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Contestable vs non contestable

Contestable vs non contestable

When you apply for a new connection, there are some elements of work that can only be carried out by us. These are typically referred to as non-contestable activities.

There may also be some activities that can be carried out by Independent Connection Providers (ICP). These are typically referred to as contestable activities. 

Recently an industry code of practice has enabled some specific non-contestable activities to be carried out by ICPs. Activities that are included in this third category are outlined below.

Contestable work: works that can be carried out by an accredited contractor
The following work may be carried out by us or by an accredited contractor on the customer’s behalf and in accordance with our specifications:

  • the design for the network extension and any contestable reinforcement of the existing network
  • the procurement and provision of equipment and materials to our current specification for the extension
  • trenching and other preparations 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 us.
  • reinstatement (both temporary and permanent, if appropriate) of the site, including the circuit routes
  • making provision for the installation of metering equipment
  • legal consents.

Where an accredited ICP undertakes ‘contestable’ work, ownership of the new network may be transferred to us, subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement to adopt. For a list of accredited contractors working in your area, please see the NERS Register.

Non-contestable work: works that must be carried out by us

For reasons of safety, and to enable us to comply with the Electricity Act 1989; to develop and maintain an efficient, co-ordinated and economical system of electricity supply, some activities must be completed by us, Electricity North West:

  • processing the customer’s application and adoption of equipment
  • Connection of the extension reinforced or diverted equipment to the distribution system and their energisation
  • 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
  • planning, designing, specifying and carrying out any works associated with the diversion of distribution equipment where the conditions for such activity being contestable work are not met
  • removal or repositioning of existing electrical equipment and electric cables
  • Agreeing and obtaining any suitable legal consent that we require
  • operation, repair and maintenance of the electrical equipment and the electric cables
  • inspection, monitoring and testing of any contestable work.

For more information on these activities, including relevant charges for work, please refer to the statement of methodology and changes for connection to our network.

Non-contestable works open to competition: activities recently opened to competition

The following work is technically non-contestable, however it has been made competitive under the competition in connections code of practice. This means that you can now ask accredited contractors to carry out these works.

  • Determining the point of connection to the distribution system
  • Approval of contestable designs for new connections and contestable reinforcements.

For more information read the competition in connections code of practice.