’s News Editor Jonny Bairstow

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Large energy users should take a look at their energy usage and see if they are paying too much for their reserved kilo-volt-amperes (kVA) capacity.

That’s according to Stephen Ball, Director at Cost Advice, who spoke to ELN’s News Editor Jonny Bairstow about the risk businesses face in continuing to pay high kVA charges on their electricity bills, despite not using any power during the coronavirus lockdown.

Reserved capacity refers to where a customer has a reserved capacity of kilowatts at their site – they pay this to ensure they always have enough power supply and the charge is paid to distributors by all firms that are half-hourly metered.

Mr Ball noted a lot of customers are worried about consumptions and bills at the moment and warned reserved capacity charges will still be payable whether any electricity is used or not – he added this could total ‘quite a considerable amount’ of money.

He said: “As far as we know, those kVA charges will still be applicable and for some customers, especially for those customers that have been shut down, for example, you’ve got large schools, leisure centres, they tend to have quite large reserved capacities because they tend to use a fair amount of energy.

“You’ve got manufacturers as well that are closing down because they can’t abide by distancing rules and generally keeping everybody safe and those are all the sorts of businesses that tend to have quite high reserved capacity – so, one of our clients for example, if they are shut for the next three months, their kVA charges will be in the region of £50,000.”

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