What is usually excluded from a DNO quote?

When you apply to the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) for an electrical connection, the quotation you receive can be long and technical and it's easy to become overwhelmed with information without truly understanding exactly what is and, more importantly, isn't within scope.

Very often, you as the customer will take responsibility for some of the works onsite. It's important to understand these to ensure that it doesn't cause you delays or bring surprise extra costs during the installation.

In this article we will explain the key points that may be excluded from a DNO's quotation.


The works included on your quotation will be split into two categories:

Non-contestable works - These works can only be undertaken by the host DNO. In the simplest scenario, this will involve the assessment of a design, but can also include diversion or reinforcement works. For example, if your connection requires cables already owned by the DNO to be diverted or a DNO substation to be moved, these are likely to be deemed non-contestable. The same applies to any upgrading of the DNO's assets further upstream in order to provide you with the Point of Connection onto their network.

A key one to look out for is the final closing joint of your connection onto the DNO's network. Previously, this was deemed non-contestable but has more recently become contestable works. Ensure either the DNO is undertaking this for you or you have arranged for an accredited contractor to.

Contestable works - Contestable works are those which you can seek a competitive quotation for. You can request that the DNO provides a quotation for the full installation, including these or you can ask an accredited Independent Connections Provider (ICP) like Rock Power Connections to undertake these for you. Contestable works include the installation of cables, substations and associated civils works right through to the meter point.


Frequently, the DNO will assume that you are undertaking the onsite civils, including cable trenching and building plinths for substation or metering kiosks.


If you are building an apartment development, does your new electrical connection quote just provide a single intake or does it include the internal installation of the laterals and risers to provide individual metering? Some DNOs no longer offer the internal element of the work – also termed ‘Building Network Operator’ works - even if they are providing you with multiple MPANs.

For more information on BNO installations and how to avoid them, read our article BNO installations: What are your options?


If you have requested a large load and are being offered a connection from the High Voltage (HV) network, check what voltage you are being metered at. The DNO's quotation will stop at the meter point. If you have been offered HV metering, but need to use the supply at Low Voltage (LV), then you will require additional switchgear, such as a transformer. This will be excluded from the quotation.


Another thing to check if you have been offered HV metering: The DNO will require lighting and power sockets in the substation enclosure for if they ever need to undertake a visit. This is almost always excluded from the quotation and will be within your remit. Obtaining a LV supply to install the lighting and power sockets can be tricky for the HV metered supply. You need to determine whether this can be supplied from your privately-owned transformer or you may even need to also apply for LV connection from the network to use for this purpose.


Check where your metering point is stated on the DNO's offer. The DNO may be providing a metering kiosk or it may be your responsibility to provide suitable housing or internal location for the meter. This will need to be constructed to the DNO's specification.


Does your offer include all required permits for working in the highway, such as Section 50s? Will there be any additional costs for Traffic Management?


Finally, the DNO will require legal rights over the installed assets. These legal agreements will be with the landowner and there may be costs arising from the landowner's solicitor to put these in place. The DNO will not cover any legal costs that are not theirs.


With our experience and engineering knowledge, we successfully manage various ICP projects of varying size and scale across the UK.

By trusting Rock Power Connections with your new or upgraded electrical connection, you can rely on us to deliver your engineering solution on time and on budget.

All our customers work closely with their dedicated Rock Power Connections Project Manager to develop a programme of works that fits with their engineering requirements and is flexible to their needs.

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

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