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Connection Offer Expenses
On the 6 April 2018, we made an important change to the way we charge customers for the costs associated with preparing budget estimates, feasibility studies and connection offers, making the process fairer for all involved.
Previously, and irrespective of the complexity or number of applications made, the costs associated with the production of budget estimates, feasibility studies and connection offers were not charged directly to the individual making the request. These costs were recovered from those customers who accepted a connection offer and then proceeded with their work. This approach led to increasing volumes of speculative applications, resulting in DNOs incurring costs and spending significant periods of time on work, which did not proceed
When applying for a new connection, customers will be advised of the requirement to pay a fee prior to them deciding to proceed so they can make an informed decision before we commence the work. When we have completed our work preparing the budget estimate, feasibility study or connection offer, we will send an invoice to the applicant for the associated Connection Offer Expenses incurred.
Engaging with our Stakeholders - Open letter on Introducing connection offer expenes
We made a commitment as part of the Incentive on Connections Engagement (ICE) process to continue to support the national consultation on Connection Offer Expenses, keep our customers informed about the outcomes and revise our policies and practices as necessary. We have taken every opportunity to engage with customers on this topic at industry and stakeholder events throughout the course of the year and on 6 April 2018 we published an open letter on the introduction of Connection Offer Expenses.
Guide to our charges for Connection Offer Expenses
When applying for a new connection, customers will be advised of the requirement to pay a fee prior to them deciding to proceed so they can make an informed decision before we commence the work. When we complete our work and provide the budget estimate, feasibility study or connection offer, we will send an invoice for the associated Connection Offer Expenses incurred. Further information on the costs of preparing the estimate or connection offer can be found in our Guide to Charges for Connection Offer Expenses.
How are the charges calculated
The charges have been calculated as being the reasonable cost we incur in doing the following activities at each voltage level:
1. Identifying the most appropriate point on the Distribution System at which the Connection can be made and determining the assets that are required to make that Connection;
2. Assessing whether the Connection and/or the required capacity may have an impact on the Distribution System and/or on a transmission system and whether any reinforcement of the Distribution System is required; and
3. The engineering and administrative time required to process your application and to design the specific technical solution and offer terms for the Connection, including any discussions with you in respect of your requirements.
Information on cancellations and subsequent offers
If you cancel your application during the “cooling off” period, you will not be charged.
If you cancel your application after the “cooling off” period, you will be charged for the expenses we have incurred and you will be advised of the amount of the charge in our letter confirming the cancellation. A separate invoice will be issued.
Subsequent requests where your requirements are exactly the same will incur a charge of 75% of the full fee. Where there are differences in your requirements or if the technical proposal or costs have changed you will be charged in full.
Charges for multiple options on single sites
You will be charged for each application that you make.
Where the additional application is for exactly the same request (e.g. site location, meter positions and electrical requirements etc.) the customer will be required to pay 75% of the full fee for each additional application.
Charges for ICPs and IDNOs
The charges have been set to reflect the reasonable costs we incur from reviewing the scope of works required to prepare each quotation.
If an application is exactly the same as one we have received and quoted previously, the customer will only be required to pay 75% of the fee.