On 1 April 1995 the Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER) now the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM), brought about Competition in Electricity Connections. With this introduction of competition customers now have the option to seek competitive quotations for some of the works required to make a new connection to the electricity distribution system. The work involved in providing new connections can be split into two categories. The first category is Non-Contestable work. These works can only be undertaken by the host Distribution Network Operator (DNO). The second category is Contestable work. These works may only be undertaken by an accredited Independent Connections Provider (ICP) who must be registered with Lloyds register to carry out such works.
Non–contestable works: To be undertaken by the host DNO
• Provision of equipment and material specifications
• Design and determination of Point of Connection (POC)
• Network reinforcement upstream of POC
• Work within boundary of any site controlled by the DNO
• Final connection to DNO system
• Installation inspection
Contestable Works: To be Undertaken by a Lloyds registered ICP
• Design of connection from POC to customers site
• Procurement of cables, switchgear, transformers required to make the connection
• Excavation of connection route and cable installation from POC to customers site or Installation of overhead lines from POC to customers site
• Construction/installation of the required electricity substations
• Commissioning of the installed connection assets
• As installed records of the connection assets
For connections provided under competition in connections each host DNO has a connection process to ensure that connections are made to the required standards and within timeframes specified by the regulator. The following connection process is typical of what is required to enable a customer to be connected.
1) Apply for Point of Connection (POC) and Non-contestable charges.
In order for the host DNO to provide a Point of connection to their existing distribution system a site plan of the development and the required loadings of the proposed buildings or generation capacity will be required. This information should then be sent off as an application to the host DNO. Smith Brothers Contracting can assist in this process and submit the application on your behalf.
2) Offer of POC and Non contestable charges made by DNO
The DNO will provide a POC and non contestable charges. These should be received within the time frames set out by OFGEM as follows.
Simple connection – 5 Days
Complex connection – 30 Days
Complicated connection – 50 Days
The Non contestable charges are calculated as per the DNOs condition 4 charging methodology statement.
3) Contestable works quotation
From the Point of connection information provided Smith Brothers Contracting will prepare a quotation for the Contestable works associated with the connection. The sum of the non-contestable and contestable works then gives you the total connection cost.
4) Place order for Contestable works
On placement of an order for the contestable works Smith Brothers Contracting will prepare a connection design for approval by the DNO.
5) Accept Non-contestable Costs
The connection offer from the DNO is accepted and the charges paid.
6) Design approval by DNO
Once the Non contestable charges have been paid the DNO will approve the connection design provided by Smith Brothers Contracting. They are obliged to do this with 10 days of submission.
Whether an industrial, commercial premises or a generation scheme Smith Brothers Contracting are able to provide a competitive grid connection offer. Our team of engineers manage the entire connection process from initial application, design, construction and commissioning through to final adoption and energisation.
As an independent connection provider (ICP) Smith Brothers Contracting have been assessed and accredited nationally by Lloyds register to carry out the following infrastructure works:
• Electrical Design
• Project management
• Civil Engineering Works (including design, construction, excavation, cable laying and reinstatement)
• Cable laying (LV, 11kV, 33kV, 66kV)
• Cable jointing (LV Dead, LV Live,11kV, 33kV, 66kV)
• Substation installation (11kV, 33kV, 66kV)
• Overhead Wooden Pole (LV, 11kV, 33kV)
• Overhead Steel Tower (11kV, 33kV)
• HV Cable Networks (11kV, 33kV, 66kV)
Smith Brothers Contracting are approved and accredited to provide grid connections in all areas of the UK.