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  • Last year we saved our CCA clients alone £25.5m

DNO Assessment & Design Fees for Connection Applications

19th March 2018

On 28th February 2018, the Government published their response to a consultation allowing distribution network operators (DNOs) to charge Assessment & Design (A&D) fees for connection applications.

Following the consultation, the decision is to allow DNOs to make a charge, irrespective of whether the subsequent connection offer is accepted.

New legislation will come into force on 6th April 2018.

It has been stated that the reason this has been put into force is due to a high number of assessments not being accepted.

Some changes have also been made to the draft Statutory Instrument to ensure that it fully covers DNO activities in processing connection applications and provides greater clarity on how DNOs must notify connection applicants of the A&D fee. Further details on the consultation outcome are available here.

DNOs have been instructed that should they decide to change how they charge A&D fees, they must seek approval from Ofgem and alert all stakeholders as soon as possible.

What does this mean for customers?

  • Prior to 6th April 2018: the customer would receive a quote once the project has commenced and a site visit may have already occurred.
  • Following 6th April: the customer will have to pay a quotation fee to the DNO before the network assessment can commence. This will be irrespective of whether the customer accepts the subsequent connection offer.

If your DNO decides to change how they charge A&D fees, they have a responsibility to let you know in a timely manner.

What are the DNOs planning?

Our expert team have been in contact with all DNOs to establish what their plans are. Although the Assessment & Design fees could be applicable from 6th April 2018; all DNO’s contacted were unable to confirm a date that they intend to implement the A&D fees. However, we will keep updating this page as soon as we get more information.

    • DNO: UK Power Networks (Area 10 – EELC, Area 12 – LOND, Area 19 – SEEB)
      UK Power Networks will be implementing changes from 23rd April 2018 in order to allocate costs more fairly, and improve the efficiency of the connection process, and will look to assess the impact of these changes on their customers.They will:
      • Request up-front Assessment & Design Charges in the Distributed Generation High Voltage (HV) & Distributed Generation Extra High Voltage (EHV) market segments.
      • Provide customers a 10-day cooling off period from the point of enquiry.
      • Where possible within the cooling off period, provide customers an indication of their A&D charge to inform their decision whether to proceed with their quotation request.
      • The amount of Assessment & Design fees that will need to be paid will depend on the complexity of the job, and UK Power Networks’ current charging methodology.UK Power Networks provided the following diagram to help explain the process:
    • DNO: Western Power Distribution (Area 11 – EMEB, Area 14 – MIDE, Area 21 – SWAE, Area 22 – SWEB)
      Western Power will be implementing changes from 1st May 2018 in order to allocate costs more fairly, and improve the efficiency of the connection process.If the proposed electricity connection requires work at 22kV and above they will charge the customer ahead of acceptance for the time they spend preparing the offer for connection. They will:
      • Invoice the customer at the same time as they issue the offer and the customer will be required to make payment within 28 days of issue.
      • Require payment even if the offer is not accepted.
      • Vary the charges according to the complexity of the job based upon the requested capacity and the type of assets required to enable the connection.
      • They will also vary the charges according to whether the customer requires an offer for WPD to undertake all the works or just an offer for WPD to undertake only the non-contestable works, leaving the customer to employ an independent connection provider to undertake the rest.

 

    • DNO: Scottish Power Energy Networks (Area 13 – MANW, Area 18 – SPOW)
      Notification will be given prior to any charges being received. More details will be published shortly.

 

    • DNO: Northern Powergrid (Northeast) (Area 15 – NEEB, Area 23 – YELG)
      Northern Powergrid will introduce charges from the 6 April 2018 go-live date for firm quotations and budget offers in order to allocate costs more fairly, and improve the efficiency of the connection process.Northern Powergrid will inform the applicant in writing (first notice) if they required to pay Assessment & Design fees prior to the expenses being incurred. Expenses will be incurred where Northern Powergrid:
      • assess the impacts of the connection on the distribution system;
      • assess the impacts of the connection on a transmission system;
      • design the connection, including, in particular:
      – designing any reinforcement works required to add capacity to the distribution system;
      – designing any reinforcement works required to add capacity to a transmission system;
      – designing any required extension of the distribution system;
      – designing any required extension of a transmission system – processing the application including, but not limited to, preparing the information to be included in the notice given under S16A(5) of the ActNorthern Powergrid will then submit the second notice at the same time the quote is issued. This will specify the payment required, giving enough information for the customer to understand how the fee has been calculated. Details for making payment will also be provided.The amount of Assessment & Design fees that will need to be paid will depend on the complexity of the job, and Norther Powergrid’s current charging methodology

 

    • DNO: Electricity North West (Area 16 – NORW)
      Electricity Northwest will introduce charges from the 6 April 2018 go-live date for firm quotations and budget offers in order to allocate costs more fairly, and improve the efficiency of the connection process.
      Whether the connection offer is accepted or not, Electricity Northwest will be charging for:
      • EHV offers (demand & generation) from April 2018
      • LV & HV offers (demand & generation) form a later date
      • Re-quotes including interactivity re-quotes
      • Cancellations (after Cooling Off Period)
      • Gen+ initial assessmentsElectricity Northwest provided the following diagram to help explain the process:
    • DNO: SSE (Area 17 – HYDE, Area 20 – SOUT)
      Whenever a chargeable job is raised, SSE are able to apply a fee for a quote, although a commencement date has not been circulated yet. More details will be published shortly.

 

Please keep checking back for updates.