Submetering – How to avoid it in a Building Network Operator (BNO) installation

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As more and more commercial buildings are redeveloped into residential accommodation, there has been an increased demand for developers to split their pre-existing bulk supply into individual meters for each new premise – be it a retail unit or apartment.

In this article we outline the options available if you are looking to provide multiple individually-metered supplies without submetering.

Getting an electrical connection

If your building has an existing supply that is of sufficient capacity, your first thought is likely to be to retain the current bulk-metered supply, and then incorporate sub-meters for each apartment or commercial supply.

Not only would it be the responsibility of the landlord or building owner to meter and bill each premise, it would also be their responsibility to maintain and retain the network in the case of a fault. This is often referred to as a Building Network Operator (BNO) installation because the responsibility reverts to the building owner.

Alternatively, you could apply for a new connection to the building, which will provide you with individually metered supplies for each apartment or commercial unit. It does not matter if these meters are located in a communal area or within each premise. The existing supply would then need to be disconnected. You may expect this to be a more costly installation, but this is not always the case.

A more competitive option

An Independent Connections Provider (ICP), like Rock Power Connections is an electrical engineering company who can design and install your new supply. Working with an ICP is an alternative option than engaging with a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and, unlike the DNO, an ICP can get your installation ‘adopted’ by an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO). The IDNO will then have full responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the installed network, taking the burden away from you as the building owner.

The IDNO will pay a one-off amount, referred to as an ‘Asset Value’ to own your installed network as they will make money from the meter. This financial sum is likely to result in a more commercially competitive quote, resulting in a cheaper installation.

Another benefit of using an ICP for your complete installation is that you only need to deal with one contractor, and you will not need to speak directly to the DNO or IDNO as the ICP will do that for you.

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