We have aplot of land and are moving to detailed planning permission ready to build early next year (hopefully.
We have applied for a new power supply via the regional infrastructure supplier Western Power Distribution.
Having taken some 3 months to respond to our request for a price they have now come back and told us that we have to pay 12% of a new transformer and 100% of other costs as the supply in the area is insufficient. They are now saying the cost of providing the supply is over £10,000. Surely the infrastructure is their business, they pay for it, manage it etc and then pass on a connection cost to us. Their overhead cost (which seems to be around £9000) seems excessive and a bit of a try-on given they are a monopoly (who only made £250M profit last year!).
Are they within their rights to make us pay for the infrastructure uplift they need to do? It is not like we are building on a mountainside or private island, just along a road front. Existing power lines run within 3 metres of the property.
We've had a similar question sent to us via email last month and I believe the answer applies to this case, too.
It can be frustrating to get an expensive quote from the supplier to carry out installation, particularly given that your neighbours are already connected.
In this case our advice would be to get in touch with energy regulator Ofgem and take it from there.
You will need to make a formal complaint with the supplier to give them opportunity to resolve the issue. If you are not satisfied with their answer – or received no communication in eight weeks – then you can move forward and file a complaint with the Energy Ombudsman. (https://www.ombudsman-services.org/sectors/energy)
You can also get in touch with Citizens Advice at any stage of your complaint to ask for guidance. (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/)
We hope this helps and that you'd find a prompt solution to this issue.
Sofia Delgado, Build It's assistant editor