In the past, I have been told that service conductors are permitted to be protected higher than their ampacity, as long as the connected load does not exceed the ampacity.
Isn't that a conflict with this?:
In other words, if I have a 200a main-breaker panel with 100a worth of load, where in the service can the conductors be sized for the load, and where must they be full sized?(From the '02 NEC) VII. Service Equipment — Overcurrent Protection
230.90 Where Required. Each ungrounded service conductor shall have overload protection.
(A) Ungrounded Conductor. Such protection shall be provided by an overcurrent device in series with each un-grounded service conductor that has a rating or setting not higher than the allowable ampacity of the conductor. A set of fuses shall be considered all the fuses required to protect all the ungrounded conductors of a circuit.
Let's use the example with a conduit on the wall of a 2-story building, from the point-of-attachment down to the meter base, which is back-to-back with the main-breaker panel.