Energy supply capability is something that is often not given much thought when it comes to making decisions on your business energy supply. However, the risks associated with not understanding what it is and why you need to give it proper consideration are great indeed – and potentially life-threatening.
What is energy supply capability?
Energy supply capability can be defined as, “the amount of gas or electricity that your supply and meter are safely capable of providing your premises at any one time”. Think of it like the capacity for taking gas/electricity that your existing energy infrastructure has.
Why is energy supply capability so important?
The risks associated with not being on top of your energy supply capability are potentially fatal.
Pulling in too much electricity to your site can see your fuses and wires overloading resulting in overheating and electrical fires. This has obvious potential to cause great damage to your building and is a major health and safety risk for your employees.
If your gas pressure is too low, you’re also putting your business and employees at risk of gas explosions. For example, should the pressure drop low enough that a previously ignited source (e.g. a gas hob) on an appliance goes out, gas will continue to escape and build up instead of burning continuously. Excessive gas build up can easily result in major gas explosions which are often fatal.
As a result, having low gas pressure where the gas demand outstrips the incoming gas supply can render your commercial buildings insurance invalid. So not only is it a health and safety risk, you’re probably not covered by insurance too.
Businesses need to have gas safety certificates for their properties, which are also invalid if they’ve pushed their max energy usage beyond what their supply can handle. If you’re unsure, you should speak to the gas safe engineer you employ.
When to think about energy supply capability?
There are two scenarios where your energy supply capability should be at the front of your mind:
1. Getting a new boiler or adding in other appliances (lighting, cookers etc.)
When you increase the number of appliances in use in your commercial property, the demand for energy increases. This means you’ll need to check your supply capability to ensure your energy infrastructure is capable of taking on this extra energy demand. People often get caught out by the lead times for their supplier to increase their supply capability in situations like this, so it’s important to check in advance your existing energy supply capability and link in with your supplier.
2. Moving to a new property
Moving to new commercial offices is often a very stressful and complicated process. However, checking the energy supply capability of your new premises is vitally important and should be added to your checklist when moving business properties.
You’ll need to check that the meter in the new property can handle the energy usage you need it to, plus you need to check that there is a working gas supply. You can check who the existing supplier for your new premises is and whether the supply is live by visiting:
- Gas supply – https://www.findmysupplier.energy
- Electricity supply – https://www.energynetworks.org/operating-the-networks/whos-my-network-operator
This will allow you to get your MPRN or MPAN numbers, find out who the current supplier of the premises is and check if the site has a live supply. A ‘live’ supply is when there is a gas pipe to the property and a meter that XoServe show as capable of supplying the site.
If you’re looking for a new commercial or business gas or electricity connection or meter, please visit our Connections & metering webpage.
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