New electricity and gas connection in your new build home
Need to set up a new gas and electricity connection for your new build property? Building your own home can be stressful. While infinitely more rewarding than buying a ready-made home, it comes with its fair share of headaches and sleepless nights.
We’ve created this guide on getting a new electricity connection and a new gas connection so it’s one less stress. After all, we know you’re dying to get back to the more glamorous tasks of designing and decorating.
If your new home is being built through a contractor, it is likely that they will handle the organisation and correspondence with the gas distributor or electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO). If your contractor is not handling this process, you could either beg them to, or follow this simple step by step guide...
Need to set up a new electricity connection?
You should look at organising your new electricity connection as soon as you own the plot and planning permission looks likely. As we are discussing new builds, we will assume that you are building the property through your own means or using a contractor.
It is advisable to arrange a temporary electric supply because you will probably need this for equipment and tools during the construction process. Generators and hand tools are useful, but will only get you so far.
Once you have completed your build, this connection can also be re-routed into your house as a domestic connection. The first step is to arrange a temporary connection within the boundaries of your construction site.
Step 1 - Contact your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO)
To receive your new electricity connection, you need to first establish a connection by contacting your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO). You will need to apply for a quote for a new connection.
The UK is divided into regions, whereby different DNO companies are responsible for electricity in their area. Below are the areas and relevant contact numbers for each DNO.
|North Scotland||SSE Power Distribution||0345 026 2658|
|Central and Southern Scotland||SP Energy Networks||0330 1010 444|
|North East England||Northern Powergrid||0800 66 88 77|
|North West England||Electricity North West||0800 195 4141|
|Yorkshire||Northern Powergrid||0800 375 675|
|Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales & North Shropshire||SP Energy Networks||0330 1010 444|
|East Midlands, West Midlands, South Wales & South West England||Western Power Distribution||0800 096 3080|
|Eastern England||UK Power Networks||0800 029 4285|
|Southern England||SSE Power Distribution||0345 026 2658|
|London||UK Power Networks||0800 029 4285|
|South East England||UK Power Networks||0800 029 4285|
|Northern Ireland||Northern Ireland Electricity||03457 643 643|
While it is impossible to say how much your connection will be, it can be a very expensive exercise. There are many factors which determine the exact cost and you should get your quote as soon as possible, to help you budget. Furthermore, work will not start until you have paid in full and you don’t want to delay the rest of your building project, so this is a very important step.
Once you get your quote you will also be provided with the name of the person in charge of your project. They will be your main contact and will often help with the transition from distribution to getting your electricity supply.
Considerations when setting up a new electricity connection
We’ve already mentioned that the cost of setting up a new electricity connection varies. There are a number of important factors to consider that will impact the time and money needed to complete the project:
- Where the mains are - If the mains run overhead the DNO will usually supply a new pole on your property, where the electricity will come down and then move underground. This is cheaper than the other option, which involves digging underground. As you can imagine, the costs are much higher if you need to dig under a road etc. However, this is sometimes the only option.
- If you need a wayleave - If the distribution company has to cross private land or land owned by public bodies (i.e. Network Rail) you will need a wayleave. The company cannot start any work until you have the wayleave agreed and paid for in full.
Step 2 - Contact an electricity supply company
A supply company will fit your meter. If you’re installing a temporary supply, they will install a meter that is connected to a temporary unit within the box. Either way, you need a supply company as they will be charging you for your electricity consumption. Without them, the first step doesn’t actually give you access to the electricity supply your distributor has set up.
You should think carefully about where your meter will go. They need to be accessible but hidden away, if possible. They are not the most attractive of additions to your home and may be best situated to the side of your house.
You will probably want to consider your meter cabinet at this stage. This will hide any unsightly wires and cables away with the meter box, inside the cabinet. Meter cabinets should also have special properties which help insulate and protect your meter box and equipment.
You will need to provide the supplier with your electricity Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN).
Need to set up a new gas connection?
Many homeowners want gas on their property as it is generally the cheaper energy option for heating and hot water. If you will be relying on gas as well as electricity, getting your gas connected takes between four and six weeks. While this is faster than the average electricity connection, this is dependent on a range of factors (see our section on ‘considerations’ below).
Because the distributors don’t actually own, meter or sell any gas, this should be followed by finding a supplier that best meets your gas requirements. We will explain both steps in more detail below.
Step 1 - Contact your local gas distributor
In order to have a new gas connection fitted, you first need to contact the gas distribution network that services your locality.
The following are handy to know before calling the gas distributor:
- Find out how far away the gas mains are - This price could change dramatically the further away your house is to the mains because the distributor might have to add extra piping, or re-route the pipes to connect you to the main gas supply.
- Estimate your level of consumption - Gas is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh) and you should have a heating engineer that will determine your peak supply need. You can then pass this information on to the distributor. This is especially important because you will need either a standard domestic meter or a bespoke quote for estimates that go above the cut-off point.
You should get in touch with the relevant gas distributor according to your region. Here is the list of distributors to help you start the connection process:
|North West, West Midlands, East Midlands, East Anglia & North London||National Grid||0800 001 4340|
|Scotland, South England & South London||SGN||0800 912 1700|
|Wales & South-West England||Wales and West Utilities||0800 912 2999|
|Northern England||Northern Gas Networks||0800 040 7766|
Considerations when setting up a new gas connection
The cost of setting up your new gas connection will depend on a number of variables. Here are some of the key factors that can impact the cost and time you will need to spend:
- The number of metres the mains are from your house. If they’re under 20 metres away, this will be cheaper. The cost will increase the further away the mains are. Also, once the mains have been found, the contractor will have to determine the condition of the piping. If the pipes are aged and not in good condition, the payment could fall on you to deal with any delays or setbacks needed to bring the condition of the mains piping up to scratch.
- You need to be aware that if the mains are on a neighbouring property, you will need an access permit to carry out any works. Also, the possibility of making a connection on a busy road and any resulting road closures can be very costly and time-consuming.
Word of adviceMake sure that your gas pipes and appliances are installed by a ‘gas safe’ registered engineer.
Step 2 - Contact a gas supply company
When you’re ready to use your gas supply, you need to choose a gas provider. They will be responsible for connecting your meter and sending you your bills.
Everyone has different needs when it comes to energy. The important questions to consider when choosing a gas provider are:
- How much gas are you (and your family) likely to use?
- Are you the kind of person that wants predictable rates each month?
- What’s your driving factor when choosing a tariff - price or customer service and reputation?
You will need to provide the supplier with your gas Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN).
Don't accept the first price: electricity and gas connection
When you receive your quote from your distributor, you don’t have to accept it. If you think it’s too high, ask the electricity DNO or gas distributor for a breakdown of the quote.
Parts of the quote could be more expensive if there is additional work to be carried out by contractors. This is called ‘contestable work’. Review the work that is needed and search for your own quote for these works, to reduce the price. If you find a cheaper price, the work will need to be inspected by the distributor to verify the labour done.
We hope you feel ready to tackle this important step after reading this guide. Don’t worry, we’re always here to help. If you have any questions or are ready for some quotes, call us on 01704 325069!