Get connected to the network in 2020

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Whether you have a large or small energy requirement for your building project, one factor remains the same: you need to get connected to the power grid. But how do you go about getting your build hooked up to the network?

Last update: November 2020


The coronavirus pandemic is likely to affect all of our personal finances. However, the UK lockdown will not affect the services we provide. Our team of experts are working hard to ensure that you make savings on your energy bill by switching suppliers. Read more about your energy supply during COVID-19 here.

Below we detail everything you need to know about how to get connected to the power grid – from a pre-application meeting right through to designing your connection.

So, if you want to get connected to the power grid when you move house, you’ve come to the right place

Different steps to get connected

The first thing that needs to happen is a pre-application meeting. National Grid Energy Transmission (NGET) is responsible for all new connections. Get in touch with them to arrange your initial pre-application meeting. They will discuss the works, costs and timelines involved in getting a connection.

If you choose to connect, then an application will need to be submitted to the Electricity Systems Operator (ESO) who will work with you to facilitate the necessary requirements.

Once you have submitted your application and paid the relevant fees your dedicated account manager will contact you to help discuss the most economical solution for your connection.

The ESO will offer ongoing maintenance throughout the life of your connection and will balance the supply and demand to ensure a quality connection.

Applying for a new connection

To take the next step and apply for your power grid connection you need to fill in an application form. This can be quite technical and complicated as there are many complex stages in the connection process. There is a guide to assist you in filling out the form plus assistance to understand the terminology and acronyms you will encounter.

Once you have completed the form, you need to submit it to the ESO, along with your application fee. Once the ESO has processed the application, they will work with the transmission owner to develop the connection.

To make sure you are ready to apply, you should make sure you have done the following:

  • Provided all the required information in the application form, including technical data for the Data Registration Code.
  • Have the application fee ready to pay.
  • Made yourself ready to comply with the Grid Code.
  • Understand the mandatory services requirements based on the size of your connection.

Getting your quotation

Between five and 15 days after your application you will be given a quote for your connection. This will depend on the size and complexity of your project. Once you have accepted your quote for the services, you need to make a payment. Ten days after this payment is received they will arrange a site visit in order to establish what needs to be done to prepare the site.

Connection site visit

The site visit helps to confirm what is required and see if any changes are necessary. The technician will draw a proposed cable route across your property and highlight any excavation work or meter cabinet placement that you need to do. They will then provide you with a signed warranty on your property, showing that it meets the regulations.

You may be required to provide parking spaces for the visiting team.

Typical cost for your quotation

Connecting to the grid involves a number of charges that you will lay throughout your connection journey. These will vary according to:

  1. The type of connection you require.
  2. The size of your connection.
  3. Where you connect.

In most cases you will be billed by the ESO. The charges include the application charge, which depends on the size of your proposed scheme. There are ongoing connection charges and other associated costs such as the balancing services of use charge and transmission network of use system.

In the UK, the average cost of a new connection to the grid is £1619. However, there may be other associated expenses you need to consider, such as excavation work, traffic management and meter installation – amongst others. These can increase the cost of any connection.

Prepare your site for construction

Once your site visit is complete and you have paid all your connection charges, it is then up to you to complete any work the connection technician has stipulated that is required. In some cases, this may involve laying cables on third party property, which means you need to get the appropriate consent. In some extreme cases when road closure and traffic management is required, this can take up to 14 weeks to secure.

Connect your new home to the network

You will need to carry out any onsite excavation either yourself or through hiring a third party to do the work for you. You may also need to install a suitable meter box for the connection.

Inheriting a supplier from the building works

In cases when you have not been responsible for the building work but are taking over a new property, you may wish to relocate the temporary builder’s supply. This is usually housed in a weatherproof enclosure on the boundary of the site rather than terminating in a meter box.

You will need to apply for a relocation of connection. The same applies if you wish to move an existing meter or when upgrading your supply.

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Want to know more on this topic? Check out these guides:


How do I apply for a new connection?

You need to fill in an application form and submit it to the ESO, along with your application fee. Once the ESO has processed the application, they will work with the transmission owner to develop the connection.

How do I get a quotation?

After you have submitted your application, you will receive a quote for the connection work after around five to 15 days. Once you have paid for this, around 10 days later a site visit will take place to establish the best way to progress.

What is the typical cost for your quotation?

There are no fixed fees as every connection is different. Charges will vary according to the level of complexity and size of connection. However, the average cost of connection in the UK is around £1619. You also need to bear in mind the costs of any additional work you need to do, such as excavation.

How long will my connection take?

The ESO tries to carry out every connection as fast as possible. However, the speed at which it can be done depends on size and complexity, as well as factors such as third party consent and road closures, which can take up to 14 weeks.


Written by eleanor

Updated on 24 Nov, 2020


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