Frequently Asked Questions

ICP FAQs2023-06-04T16:02:42+01:00
Can renewable energy sources be integrated into electrical substations?2024-02-19T04:00:17+00:00

Yes, modern electrical substations are designed to accommodate renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Integration involves advanced technologies to manage the variable output of these sources and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient power grid.

How do substations contribute to grid reliability?2024-02-19T03:59:56+00:00

Electrical substations enhance grid reliability by regulating voltage, managing power flow, and providing a means to isolate faulty sections. They play a critical role in minimizing downtime, preventing blackouts, and ensuring a continuous and stable power supply.

What safety measures are in place for electrical substations?2024-02-21T15:44:49+00:00

Safety measures for electrical substations security include perimeter fencing, warning signs, restricted access, and protective equipment for personnel. Emergency response plans and protocols are also established to handle unforeseen incidents and ensure the safety of workers and the public.

How are electrical substations maintained?2024-02-19T03:59:19+00:00

Regular maintenance includes testing and inspection of equipment, cleaning, lubrication, and ensuring the integrity of structural components. Preventive maintenance is crucial to identify and address potential issues before they lead to system failures.

How are electrical substations classified?2024-02-19T03:59:00+00:00

Electrical substations are classified based on their function and role in the power grid. Common types include step-up substations (near power plants), step-down substations (closer to consumers), distribution substations, and switching substations.

What are the key components of an electrical substation?2024-02-19T03:58:38+00:00

Typical components include transformers, circuit breakers, busbars, isolators, and control equipment. These work together to regulate voltage, protect the system from faults, and control the flow of electricity within the substation.

What are the requirements for EV charger installation in the UK?2024-01-08T04:38:32+00:00

Requirements for EV charger installation in the UK include obtaining necessary permits, ensuring compliance with local regulations, connecting to the grid, and meeting safety standards. Additionally, factors such as accessibility upgrades and amenities may be considered.

How much does it cost to install a 7kW charger in the UK?2024-01-08T04:36:38+00:00

The cost to install a 7kW charger in the UK can vary, including equipment, labour, and site preparation. As a rough estimate, installation costs for a 7kW charger may range from £5,000 to £15,000.

Do I need permission to install an EV charger in the UK?2024-01-08T04:36:04+00:00

Yes, you typically need permission and must obtain permits and approvals from local authorities in the UK to install an EV charger. Compliance with local regulations and standards is essential.

How much does it cost to install a commercial EV charging station in the UK?2024-01-08T04:34:10+00:00

The cost of installing a commercial EV charging station in the UK can vary based on factors such as equipment type, site requirements, and additional features. On average, costs can range from £20,000 to £100,000 or more per station.

What is the cost of a EV charger station in the UK?2024-02-26T09:40:40+00:00

The cost per charging port is influenced by the type of charging station, its power capacity, additional features, installation requirements, and any associated infrastructure upgrades. As of January 2022, here is a general estimate:

  1. Basic Level 2 Charging Station: For a basic Level 2 charging station (AC charger) without advanced features, the cost per charging port might range from £1,000 to £3,000.
  2. Fast Charging Station (DC Charger): The cost per charging port for a fast charging station (DC charger) with higher power capacity could range from £5,000 to £15,000 or more.

It’s important to note that these are rough estimates, and the actual cost can vary based on the specific characteristics of the charging station and the project requirements.

What is Contestable Costs in the Electricity Industry?2023-10-31T20:15:20+00:00

Contestable costs in the electricity industry refer to expenses or expenditures associated with elements of a project or service that are open to competition among multiple providers or contractors. These costs can vary depending on the specific project or context and often include expenses related to design, construction, installation, maintenance, and other services that can be offered by different companies through competitive bidding processes.

For example, in a large electrical infrastructure project, contestable costs might encompass expenses related to the design and installation of substations, power cables, or metering systems. By allowing multiple companies to bid for and provide these services, contestable costs aim to encourage cost-efficiency and innovation in the industry. This competitive approach can potentially result in cost savings and improved service quality for consumers.

How can companies participate in contestable works in the electricity industry?2023-10-31T20:15:20+00:00

Companies interested in participating in contestable works can typically do so by bidding on projects when opportunities are made available. They must meet certain qualifications and adhere to industry standards and regulations to ensure they are eligible to compete for these projects.

Are there regulations governing contestable works in electricity?2023-10-31T20:14:58+00:00

Yes, there are regulations and guidelines that govern contestable works in electricity. These regulations aim to ensure fair competition, safety, and quality standards. They help maintain a balance between competition and the need for reliable and secure electricity supply.

