Key points to check on your connection quotation

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At Rock Power Connections, we have seen many different electrical connection and upgrade quotations from all of the DNOs operating around the country. Some are easily understood some are more confusing than others.

Solid Networks. Simply Connected: The Rock Team will get you energised without the hassle.

1. Does the quote deliver what you need?

One thing we have learnt from all of them, is that the devil is in the detail. Don’t be afraid to go back to your DNO and check again that the quote is complete and will deliver what your project requires. If you can’t see it listed, then don’t assume it is there. * If you are building an apartment development, does your new electrical connection quote just provide a single intake or does it include the internal Low Voltage (LV) cables to provide individual metering?

Some DNOs no longer offer the internal element of the work – also termed ‘Building Network Operator’ works. * If your site is exporting electricity, e.g. a solar farm or generator, is the voltage that you export the same as the voltage at the connection point or do you need a transformer substation to step-up the voltage? Before you make your investment, make sure you have complete confidence that your connection provider will deliver the job that you require.

2. Is anything missing from the quote? A DNO offer comprehensively lists items and works that are included in the contestable and non-contestable quotes. But never assume that all costs are included. They are a number of extra costs that you may be responsible for, such as:

On-site civil works, such as trench excavation and back fill * Building substation plinths or brick substations. This will need to be to the specification of the DNO and different DNOs may have different specifications * Ducting into buildings * Earthing * Licences for working in the public highway – known as Street Work Notices * Site inspections or audits

3. Timescales – when will your connection be energised? If you are considering a DNO offer, make sure you understand the time frame for the completion of your project.

  1. Does your quote state when your site could be energised?
  2. Can you obtain a switch-on date before you pay?
  3. Does it allow flexibility if your works are delayed? What would the consequences be?
  4. Completing your project on time and on budget is critical for us at Rock Power Connections. Before work commences on any of our projects, we’ll agree a Programme of Works which includes a timetable, using a flexible approach that fits in with your site works. DNOs can be less flexible and more prescriptive in their approach. Watch out for expiry dates! Do also look out for the expiry date on your DNO offer. Often quotes are only valid for 90 or 180 days. Check the terms and conditions carefully. If you go back to your DNO after the expiry date, you will have to re-apply for the Point of Connection. This process will take further time and some of the costs may have also increased. At Rock Power Connections, we don’t want you to get caught out. If we haven’t heard from you, we’ll always give you a call in plenty of time before our offer expires.
  5. What are the payments timescale? Managing cash-flow in any business can be a challenge. When you’re faced with a significant and costly project, ensuring you meet your financial needs as well as the project’s needs is paramount. In the majority of cases, your local DNO will require full payment up front before the works can begin. Very often, before you even have an indication of when they can undertake the works. This can be a major hurdle to overcome. Rock Power Connections offers all our customers a schedule of staged payments. This eases the burden on cash-flow and puts the customer in control. Before you agree to a DNO offer, make sure you understand what needs to be paid and when. 5.How about wayleaves & easements costs? Depending on your project, the electrical cables needed to connect your building or industrial unit may need to run under or over land that is owned by a third party or a local authority. To get permission, you may need to instruct a lawyer. These costs will not be included in the DNO quote. Additionally, you may also have to cover the legal costs incurred by the DNO during this process. These costs can start to add up, quickly. 6. Network reinforcement or ‘Second Comer’ rules Within your offer from a DNO, you may also see charges connected to ‘ECCR’ – another acronym to get to know. ECCR stands for Electricity Connection Charges Regulations, and is known in the industry as the ‘Second Comer’ rules. These charges occur when a new customer (known as the ‘second comer’) utilises an existing customer’s (known as the ‘first comer’) electricity connection to get electricity to their site. This may happen when considerable network upgrades are required for the ‘first comer’ to secure their connection; for which they pay the cost. If the ‘second comer’ then utilises this infrastructure, they may be additionally charged a proportion of the costs already paid by the ‘first comer’. The charges are often refunded back to the first customer. The rules can apply for five years after the first customer has installed its new or upgraded connection. In conclusion …. we offer a Rock Solid approach Getting a new or upgraded electrical connection needn’t be a minefield to navigate. At Rock Power Connections, we use our expertise and years of experience to guide you through the entire process. We’ll deliver a clear, honest and competitive quotation. We provide you with a dedicated Project Manager who is on hand to manage the process, ensuring you have one reliable point of contact and peace of mind throughout the project. We liaise with the DNO and third parties on your behalf and do our best to ensure there are no nasty surprises along the way. We’d be delighted to offer you a free, no obligation, competitive quote for your electrical connection project and look forward to delivering you a rock solid solution. For more useful information on the electricity connection process, see our handy factsheet on new connections.

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