To arrange a new electricity connection for your self build home or for a temporary supply while you build, you need to contact a ‘Distribution Network Operator’ (DNO) for the connection and an ‘energy supplier’ to arrange a meter.
The electricity distribution network in the UK is divided into a number of geographical areas, operated by a several licensed distribution network operators who maintain the network and provide new connections.
The electricity itself is supplied and metered by energy suppliers who buy it in bulk from electrical generation companies. They then pay the DNOs to transmit the power through their networks to the points of use.
As you will know if you have read the rest of our section on utility and service connections, these connections can have lead times running into many weeks and can get complicated, so do your research early and know what to expect (some companies are currently quoting 12 weeks from receipt of a complete application). Keep an accurate log of your correspondence and dont be fazed if you get passed around different departments or sub-contracted companies.
As a self builder it is often useful or necessary to have a temporary electric supply on site for power tools, site facilities or even the caravan youll be living in.
In this instance you can apply to the distributor for a temporary connection within the site boundary which can be re-routed to your house once your build is complete.
A temporary supply usually requires a secure and watertight cabinet to be installed within the site boundary containing meter tails (wires), consumer unit and power point already installed by a qualified electrician.
I suffered many hours ribbing from the lads on site for my ‘rabbit hutch’ temporary electric box.
Youll also need to arrange for a meter to be installed by an energy supplier after the connection is made.
Check the requirements with both your DNO and energy supplier so you can have everything in place before they turn up on site! An earth rod is sometimes required for a temporary supply with an earth cable to the cabinet.
New Electricity Connection Process
This process and the requirements of different companies vary so please contact your local DNO for clarification.
- Contact your local distribution network operator (links below) to request a new domestic connection application/quotation or fill one out online. You may need to include:
- Consent forms, if the supply will cross third party private land.
- Maps of the plot location and of the property within the plot with the meter box location.
- Location of the temporary supply.
- The meter point can be located inside your new home but it is common on new builds to use a wall mounted or recessed (built-in) meter cabinet which can be accessed externally for readings and maintenance without disruption. Youll also need a GRP (glass-reinforced plastic) protective sleeve or hockey stick which acts as a protective conduit to bring the cable out of the ground and into the cabinet. These items should be available from the DNO or your local builders merchant.
- If you need a temporary supply during construction let them know and find out what you need to have in place.
- There is usually the possibility of making cost savings by choosing to excavate and reinstate on your own land or to lay underground ducting through which the supply cable can be pulled.
- The DNO will prepare a quotation, works schedule, lead times, details and an acceptance form.
- Check everything over and if its OK, sign the form and make payment to enter into the contract.
- When you receive a date for the new electricity connection you should also receive a Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN). Armed with this and a date you can contact your chosen energy supplier to arrange for a meter to be installed. The new supply needs to be in place before the meter arrives.
UK Power Networks
- South East England
- Eastern England
- North East England
Western Power Distribution
- East Midlands
- West Midlands
- South West England
- South Wales
Northern Ireland Electricity
- Northern Ireland
Scottish Power Energy Networks
- Southern Scotland
- North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire
Scottish and Southern Energy
- Northern Scotland
- Southern England
Electricity North West
- North West England
The links above will take you to the distribution network operators websites where you can find links to their new electricity connection pages and more information on costs, procedures and requirements.
Note – The majority of new electricity connections will be through one of these companies but in some rare cases the supply might be operated by an independent distribution network operator (IDNO). The DNO for your general area should be able to advise you if this is the case and who you should contact.
Find the best deals on energy supply companies by visiting price comparison websites like uswitch.
For information on other new utility connections visit our utilities page.
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