How does contestable works benefit consumers?2024-02-12T16:33:34+00:00

Contestable works can benefit consumers by introducing competition into the electricity industry, which can lead to lower costs, improved service quality, and innovation. When multiple companies can provide services, they have an incentive to be efficient and offer competitive prices.

Read more about Contestable Works Benefits >>

What are examples of contestable works in electricity?2023-10-31T20:14:50+00:00

Contestable works in electricity can include tasks like substation design, cable installation, metering, and even customer connections. These are activities where multiple companies can bid or compete to provide services, creating opportunities for cost savings and innovation.

What is perfectly contestable?2023-10-31T20:14:49+00:00

Perfectly contestable refers to a theoretical state in which any part of the electricity industry, including design and infrastructure, can be provided competitively, with no barriers to entry or exit. In reality, such a state is rarely achieved due to practical limitations and regulatory constraints, but it serves as a benchmark for promoting competition and efficiency in the industry.

What is non-contestable?2023-10-31T20:14:47+00:00

Non-contestable elements in electricity projects are those aspects that are typically retained by a regulated or monopoly provider and cannot be open to competition. These may include core infrastructure components like the main power grid or distribution networks that are considered essential services and are not subject to competitive bidding.

What does contestable design mean?2023-10-31T20:14:42+00:00

Contestable design refers to the part of an electrical project that can be designed, planned, and implemented by multiple parties, often through competitive bidding. This approach encourages efficiency and cost-effectiveness by allowing different contractors to propose design solutions, fostering competition and innovation in the design phase of electrical projects.

What does contestable mean in electricity?2023-10-31T20:14:39+00:00

Contestable in the context of electricity refers to aspects of electrical infrastructure and services that can be provided by multiple parties or contractors, rather than being monopolized by a single entity. These contestable works allow for competition in the industry, potentially leading to cost savings and improved services for consumers.

Is AIS Utilities familiar with utility regulations and compliance?2023-07-26T03:48:11+01:00

AIS Utilities stays up-to-date with utility regulations and ensures that businesses adhere to all relevant compliance requirements.

Can AIS Utilities assist in adopting renewable energy solutions?2023-07-26T03:48:00+01:00

Yes, AIS Utilities actively promotes adopting renewable energy solutions and can guide businesses in transitioning to sustainable energy sources.

Does AIS Utilities offer long-term utility planning?2023-07-26T03:47:43+01:00

Absolutely! AIS Utilities provides comprehensive utility planning considering both short-term gains and long-term sustainability.

How can AIS Utilities help in reducing overall utility expenses?2023-07-26T03:47:31+01:00

AIS Utilities employs cost-effective strategies such as renegotiating contracts and identifying energy-saving opportunities to reduce utility expenses.

Can utility consultants like AIS Utilities handle utility management for large-scale industries?2023-07-26T03:47:15+01:00

Yes, AIS Utilities has extensive experience managing utility needs for businesses of all sizes, including large-scale industries.

Can an ICP handle connection projects in remote or challenging locations?2023-07-25T20:49:26+01:00

Yes, ICPs are experienced in managing connection projects in various environments, including remote or rugged areas. They have the expertise to navigate potential obstacles and find suitable solutions to connect your property to the electricity or gas grid, regardless of location.

Are ICPs responsible for obtaining necessary permits and permissions for the connection?2023-07-25T20:49:33+01:00

Part of an ICP’s role is managing the connection process’s administrative aspects. This includes getting the required permits, licenses, and permissions from local authorities, DNOs, and other relevant parties. They will handle the necessary paperwork and ensure compliance with all regulatory requirements.

What are the typical costs of using an ICP for a connection project?2023-07-25T20:49:36+01:00

The prices can vary depending on the specific requirements of your project. Requesting a detailed quotation from an ICP outlining the design, installation, and connection charges is best. Comparing quotes from multiple ICPs can help you assess the cost-effectiveness of their services and choose the most suitable provider for your budget.

Can an ICP assist with both residential and commercial connection projects?2023-07-25T20:49:40+01:00

Yes, ICPs typically offer services for connection projects, including residential and commercial properties. Whether you need a new electricity or gas supply for your home, office, retail space, or industrial facility, an ICP can provide the necessary expertise and support.

How long does the connection process with an ICP usually take?2023-07-25T20:49:43+01:00

The duration of the connection process can vary depending on factors such as the project’s complexity, site conditions, and the necessary approvals. However, ICPs often offer faster connection times than the traditional DNO route, aiming to expedite the process and minimize potential delays.

