New electricity supply

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There are times when you need a new electricity supply, for instance to a new build property, or new or additional meters, for instance when splitting a property into seperate units, such as flats or a shop with seperate flat over. The process of getting new supplies can be confusing, fiddly and tortuous, especially if you only ever do it once in your electricianing career. Here are some notes from the new supplies I have just had installed.

Electricity Distributor

Firstly, the supply supplier is a different entity to the electricity supplier. That is, the organisation that will run a cable into your property is a different organisation to those that send electricity over that cable. Prior to privatisation the distributor was part of the supplier. You'd contact YEB to supply you with a supply, and then YEB would supply you with electricity.

You will need to contact your local electricity distributor. Look in the telephone book under 'Electricity'. In Yorkshire and the North East it is NEDL/YEDL (Northern and Yorkshire Distribution Limited).

Tell them you need a new metered supply, or need additional metered supplies. They will need a brief description of what you need supplying and will send you a form to fill out. The most important consideration is whether you will be using electric space heating or not. With electric space heating you will need a 100A rated supply, without you will gat a 60A rated supply.

After returning the form you will be sent an invoice. You need to pay for the work before it's done. Typically, about 600 pounds per supply.

Number of supplies

If you need one or two supplies they will most likely install a single-phase supply and one or two supply heads. For more than two supplies they will install a three-phase supply with appropriate number of supply heads. As an example, I have had a landlord supply and supplies for two flats, so was provided with a three-phase supply head.

Location of supply head

In most urban locations the distribution cable is under the pavement or road outside the building at a depth of about 500mm-600mm. Consequently, the distribution company and the regulations require the supply cable to be ducted through the building wall at 500mm-600mm below surface level. The supply head will be installed within a few feet of the point of entry. The supply cannot be routed through a property that is physically isolated from the property being supplied. In orther words, the cable cannot be routed through your neighbour's cellar to get to yours, unless your cellar and your neighbours' are the same cellar.

You have to arrange the hole in your wall, the distribution company will dig to it. You have to supply a length of ducting to go through that hole. For a single supply this will be a what's called in the trade a "hockey stick" due to it's appearance. It's a length of ducting about 1m long with a 90 degree bend about 300mm from one end. These cost about 15 pounds.

The distribution company only supply the supply head. The meter, the connection between the supply head and the meter and the meter and the consumer's supply point are provided by the electricity supplier.

Electricity Supplier

You need to select an electricity supplier. These are the people with the familiar names such as nPower, eON, EDF, Atlantic, etc.

When you pay the Electricity Distributor and book an installation date they will send you your MPAC - Meter Point Access Code (prolly wrong, will check paperwork) - numbers. You need these numbers so the Electricity Supplier can create the supply accounts and register the meters. Most will give you an email address or fax number that you can send the details through to so you can be getting on with something else. For each supply they need the MPAC number, the supplied address, the billing address and the person to contact, which initially will be you.

Once you've got your Distributor installation date booked, contact the supplier of you choice. The easiest way is to phone the number at the top of a bill and go for an option that is nearest to "I done not current get electricity from X and would like to".

Now that's as far as I've got, as YEDL are digging up my pavement tomorrow morning, so I'll complete this when the meters arrive ;)