[UC13] Master Circuit Breaker Value vs. Measured Values Analysis

Consumer Rates and Programs
Grid Planning
Non-Wires (NWA)

Inaccurate high-master circuit breaker values impact both consumers and electric utilities as consumers pay unnecessarily high charges to reserve capacity. When capacity is lacking in the area, utilities must undertake costly grid upgrades.

The Utility Problem

The master circuit breaker value is significant for every electricity customer. In many electricity distribution utilities, this value represents a maximum capacity (maximum load) that the consumer cannot exceed at any given time. However, this value is often oversized, either historically, when the customer needed to learn of their consumption, or because the customer does not compare this value (maximum capacity) with their accurately measured time-series data or for other reasons. 

These unnecessarily-high master circuit breaker values impact both consumers and electric utilities. On the customer side, they are paying unnecessarily high charges to reserve this capacity (capacity charges). On the utility side, these contracted capacities are unnecessarily blocked, and when capacity is lacking in the area, the utility has to undertake costly grid upgrades. These upgrades are then usually paid by all service area customers as a collective payment.

Having the values of the master circuit breaker adjusted compared to actual consumption values brings multiple opportunities. Such as increased customer satisfaction and engagement, where the distribution companies can provide the customer with accurate information. The customer will save monthly payments for booking lower capacity if they can reduce this parameter. These adjustments can also be used directly for the utility in Grid Planning. Based on the value of the master circuit breaker, the available grid capacity is usually calculated. Therefore, if the master circuit breaker values are adjusted according to actual measured values, there would be no need to reinforce the grid (e.g. by replacing a transformer or conductors) based on insufficient capacity in the area.


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