Are Independent Connection Providers regulated?2023-07-25T20:49:49+01:00

Independent Connection Providers operate under regulations and industry standards to ensure the connection infrastructure’s safety, reliability, and compliance. They must adhere to guidelines set by regulatory bodies and collaborate with DNOs and energy suppliers to meet all requirements.

How do I choose the right Independent Connection Provider for my project?2023-07-25T20:49:57+01:00

When selecting an ICP, consider their experience, reputation, track record, customer reviews, pricing, and the range of services they offer. Finding an ICP that aligns with your specific project requirements and provides a high level of professionalism and expertise is essential.

Can I use an ICP for my connection or go through the DNO?2023-07-25T20:50:04+01:00

While it is not mandatory to use an ICP, choosing to work with one offers advantages such as faster connection times and potential cost savings. It provides an alternative to the traditional DNO route, allowing you to explore other options and benefit from specialized services.

How does using an ICP benefit me as a consumer or business owner?2023-07-25T20:50:10+01:00

Engaging an ICP provides several benefits, including faster connection times, cost-effectiveness, specialized expertise, flexibility in choosing a provider, and tailored solutions to your specific connection needs.

What is the role of an Independent Connection Provider (ICP)?2023-07-25T20:50:17+01:00

An ICP is a specialist intermediary between energy suppliers, distribution network operators (DNOs), and consumers. They are responsible for designing, installing, and connecting electricity and gas infrastructure, offering an alternative to using the DNO for new connections.

What is NAV?2023-12-09T02:04:01+00:00

NAV stands for “New Appointments and Variations.” It refers to a system where developers utilise the water network for larger projects.

What is a National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS ) Independent Connection Providers (ICP)?2022-11-24T22:45:33+00:00

They are authorized to build electricity networks on behalf of clients to an industry-approved standard and quality.

What are Independent Connection Providers (ICP)?2022-11-24T22:45:29+00:00

They are authorized to build electricity networks on behalf of clients to an industry-approved standard and quality.

What is an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO)?2022-11-24T22:45:25+00:00

IDNOs are licenced businesses that can construct new electrical networks.

What is a Distribution Network Operator (DNO)?2022-11-24T22:45:20+00:00

In Great Britain, Ofgem issues distribution network operators licences to provide electricity from the transmission grid to homes and businesses.

