Understanding Contestable and Non-Contestable Works in the UK Utilities Sector
There are two categories of work when providing new utility connections: “contestable works” and “non-contestable works.” But what do they mean?
Non-contestable work can only be undertaken by the host Distribution Network Operator (DNO). There are certain types of reinforcement works that could affect the operation of DNO networks, and due to the sensitivity and potential impact, the DNO will only complete these works themselves.
Non-Contestable Works include:
- Approval of contestable designs associated with the new connection and contestable reinforcements.
- Determining the Point of Connection to the distribution system.
- Agreeing and obtaining any relevant Legal Consent that may be required.
- The operation, repair and maintenance of the electrical plant and the electric lines.
- Carrying out any works to reinforce the distribution system where the conditions for such activity being contestable work still need to be met.
- Removal or repositioning of existing electrical plant and electric lines.
- The administrative costs of network adoption
Contestable works are not monopolised by the host network and may be undertaken by an accredited Independent Connections Provider (ICP) or an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO). Contestable works may include the installation of cables, substations and other plant associated with the new connection. OFGEM encourages competition in areas where it can make a positive difference for customers to enable access, for customers connecting to the network, to fairer prices and better service.
Contestable Works include but are not limited to:
- The design for the electricity network extension and any contestable work reinforcement of the existing network.
- The procurement and provision of equipment and materials to the DNO’s current specification.
- Trenching and other site preparation, including the circuit routes between the development and the point of connection.
- Construction of the network extension and any contestable work 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.
- Establish a final connection to the existing distribution network on occasion.
- Some existing network diversions.
There are no set boundaries between contestable and non-contestable works, they will differ from job to job, however, Connections2energy manages both the contestable and non-contestable elements of a new connection to create a complete connection solution.