Electricity Connections FAQ
As a leading UK multi-utility provider, we provide meter installations and energy connections for new business premises, housing developers and self builds. To help simplify the process, we’ve put together a complete guide to help you understand what’s involved in getting an electricity connection.
- Who is involved in a new electricity connection?
- Who is my electricity supplier?
- How long does getting an electrical connection take?
- What’s involved in getting an electricity connection?
- How much does an electricity connection cost?
- Which electricity connection service do you require?
- Can my electrical service cross my neighbour’s land?
- Where can I position an electricity meter?
- If I carry out the excavation work/dig the trench, how deep does it need to be?
Who is involved in a new electricity connection?
There are different services which have to be consulted and coordinated to make sure your electricity comes on for when you need it. It can be a minefield knowing who is required for what service, making getting connected on time difficult.
At Crown Energy, your account manager will contact all of the relevant statutory bodies on your behalf and talk you through the whole process. We’re here to make electricity connections simple.
Who is my electricity supplier?
Your electricity supplier is the company you choose to buy your electricity from and who you pay your bills to. You can work out who your supplier is from the Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) or supply number found on your electricity bill. It’s a 13-digit number that is uniquely used to identify every electricity supply point in the UK.
To find out who your electricity supplier is, call Crown Energy on 0161 549 8454 and we’ll be able to help.
How long does getting an electrical connection take?
Keeping within timescales
At Crown Energy, the average time to get a quote is 2-4 weeks and 6-12 weeks for works to be completed. It can take longer if:
- Our contractors aren’t available in the area within the timescales
- The job needs any traffic management (if the new connection is coming from the opposite side of a road)
- Emergencies within the customer’s area take priority
- Reinforcements in the network to accommodate the new load
- Delayed payment from customer or signed acceptance
What’s involved in getting an electricity connection?
Streamlining the process
From the initial phone call, you’ll be assigned an account manager who will look after your project from the outset. This streamlines the whole process and eradicates the need for you to contact numerous companies.
Once you’ve discussed your required works with your newly assigned account manager, they will ask you to send over a simple drawing/plan of your property to show the proposed development and the location of the meter.
You don’t need to be a designer, but the better the drawing and map, the better our understanding of your project, the more accurate your quote will be and the smoother the application will go.
We require a site plan to show the layout of the property along with a clearly marked proposed meter position and a visible boundary marked. This is to identify the location of the site where the connections are required. Please also include at least two street names.
A bird’s eye view on Google Maps will do the trick. Just enter your postcode and site address and magnify the scale so it shows 20m in the bottom right-hand corner. Make sure you clearly mark your site and the meter positions so we know where the works are required.
In the majority of cases, a clear and concise site plan will eradicate the need for a site visit as it enables us to accurately determine what work is required. But in some cases, a site visit is still required.
We will visit your site to determine exactly what’s required. We will confirm the cable route and any other requirements e.g. the location of the network cable access hole (join bay) if on your property and any further hazards that could hinder safety.
If you’re carrying out your own excavations, we can provide you with a copy of the planned cable route.
How much does an electricity connection cost?
Keeping within budget
The cost of a connection can vary significantly, depending on what’s involved. Once you’ve sent over your application and drawing, we’ll send you a comprehensive quote with a full breakdown. Your account manager will be available to answer any questions you may have.
Factors which may affect the price:
- Traffic management – you may have to pay a local authority fee if a nearby road needs digging
- Excavation work – you have the option to dig your own land to keep costs to a minimum
- If you need a new meter cabinet installing
Which electricity connection service do you require?
We will lay a power service cable from the main network cable to your meter box – the type of cable depends on your requirements.
A domestic connection is usually a single-phase, 100 amp with a neutral supply.
A larger connection usually requires a 3-phase 100-amp cable with a neutral supply.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what this is – your account manager will discuss this with you. But in the meantime, here are a few more things to consider.
An electricity meter move normally has to be carried out by your electricity provider but we can help arrange this. Depending on where the meter needs to be moved, you may need a new supply cable or an extension to the existing cable.
You’ll need a supply upgrade if you need more power. We will need to determine whether your existing cable is suitable and if the local network has the capacity. You may need a larger cable fitting.
Temporary builder’s supply
We can arrange for temporary electricity supply to be brought onsite to assist in construction.
Although it’s similar to a new connection, the supply is housed in a temporary weatherproof enclosure on the boundary of your site, rather than terminating in a new meter box. The supply is brought in the same way as a new connection (from the main to the proposed meter point).
If required, once the building is complete, you can relocate the supply to a new position at the property to serve as the new connection. This is called a temporary to a permanent connection. Or, you can have it disconnected later down the line.
Electrical connection methods
An electrical connection is what is needed to serve the power to the meter which in turn, powers the property. A property can be served power via different connection methods: underground, overhead and looped.
What is an underground connection?
The service/wire is brought through the ground in purpose-built trenches, fed to the meter and then covered back over (backfilled) with soil to keep things underground.
The connection on the other end of the meter is connected to the main service in an area under the public footpath/carriageway to provide the power.
What is an overhead connection?
The service/wire is brought into the property via a service pole, taking the service up from the ground to the pole up, over to a connection point at the property and fed into the property from above.
This type of connection is not that popular anymore in new builds, but most older properties have an overhead service connection.
What is a looped connection?
What happens if you share an electricity supply with another property? When two properties share a single electricity service cabled, this is a ‘looped service’. These are often found in terraced or semi-detached houses. The service will enter into a property via premises 1 and be looped into premises 2. Everything else is the same as an overhead or underground connection.
What is a single-phase connection?
A single-phase connection is a single wire that connects a property with a standard amount of energy. A standard domestic property may never need more than a single-phase connection as this can supply more than enough energy for all your needs.
What is a 3-phase connection?
A 3-phase connection is, as its name suggests, three single-phase connections wrapped up in one connection to supply higher demands of power. This can be for properties that require sudden surges of electricity (large amounts of energy) to get things working in a property, such as electric gates and stairlifts.
Can my electrical service cross my neighbour’s land?
It’s best if you can plan a route that does not involve another property as this is the simplest option. If not feasible, they will need to grant permission. Speak to them about this in plenty of time and include their contact details on your site plan so we can contact them for permission too before setting a date.
Where can I position an electricity meter?
You’ll need to have a think about whether you would like an external or internal meter box. Most new properties are built to include a meter box that allows meter readings and maintenance works can be carried out easily with minimal or no disruption caused.
- A meter box must be located on the external side of a wall where it’s reachable from the front of the property and is unlikely to become damaged. It must not open out onto a footpath
- If a meter box is not used, there must be enough space for the equipment to be fitted; 600mm x 400mm is recommended
- It must be easily accessible and ideally between 0.5m and 1.0m above floor level and on/or adjacent to an external wall
- It must be near enough to the point where the service cable enters your property
If I carry out the excavation work/dig the trench, how deep does it need to be?
The trench needs to be 530mm deep and 300mm wide. Remember, you can only dig trenches on your own land.
To find out how we can help you with your electricity connection requirements, get in touch today on 0161 549 8454 to speak to one of our electricity experts.