Electricity Connections. Simplified.

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Electricity distribution

An IDNO is an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO) who can build, own, and operate licensed electricity networks throughout the UK.

By being an OFGEM licensed IDNO, Eclipse Power Networks can enter into an Adoption Agreement with Developers, Contractors and ICPs and provide a financial contribution (Asset Value Contribution) for the adoption of the network assets.

Eclipse Power Networks would then operate and maintain the new network under our license obligations for the lifetime of the assets.

A Distribution Network Operator (DNO):

  • Licensed by OFGEM
  • Distributes electricity from the national grid to homes and businesses
  • Work in specific geographical areas in the UK

You can find out who your network operator is by visiting the ENA website – https://www.energynetworks.org/operating-the-networks/whos-my-network-operator 

  • ICPs
  • Developers
  • Consultants
  • Contractors
  • Electric Vehicle Providers
  • Residential, Commercial, and Industrial projects
  • Storage projects looking to connect at High Voltage (HV) and 132kV to either the DNO network or National Grid
  • Battery Storage projects
  • Embedded Generation projects
  • Data Centres and Industrial Buildings (Warehouses for example)
  • Projects being developed within a variety of industries such as Healthcare, Property and Transport

An IDNO is a Independent Distribution Network Operator who are licensed companies who design, own, operate and maintain electricity networks in the UK.

A DNO is a Distribution Network Operator who are licensed companies who can distribute electricity in specific geographical areas throughout the UK.

Both are licensed by OFGEM (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets).

IDNO’s connect to the local distribution network or to the transmission network to serve new developments and are ultimately responsible for maintainin.

DNOs distribute electricity from the transmission grid for a large geographical area, whereas IDNOs distribute electricity from either DNOs, or the transmission network, to smaller local areas. Both DNOs and IDNOs are responsible for connection line faults and maintenance.

A standard grid connection for a project

UK grid connections split into two parts

  1. Contestable Works – Can be carried out by an ICP or the local DNO
  2. Non Contestable Works – can be carried out by the local DNO only

Following completion of electricity network – it must be adopted by either the DNO or a licensed IDNO (such as Eclipse Power Networks)

Power cuts

You may be concerned at this time about the food in your fridge and freezer. Food should keep for between 4-6 hours in the fridge and 15-24 hours in the freezer if you can avoid opening it.
  • Keep our phone numbers handy, 0800 0548 192 and we can help.
  • We urge customers who need extra support during a power cut to register for our Priority Services Register
  • Keep a torch with spare batteries. Take care if using candles
  • Keep a phone with a cord, as cordless phones don’t work in a power cut
  • It’s especially important if you are unwell, less mobile or very young to keep warm. Dress warmly with layers, a hat and gloves and have blankets to hand, so you can keep warm until the power is back on. You can also reduce the heat loss by closing doors on unused rooms and closing your curtains.
If the person is also connected to our network, then we can offer extra assistance to those that need it. Please call us on 0800 0548 192 and we can help.

Our electricity network is designed in such a way that properties in the same street are often supplied by different electricity cables. This means that the electricity line that supplies your property could be faulty, but the line that supplies your neighbour’s property is fine.

We will need to individually visit and assess the site to enables our engineers to identify the reason for the power cut and before replacement equipment can be ordered and repair work can then start.

Using a generator isn’t always the simplest solution. We need the same qualified engineers to install a generator as we do to fix a fault and we would rather permanently fix the problem.

We follow standards set by the industry regulator Ofgem. This involves making payments if we do not meet set guidelines. Please see Guaranteed Standards of Performance for Electricity Distribution Companies under General Downloads.

When you have invested a lot of time and money in fish and equipment, we want to help you look after them during a power cut. Here are some tips:

  • During a power cut the temperature of the water in your tank will drop gradually. This speed depends on the surrounding temperature and the volume of water inside the tank, i.e. a larger volume of water will take longer to cool down than a smaller volume of water
  • For insulation, wrap the tank in blankets. If possible, fill hot water bottles with warm water and place them around the outside of the tank
  • Without power, the water will lose oxygen gradually. Fish suppliers recommend a cheap bubble-up filter that can run off a battery-powered air pump. If you don’t have one, then a normal bicycle pump will do the job
  • Fish suppliers recommend disturbing the water surface for five minutes each hour during a power cut. A good way is to fill a jug with tank water then pour it back in, making as much movement as possible.

If your mobile phone is running low on battery then here are a few tips to extend your battery life.
1. Use the extra power saving mode if you have it
2. Cut apps running in the background
3. Turn down screen brightness
4. Top up your battery in your car if you have a car charger

Solar panels, or photovoltaic panels, are designed to collect sunlight and turn it into energy. Although they don’t rely on the electricity network, if there’s a power cut, solar panels will stop operating for safety.

If we need to switch off your power, we’ll give you as much notice as possible, unless it’s an emergency situation. 

We’ll send you an advanced warning before we carry out the work. Our letters are sometimes dismissed as junk mail. If you didn’t receive a letter please give us a call and we can check our records to ensure we have the correct information for you.

Sometimes we may need to enter your property, but don’t worry we’ll send you a letter before letting you know. This is because we may need to check a piece of equipment called a cut-out and a plug socket to make sure electricity is running safely into your property. This is called a ‘polarity check’. We will need to carry out a check in the morning, before we switch off the power and carry out another check when we turn the power back on.

We usually provide generators for customers who are medically dependent on electricity. However, we recognise that there may be other situations where a generator is required. For example weddings or funerals.

