Will your distribution network operator charge you to get a quotation?

Back in April 2018, new legislation was introduced which allows the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to charge for the assessment and design work involved in producing a Point of Connection offer.

Effectively, you can be charged upfront for receiving a quotation from the DNO, even if you do not later progress with the electrical connection.

Each DNO has a different approach for what scenarios they apply charges to and the value of the charge. This article summarises the current charges by DNO.

THE CURRENT PROPOSALS FOR EACH DISTRIBUTION NETWORK OPERATOR

Electricity North West (ENW)

The situation as of the 1st June is that ENW will be applying upfront charges to demand projects which have a load greater than 3MVA and generation projects at EHV.

- ENW may charge for feasibility studies for both demand and generation if you opt for this route instead of making a Point of Connection (PoC) application. The stated cost is POA.

- ENW an Assessment and Design charge across all connections (aside from small residential or a single 3-phase connection). In most cases, this charge is only applicable upon accepting their quotation. In most cases, this charge is only applicable upon accepting their quotation.

- The upfront charge for these is £1,000 with a balance of £20,200 on acceptance and £15,800 for a PoC-only acceptance (where an Independent Connections Provider would do the contestable works).

Northern Powergrid (NPG)

The situation as of the 1st June is that NPG will be applying upfront charges to all demand and generation projects aside from the very smallest residential connections.

- NPG will charge for budget estimates (aside from small residential or a single 3-phase connection). This varies between £190 and £620.

- NPG will also charge for feasibility studies for both demand and generation if you opt for this route instead of making a Point of Connection (PoC) application. This varies between £290 and £2,090.

- NPG include an Assessment and Design charge across all connections, aside from LV connections with a load below 250KVA. In most cases, this charge is an upfront charge.

- The upfront charge ranges from £350 to £7,880.

- The charges do differ between a full offer and a non-contestable only offer.

ScottishPower Energy Networks (SPEN)

The situation as of the 1st June is that SPEN will be applying charges to demand projects with a HV PoC and generation projects. However, they do not state whether these charges are applied upfront or upon acceptance.

- SPEN publishes a ‘Statement of Methodology and Charges for Connections” guidance which covers both the Manweb and Scottish domains.

- SPEN will also charge for feasibility studies (aside from small residential or a single 3-phase connection) if you opt for this route instead of making a Point of Connection (PoC) application. The charge is either £500 or £1000.

- SSE include an Assessment and Design charge across all connections, aside from LV connections with a load below 250KVA. We can only assume this charge is payable upon acceptance.

- The upfront charge ranges from £1,250 to £10,000.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSE)

The situation as of the 1st June is that SSE will be applying upfront charges to demand and generation projects which have a load greater than 250kVA at HV.

- SSE publishes a ‘Statement of Methodology and Charges for Connections” guidance which covers both the Southern and Scottish domains.

- SSE will also charge for feasibility studies for both demand and generation if you opt for this route instead of making a Point of Connection (PoC) application. This varies between £200 and £6,500.

- SSE include an Assessment and Design charge across all connections, aside from LV connections with a load below 250KVA. In most cases, this charge is only applicable upon accepting their quotation.

- The upfront charge ranges from £370 to £2,072.

- The charges do differ between a full offer and a non-contestable only offer.

UK Power Networks (UKPN)

The situation as of the 1st June is that UKPN will be applying upfront charges to generation projects which are connected at HV.

- UKPN publishes a ‘Statement of Methodology and Charges for Connections” guidance which covers all their regions. However, it has individual charges per region and these do vary slightly.

- UKPN may charge for feasibility studies for both demand and generation if you opt for this route instead of making a Point of Connection (PoC) application. The stated cost is POA.

- UKPN include an Assessment and Design charge across all connections. This charge is only applicable for demand connections upon accepting their quotation. For generation connections at HV it is an upfront charge.

- The upfront charge ranges from £83 to £7,700

- The charges do differ between a full offer and a non-contestable only offer.

Western Power Distribution (WPD)

The situation as of the 1st June is that WPD is applying upfront charges for generation and demand connections at EHV.

- WPD publish separate ‘Statement of Methodology and Charges for Connections” guidance for each of their four regions and there does seem to be minor variations between the charges for each.

- WPD will also charge for feasibility studies for both demand and generation if you opt for this route instead of making a Point of Connection (PoC) application. This varies between £130 and £4,590.

- WPD include an Assessment and Design charge across all connections (aside from small residential or a single 3-phase connection). In most cases, this charge is only applicable upon accepting their quotation.

- However, they apply an upfront charge for demand and generation connections up to 10MVA at Extra High Voltage and all demand connections greater than 10MVA.

- The upfront charge ranges from £3,354 to £6,796.

WANT TO AVOID THIS CHARGE?

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.

If the PoC does differ from our assumed location (9/10 times we guess correctly), then this should be a minor change to the quotation.

Not only do we do this on a no-obligation basis for free, we can also issue an indicative cost on a very quick turnaround.

LET US HELP

We’d be delighted to offer you a free, no obligation, competitive quote for your electrical connection project. Please email Emma on Emma@rockpowerconnections.co.uk, call 01905 456384 or click here to submit your enquiry.

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