In April 2018, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) introduced new regulations allowing Distribution Network Operators (DNO's), including Electricity North West to charge customers for their 'connection offer expenses' whether they are accepted or declined. This is so DNOs can recover some of the costs incurred when producing quotes. The charges are supported by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) and aims to create a fairer allocation of costs by ensuring that customers who decline quotes also contribute to the costs of assessing their applications and producing a quote.
When applying for a connection, customers are advised of the requirement to pay for a quote, so that they can then make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the application. The charge covers costs we incur when assessing the impacts of the proposed connection on the distribution network, undertaking surveys, site visits, designing the connection, accommodation and preparing the quote.
We have not raised our charges since the introduction of the regulation in 2018. Due to significant cost increases in the last four years, the rise in quotes being declined and customers advising us they want higher upfront charges; from 1 April 2023 we changed our quotes as detailed below. Further details, including the Connection Offer Expenses balance payable on acceptance, can be found on our following web page Connections Charging Statement.