Connecting to the Grid When Renovating Your New Home
Most of the time, when you move into a new home, there will already be a connection to the national grid. You’ll be able to switch on the lights and access energy from the power outlets. However, when carrying out major renovations on a property (or repurposing a non-residential property like a barn or granary), you may find that the property does not have a connection to the national grid.
Here we’ll look at how to set up a new connection to the grid when renovating your new home.
Can you manage your own connection to the national grid?
No. Connecting to the grid is an extremely dangerous undertaking. As the energy experts at Papernest will tell you, it’s also illegal to set up a connection to the national grid by yourself. In this post, we’ll walk you through the steps necessary to connect to the grid and how to do it as cost-efficiently as possible.
Can we help you connect to the grid?
Yes and no. We, and other NICEIC approved electric contractors can handle some aspects of your connection. However, there are some aspects of the job that must be done by your area’s Distribution Network Operator (DNO). While National Grid PLC owns the grid itself, these are the companies responsible for managing, maintaining and upgrading the grid in your region. They also manage new connections.
You need to submit an application to your area’s DNO in order to get a quote to set up a connection to the grid.
You can request for your quote to be broken up into ‘contestable’ and ‘non-contestable’ work. Non-contestable work can only be carried out by your DNO. However, contestable work can be carried out by us or another registered electrician in your area.
How much does it cost to connect to the grid?
According to Papernest, the average cost of a new connection is just over £1,600. This varies a great deal depending on the property, its location, its surroundings and where you want to position your meter. However, you may be able to save money by getting a local electrician to handle some of the work, and by digging some of the trenches for laying cables yourself.
How long does it take to connect to the grid?
Upon contacting your DNO, you will receive a site inspection within 5-15 days. After this, you will be provided with a quote. After making payment, it typically takes around 6 weeks to get your connection set up.
I want to install solar panels on my new property. Do I still need to connect to the grid?
Most likely, yes. While solar arrays can be a great way to supplement your energy from the grid renewably, they are rarely capable of sustaining your lifestyle on their own. Energy generated by your solar panels needs to be used straight away, unless you install a storage battery system. Even with batteries, it’s likely that you’ll need to rely on some energy from the grid.
Fortunately, through the Smart Export Guarantee, you can sell the unused energy you generated back to your supplier, further offsetting your energy costs.