BNO installations

Eclipse Power Networks are seeing an increase in clients approaching us asking for information and guidance on the requirements of a Building Network Operator (BNO) and their responsibilities. Here is an overview of what a BNO is and some detailed information we are being asked regularly. If you require a BNO or would like any more information on a BNO’s responsibilities, please get in touch.

The official definition according to the ENA ER G87 [1] is:

“The organisation that owns or operates the electricity distribution network within a multiple occupancy building, between the intake position and customers installations (i.e. their fuse board).

The BNO may be the DNO, another licensed distributor or a third-party exempt from holding an electricity distribution license (e.g. a facilities management company).”

BNO’s are exempt from any registration requirements within the Electricity Order 2001. They require a distribution license unless they fulfil the requirements of an EDNO (The distribution of less than 2.5MW load or generation less than 10MW)

A simple example of when a BNO is required is for a property which is split into more than one home (multi occupancy building), such as an apartment block.

A multi occupancy building is defined as:

“Any single building that has been sub-divided into more than one premise, for example, flats or factories that have been broken up into smaller industrial units, mixed use developments etc.”

The BNO could be an electricity license holder such as:

  • An IDNO (Independent Distribution Network Operator)
  • The DNO (Distribution Network Operator)
  • The Building Owner / Landlord
  • The Facilities Management company
  • The Developer / Company in control of a building’s infrastructure

A BNO can appoint a third party to act as the network operator on their behalf.

In essence, the BNO is responsible for the design, installation, and maintenance of electrical installations past the intake point. If there is a fault or an issue with the cables and associated infrastructure, it is the BNOs responsibility to resolve it at their cost.

The term BNO is most often used when referring to mixed use developments and/or apartments where there are multiple, individually metered supplies to the same building.

  • Mixed Use Developments (Commercial & Residential)
  • Commercial Developments (Multiple retailers/businesses)
  • Residential Apartment Developments

If you are converting/redeveloping an existing building into multiple units or building a new development, you may find the following information regarding BNOs useful.’

When considering how your electrical connection is going to be configured, there are a few options available to you:

  • A Bulk-metered supply:
    • Sub-meters for each individual supply (apartment/commercial)
    • Responsibility falls to the Landlord or Building Owner to meter and bill each premises
  • Individually metered supplies:
    • Each apartment/commercial unit has their own individual meter
    • These could be in a communal area or within each premise

It is worth noting that not all DNOs will install an individually metered supply, so this is something to consider. Some will only offer a bulk metered supply which leaves you (as the BNO) the responsibility to install the remainder of the network.

Example 1: New electrical supply for a mixed-use development

In the offer from the relevant DNO, they offer multiple MPANS so each can have an individually metered supply. BUT the DNO does not undertake works beyond the main intake.

Example 2: Converting a commercial property which has an existing supply

There may be an existing bulk metered supply on site and potentially a DNO owned substation.

In the offer from the relevant DNO, they offer multiple MPANS to repurpose the existing supply for your apartments/retail units etc. BUT the DNO does not undertake works beyond the main intake.

In these situations, you would need an alternative contractor (either an ICP or IDNO) to install and adopt between the intake and the meter and this will be known as a BNO installation.

There are typically three parties involved in a BNO arrangement, with each owner being responsible for their network equipment:

  • DNO / IDNO – Owned or Adopted Network

The electrical connection from the distribution network to the intake at the building, including substations for a HV connection will be adopted by the DNO/IDNO

For a new building, the DNO/IDNO responsibility ends at the customer side of the intake, be it a main fuse supply, the feeder way on an LV board or the cable end box of a HV or EHV supply.

The connection from the intake to the individual meter points (often grouped in a basement or within riser cupboards)  may also be adopted by the DNO or IDNO if they adopt your network as a fully licenced network having legal title of all electrical assets up to the meter point. This solution also dictates the need to use a NERS acrreditade ICP to install the licenced network as a design and build solution.

  • BNO – Owns everything beyond the DNO/IDNO point EXCEPT any meters embedded within the BNO network or attached to DNO/IDNO equipment. This becomes a licence exempt network and as such can be designed and installed using any competent contractors to BS:7671

These act as islands of ownership within each network. The BNO has the additional responsibility of the building and the infrastructure of the building. Cabling from the contractor switch to the property will be owned by the householder/premises owner.

  • Meter Operator (MOP) – Owns the meters embedded within the BNO Network
  • Electricity Supplier –. Each individual metered consumer has freedom of choice for their Energy Supplier

The DNO, a licensed IDNO such as Eclipse Power or an ICP can provide a new electrical connection for the project.

Any work undertaken past the intake to provide individual supplies can be completed by an electrician who is registered with NICEIC. However, it is best to ensure the contractor has relevant experience and therefore it may be easier to have one contractor to undertake both areas of work..

As an IDNO, we can adopt the network for the project and therefore take full responsibility of the electrical connection and assume the role as the BNO.

We work closely with ICPs and NICEIC contractors to ensure the full design and installation from the distribution network to the individual metered supplies is completed successfully.

Upon energisation, we can adopt the BNO installation and offer an Asset Value to own and adopt the networks. This is not something which the DNO can offer. Once we own the network, we take full responsibility of the maintenance of the connection going forward. This would include any repairs if required.

If you are unsure about your connection offer from the DNO and would like some advice about whether it is providing you with what you need, please get in touch.

Eclipse Power Networks are happy to assist and discuss your project in more detail.

We have vast experience in BNO installations in terms of design, as well as adopting the electrical network.

PHONE – +44 (0) 1234 486487 | EMAIL – enquiries@eclipsepower.co.uk | WEB – www.eclipsepower.co.uk/contact-us