kVA for Your Business

If your business relies heavily on electricity, setting the right kVA requirement is crucial to ensure a reliable and efficient power supply without risking overload or facing unnecessary charges. Let’s delve into why kVA matters for your operations:

What is kVA?

kVA stands for apparent power capacity in an electrical system or meter, indicating the maximum electricity volume that can be supplied to your site. Understanding your kVA level helps optimise efficiency and manage costs effectively.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes

Many businesses mistakenly tie their kVA needs to total annual energy consumption (kWh). However, kVA mainly reflects peak power demands rather than overall energy usage. For instance, two businesses consuming the same annual energy could have different kVA requirements due to varying peak usage patterns.

Assessing Your Meter’s kVA

Larger setups are required by law to have half-hourly metering, providing crucial data on peak electricity usage to determine the necessary kVA capacity for the meter.

Implications of Exceeding kVA

Exceeding your designated kVA can lead to serious repercussions, including power supply overloads resulting in costly repairs and operational downtime. To discourage surpassing kVA limits, Ofgem introduced legislation in 2018 imposing significantly higher charges for excess electricity consumption -up to three times the standard rate.

Understanding kVA vs. kW

While kVA measures total power capacity, kW (Kilowatts) represents usable power. The power factor (pf) indicates efficiency, with a pf of 1 signifying optimal energy utilisation.

Why Does kVA Matter?

Collaborating with your supplier to ensure sufficient capacity in the system for your peak electricity needs helps prevent supply overload, avoiding costly repairs and downtime. It also safeguards against excess charges.

In essence, grasping the nuances of kVA is essential for effective energy management in businesses, ensuring a stable and cost-efficient electrical supply tailored to your operational requirements.