There Are a Lot of Industry Acronyms but What Do They Mean?2023-10-20T13:11:57+01:00
AMR Automatic Meter Reading: A device that allows for your energy consumption to be measured remotely.
AQ Annual Quantity: Refers to the anticipated usage for a particular meter or site across a period of 1 year.
ASC Available Supply Capacity: Also known as the Agreed Capacity, this is an agreed amount of electrical load for a property, as stated in the property’s Connection Agreement with the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO).
CT Metering Current Transformer Metering: A demand over 69 KVA will warrant CT Metering.
CT Ratio The ratio of a current transformer refers to the turns ratio of the windings. It is necessary to provide this to the Meter Operator should CT metering be required at your development.
DA Data Aggregator: The agent appointed to carry out the aggregation of metering data received from the Data Collector.
DC Data Collector: The agent appointed to retrieve, validate and process metering data.
DNO Distribution Network Operator: Companies that are responsible for operating the networks that connect electricity consumers to the national transmission system.
EAC Estimated Annual Consumption: Projection of the amount of energy your property will use in a year.
GSP Grid Supply Point: The point at which energy is taken from the National Grid transmission system into a
local distribution system.
HH Meter Half Hourly Meter: Half hourly metering gives you accurate information about how much energy you’re
using and is mandatory for all businesses with a supply greater than 100kW.
HHD Half Hourly Data: A record of the energy used in every half-hour period of every day.
ICP Independent Connection Provider: Independent contractor authorised to carry out contestable works on behalf of the host network.
IDNO Independent Distribution Network Operator: Develop, operate and maintain local electricity distribution networks. IDNO networks are directly connected to the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) networks or indirectly to the DNO via another IDNO.
IGT Independent Gas Transporter: Independent Gas Transporters (IGTs) develop, operate and maintain local gas transportation networks. IGT networks are directly connected to the Gas Distribution Network (GDN) via a Connected System Entry Point or indirectly to the GDN via another IGT.
KVA Kilovolt Ampere: Unit of measurement for electricity available capacity and in some cases maximum demand.
KWH Kilowatt / Hour: A standard unit of electrical power equal to 1,000 watts. Kilowatts are the units used to measure Maximum Demand. Kilowatt hour is a unit of energy consumed.
LP/MP/IP Low pressure / Medium Pressure / Intermediate Pressure
Low pressure gas mains operate at approximately 30mbar and up to pressures of 75mbar.
Medium pressure gas mains operate between 75 mbar and 2bar.
Intermediate pressure gas mains operate between 2 and 7 bar.
LV/MV/HV Low Voltage / Medium Voltage / High Voltage
High Voltage networks transport large amounts of power within a particular region and are operated either as interconnected systems or discrete groups. Below the transmission system there can be two or three distribution voltage levels to cater for the variety of customers and their demands. In general, the medium voltage and low voltage networks are operated as radial systems. HV networks are supplied from EHV or HV substations. Medium voltage networks are supplied by HV / MV transforming substations situated around each HV network. The vast majority of customers are connected at low voltage and supplied via the associated networks.
MAM Meter Asset Manager: The MAM installs and maintains gas meters, and manages the industry data flows.
MD Max Demand: Peak demand of electricity from the grid.
MOP Meter Operator: The organisation appointed to install and maintain electricity metering equipment.
MPAN Meter Point Administration Number: A Meter Point Administration Number, also known as MPAN, Supply Number or S-Number, is a 21-digit reference used in Great Britain to uniquely identify electricity supply points.
MPRN Meter Point Reference Number: A unique reference given to each of the gas supplies to your property. This can be found on your gas bill.
MSN Meter Serial Number: The number stamped on the front of your gas or electricity meter. This changes when meters are exchanged.
NHH Non-Half Hourly: Supplies under 100kVA tend to be Non Half-Hourly (NHH) metered, using standard meters that are read manually, or meters that feature Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology.
NTS National Transmission System: National Grid’s high pressure gas network.
OFGEM Office of Gas and Electricity Markets: A government body formed in 1999 by the merger of the separate regulatory bodies for gas and electricity; its functions are to promote competition and protect consumers’ interests.
UIP Utility Infrastructure Providers or UIPs design and construct gas (and other) infrastructure, on behalf of their customer, for National Grid and other Independent Gas Transporters (iGTs) to adopt for the remainder of its lifetime.
What Are the Benefits of Performing a Feasibility Study?2022-10-26T22:49:39+01:00

For a development project to run as smoothly as possible, good planning is essential. It is important to establish what infrastructure already exists on the development site to determine early on whether reinforcement is likely to be required. For more complex schemes, a feasibility study can be utilised to assess connection options and provide indicative costs for the contestable and non-contestable work elements.

It is important that the scope of the study and its deliverables are agreed from the outset. Naturally, the information provided is not binding on the host utility at the planning stage and the value of the information is only as good as its interpretation. The information should be used as a guide and not as a shortcut to acquire an offer that is binding on the appropriate provider.

Why Is Establishing the Correct Load Requirements So Important?2022-10-26T22:47:26+01:00

There is a common tendency among contractors to ‘play it safe’ when it comes to estimating the load requirements for a development project. This could have a detrimental effect on the budget, resulting in unnecessary costs for reinforcement of the network where realistically it may not be required. Add to this the additional expense that will be incurred through increased metering costs and standing charges, then it becomes clear why it is vital to establish the correct load requirements from the outset.

In cases where the load is underestimated, the developer’s critical path may be substantially impacted should the additional load require reinforcement works. It should also be noted that revising a quotation based on newly established loads can take just as long, if not longer than the original quotation to be issued owing to the dynamic nature of the network, their workload commitments and their need to treat all applicants fairly and equitably.

Who is my Local Operator?2022-10-26T22:40:44+01:00


A map of british electricity distribution.

Source: Energy Networks Association

Eastern England UK Power Networks 0800 029 4280
East Midlands Western Power Distribution 0121 623 9007
London UK Power Networks 0800 029 4280
Merseyside and Northern Wales Scottish Power 0845 270 0783
West Midlands Western Power Distribution 0121 623 9007
North-Eastern England Northern Power Grid 0800 011 3433
North-Western England Electricity North-West 0800 988 1730
Northern Scotland SSE Networks 0800 048 3515
Southern Scotland Scottish Power 0845 270 0785
South-Eastern England UK Power Networks 0800 029 4280
Southern England SSE Networks 0800 048 3516
Southern Wales Western Power Distribution 0179 278 4509
South-Western England Western Power Distribution 0120 889 2288
Yorkshire Northern Power Grid 0800 011 3433
Independent Distribution – Network Operators Phone Number
GTC Independent Power Networks 01359 243360
ESP ESP Electricity 01372 587500
Energetics Global Utilities Connections (Electric) Ltd 03300 587400
GTC The Electricity Network Company Ltd 01359 243360
EDF IDNO UK Power Networks (IDNO) Ltd 0845 366 3664


British gas distribution map powerpoint template.

