Connecting a new apartment development: The electrical connection process explained

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Connecting a new apartment development: The electrical connection process explained

Regardless of what scale of development you are involved in, the process to get a new supply for your apartments is likely to be the same. Follow these easy principles and you will soon have the lights on.

Determine your load

The first step is to establish how much power you need.

  • Gas or electric heating?
  • Need three-phase landlord or commercial supplies?
  • Supplies for EV chargers?
  • PV panels? You will need to declare generation to the Distribution Network Operator (DNO).

Get a connection offer

Your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) needs to determine where they have the available capacity on their network to offer you the power supply you need. If you ask, they will provide a full quotation for the works including where you can connect to their network.

All Distribution Network Operators have the right to charge for the work involved in providing you with a ‘Point of Connection’ (PoC). This covers their associated costs with network assessment, planning, design and quoting and is usually rolled into the term ‘Assessment & Design Charges’.

At Rock Power Connections, we can provide you with an indicative quotation without any upfront cost. As we have access to the distribution network maps, we can identify where the Point of Connection (PoC) to the local grid is likely to be.

We can then design your electrical connection from this assumed PoC. When you are ready to proceed with your connection, you can apply to the Distribution Network Operator for a PoC offer (or we will do it for you) and only incur the charges once.

Decide who will own the network

Depending upon how your installation is designed, the electrical installation may be owned or be ‘adopted by’ different organisations and they will assume responsibility for the part that they own.

  • The electrical connection from the distribution network to the intake at the apartment building, including any required substations for a High Voltage (HV) connection, will be ‘adopted by’ the DNO or an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO).
  • The connection from the intake to the contractor switch may also be adopted by the DNO or IDNO if they take on your network. Otherwise, it will be the responsibility of the Building Network Operator, which could be the building owner or leaseholder.
  • The cabling from the contractor switch to the property will be owned by the householder.

At Rock Power Connections, we are well versed in designing and installing Building Network Operator (BNO) installations and also designing alternative solutions that can be adopted by Independent Distribution Network Operators.

For more information on your installation options, read our article BNO installations: What are your options?

If you want to understand more about the different options for network owners, read more about DNOs and IDNOs and Asset Values.

Schedule the works

Once you are ready to start the build, Key timescales will involve:

  • LEGALS: Your supply cannot be energised until this is completed.
  • SWITCHGEAR: If you need a HV substation, this can have a longer lead time.
  • COUNCIL PERMISSIONS: If your cable route involves an off-site stretch, there will be timescales for getting partial or full road closures in place.

Programming your works can be done in the most efficient way to minimise timescales. The internal installation can happen alongside the external works; cable can be laid ready for the arrival of any switchgear with longer lead times.

Rock Power Connections is a Mitie Group plc Company. All Rights Reserved.