What is KVA?

I received a warning from our electricity suppliers in late June 2007 saying that on more than one occasion our Maximum Demand (The maximum take of electrical power during one half hour period) has consistently exceeding our Authorised Supply Capacity (The amount of power available to your supply at any one time), for the Crown Spa Hotel.

What does that mean? well apparently this is the max KVA of which ours is 195, this is effectively the registered amount of electricity that we are allowed to take from the grid. In view of the impending 4th Floor roof development I have increase this from 195 KVA to 290 KVA, this should be more than enough.

Though the down side is that we have had to pay £10,000 for a new electrical supply. This can not be helped but it just shows the hidden costs of not reducing your power usage. The rate charged for each KVA is £1.14, this means if you over estimate your KVA then your electricity bill can be unnecessarily high, though if you underestimate it the supply company can refuse to supply any more electric until you change your habits, or build them a new substation!

UPDATED October 2009 I am now thinking of reducing the Max KVA value down as we are effectivly paying for something we do not need. The max power at any one time was 207 KVA Feb 2009, since then max Power demand has been consistenly below 190 KVA, even with the builders and the hotel being fully occupied over Christmas.