Agreed supply capacity for business energy

Agreed supply capacity (ASC), is the maximum electricity demand that a business agrees they need to have from their supplier. In turn, the supplier agrees that their network will be able to continuously provide the amount the business requires – but no more. 

This means that the ASC defines the maximum amount of power that can come from the local distribution system through a customer’s supply point at any given time. It is also referred to as Maximum Import Capacity, Authorised Capacity or Available Capacity and is measured in Kilo-Volt Ampere (kVA).

The Supply capacity will be stated in your property’s connection agreement with the local distribution network operator (DNO). Only businesses that consume significant levels of energy need to speak to their provider about agreeing a supply capacity.  

For advice on conserving energy got your business, click here.

What is maximum demand (MD)?

Maximum demand is the highest value of energy used in any given half-hour period and is measured in kWh. This is the highest demand recorded over a half-hour period, usually during a calendar month or billing period, multiplied by a factor of two to give the MD on an hourly basis.  If your MD exceeds your maximum agreed capacity, excess charges may be incurred and you may have to re-declare your ASC.

For more information on high demand businesses, click here

How it works

Normally, agreed supply capacity depends on your needs and pattern of energy usage. It may also be based on your highest recorded maximum demand (in kVA) in any half hour, on any day of the current year.

ASC is always set before a provider supplies your energy, so you need to ensure it is sufficient for your needs before agreeing on a deal.

There are certain things you'll need to take into account when determining your ASC:

  • Even if your maximum energy usage is less, you’ll be charged for the maximum capacity set in your ASC every month. As such, if ASC is set excessively high, you will be paying unnecessarily for the energy you don’t use.
  • The amount calculated using the agreed ASC appears on your bill in kVA.
  • In the event that your demand exceeds your supply capacity, you will be charged at the new level which will naturally be higher. This may stay as the chargeable figure for twelve months depending on your distribution area.
  • To manage your capacity within the limits of your ASC, you may need to have effective procedures to monitor your maximum electricity demand from the grid – there are chances that you may be held responsible if the local distribution grid sustains damage due to your demand increasing above your ASC.
  • At the time of renewal, you may have to revisit the level of ASC to ensure that it is sufficiently high to cover your likely requirements over the life of a new contract, without being so high that you end up paying for unused capacity.

Incorrect ASC data

Upon starting a new contract, the distribution network operator needs to send exact ASC information to your supplier. However, in many instances, suppliers tend to estimate this information and share it since it’s easier and quicker than waiting for the data flows – and this may result in ASC data being inaccurate.

To overcome this issue, contact your DNO to confirm the ASC and then pass this information to your supplier.

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