Top 5 tips for upgrading your business electricity supply

Written by

If you are an expanding business that requires more power, getting an increased electricity supply should be relatively easy. However, it is important to be aware that sometimes delays can occur and that the process of upgrading may take longer than you first expected.

Here are 5 top tips on how to upgrade your business’ electricity supply as smoothly as possible.

1. Identify what your current supply agreement is for and work out what load you need

Your premise will have an existing supply agreement in place with the Distribution Network Operator for the amount of electricity you can draw from the network.
The Distribution Network Operator (DNO) is the owner of the electricity network in your area.
If you are changing the current use of a premise, you need to calculate how much load you need. An electrical contractor can do this for you or, if you have a list of the equipment and its energy consumption, it can easily be calculated.

2. Ask yourself, are there any electricity exports, unusual loads or motors at your premises?

With an increasing focus on flexible generation, exporting energy is becoming an attractive option. Do tell your ICP or DNO if you plan to export from outset or whether this is an option for you in the future. Your connection design will need to incorporate electrical export capability.
If you are developing a commercial unit, for example manufacturing and you will be using machinery, it is also essential that you inform your connection supplier from the outset. Large motors can impact the electricity network when they start up. Your ICP or DNO will need to factor this into the design and engineering solution.

3. Apply to your Distribution Network Operator for a Point of Connection to start the process

Once you have established the total load required in kVA, you can approach the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to find out if they have spare capacity in the area and where you can connect to the network.
This is called the ‘Point of Connection’ and is the cable from which you will connect your new supply. Click here for an easy way to find out who your DNO is.
Some DNOs may charge for your application; Essentially it will cost you to get a quote from them. Read more about DNO charges.

4. Get design approval as soon as you can

If you decide to use an Independent Connections Provider (ICP), you will need to get approval from the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) for the proposed design for your connection. This can take between 2-4 weeks.
Making a change, however small, to your original connection design requires re-approval from the DNO, and that takes time. Very often, the DNO will restart the clock to approve even small design changes. This can be incredibly frustrating and time consuming.
Ensure that you are 100% satisfied with your design before it is submitted for design approval. Check that all parties involved in your project have agreed with the original design.

5. Consider Wayleaves and Easements

To energise your new or upgraded electrical connection, work may be required on third party land. For example, an underground cable may have to run across your neighbour’s car park or field. Even if the design only incorporates the smallest amount of land, you will still need legal permission and an agreement will need to be put in place.

The ‘Point of Connection’ may also take place on third party land. If so, your local DNO will need an easement in place. This is the case even if an ICP leads the work on your behalf. Both of these issues have delayed works in the past and this can be easily avoided by understanding the design requirements, the local land rights and ensuing all permissions are obtained before the work commences.

Start the legal process as soon as you place an order for your connection.

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