Source: Energy Networks Association

London Cadent Gas 0800 0745 788
Midlands Cadent Gas 0800 0745 788
North-Eastern England Northern Gas Networks 0800 040 7766
North-Western England Cadent Gas 0800 0745 788
Scotland SGN 0800 912 1700
Southern England SGN 0800 912 1700
South-Western England Wales and West Utilities 0800 0726 814
Wales Wales and West Utilities 0800 0726 814


A map of england with blue areas.

Source: Energy Networks Association

What are Contestable and Non-Contestable Works?2023-10-31T15:06:01+00:00

Non-Contestable Works can only be undertaken by the host network. This includes aspects such as establishing the Point of Connection and obtaining design approval for the works.

Contestable elements are not monopolised by the host network and can either be carried out by an approved contractor, such as AIS Utilities, or the Network Operator.


Contestable Works include but are not limited to:

  • The design for the network extension and any contestable reinforcement of the existing network.
  • The procurement and provision of equipment and materials to the DNO’s current specification.
  • Trenching and other preparation of the site, including the circuit routes between the development and the point of connection.
  • Construction of the network extension and any contestable reinforcement and diversions.
  • Recording of work done and of the location of cable routes and other equipment on site or elsewhere, and the provision of this information to the DNO

  • Reinstatement (both temporary, if appropriate and permanent) of the site, including the circuit routes.

Non-Contestable Works include:

  • Approval of contestable designs for new connections and contestable reinforcements
  • Determining the Point of Connection to the distribution system.
  • Agreeing and obtaining any suitable Legal Consents that may be required.
  • Operation, repair and maintenance of the electrical plant and the electric lines.
  • Carrying out of any works for the purpose of reinforcing the distribution system where the conditions for such activity being contestable work are not met.
  • Removal or repositioning of existing electrical plant and electric lines.


Competition in the gas connections market has developed rapidly since its inception and therefore developers are not limited by non-contestable services. In fact, independent gas transporters have a near 50% market share.

Generally, the only service that can be deemed non contestable is defining the Connected System Exit Point.


The water connections market is currently monopolised by the network in your local area. Although some services can be defined as Contestable, generally developers are restricted in regards to improving timescales and costs under the current system.

Through exploiting competition in connections, you may be able to benefit from an improved level of service, a reduction in the cost of the works and faster timescales. AIS UTILITIES have an experienced team who will be able to guide you through the process, tendering your requirements to a vast array of approved contractors in order to achieve the best value for your project. Our Supplier Relations team are constantly evaluating and updating the contractors we use to ensure you receive a quality service and the most cost-effective quotes available.

What are the benefits of working with AIS UTILITIES?2022-11-25T00:05:06+00:00

Given the problems and complexity of organising new connections for major projects, alongside the traditional frustrations associated with dealing directly with the utility networks, it makes sense for contractors to turn to a company that specialises in liaising with different utilities.

AIS UTILITIES offers a complete solution for all your utility needs. We can be trusted to handle every aspect of the works for you, offering a more coordinated ‘one stop’ service for the provision of new utility connections. We can assist with everything from the original feasibility study, disconnections, diversions, temporary building supplies, permanent connections, metering and the procurement of suitable energy contracts. Through our partner companies, we can even help to optimise your existing energy set up.

We aim to provide a solution to the most common problems encountered within the industry:

  • Consistent, clear communication. There is nothing more frustrating than slow response times especially when faced with issues and potential delays. We aim to keep you fully informed and engaged throughout the project and will ensure your questions and concerns are answered promptly by an appropriate representative with authority to make decisions.
  • Cost transparency. Clients dealing directly with the networks often do not know exactly what they are paying for. We will ensure you only pay for precisely what you need while helping you to achieve improved payment terms where possible.
  • Reduced Paperwork. AIS UTILITIES have simplified the application process, removing the need for large volumes of paperwork. We make things simple to ensure you get the application right first time without incurring unnecessary delays.

Our experience and expertise can prove invaluable providing a greater understanding of timescales, processes, terminology, legal and regulatory requirements as well as the best ways of utilising the growing competition within the industry.

We understand your requirements, we understand your frustrations and we get the job done.

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