Distribution Network Operator

Distribution Network Operator

Working with your Distribution Network Operator?

There are 14 Distribution Network Operators across Great Britain. These are the licensed companies that own and operate the network of towers, transformers, cables, and meters that carry electricity from the national transmission system and distribute it across Britain. 

The Distribution Network Operators acts as a gatekeeper to the national transmission grid, distributing energy from the grid to homes and businesses.  

Heat pumps are a key solution for decarbonising buildings and will be critical for meeting the UK’s commitment to achieve net zero by 2050. However, as heat pumps can significantly increase the electricity usage at a site or disturb the quality of the voltage, the Distribution Network Operator for that site needs to ensure that it can manage the demand of the new pump being installed before granting permission for connection.  

This page aims to provide Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme Applicants with best practice information. Our guidance is designed to help you get your heat pump connected to your local electricity network. 

Change in capacity

Why would I need to upgrade or reduce my electricity supply?

You may need to upgrade your supply if you’re making changes to your property, like installing a piece of electrical equipment that will increase the electricity demand. You may also need to decrease your supply if you have removed a large piece of equipment from your property. For more information see the Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks. 

It is important to always engage with your Distribution Network Operator when embarking on a decarbonisation project as they will be able to tell you whether any additional upgrade works are required. 

Once you have submitted an application to your Distribution Network Operator, they will be able to provide you with a ‘Connection offer’ and quotation of works needed, or an ‘Ok to connect’. 

Upgrading your supply

Before you start

Remember to engage early with your Distribution Network Operator as timescales to receive a quotation can vary. Where possible it is advisable to request a quotation rather than estimate.  Maintain communication with the Salix project manager assigned to your project; should you have any further issues, please contact your relationship manager. Your Salix relationship manager is assigned to you at the beginning of your project and will help guide you through your decarbonisation journey.

What the Distribution Network Operator will need from you:
  • Your contact details.
  • The MPAN number of the property you would like to increase or decrease. You can ask for this number from your energy supplier.
  • The meter serial number.
  • The full address of the site.
  • The total current load at the property. This means the capacity already available at the address you are asking for. If unsure about the available capacity, you can ask your energy supplier.
  • The total load you will need. This value represents the total capacity needed after the upgrade; you might get this value from your technical solution supplier or consultant.  
  • A letter of authority if you do not own the land.
  • A drawing or a plan showing the location of the electricity meter within the property.

Submitting your request

Each Distribution Network Operator has a page to submit your application on their website. You may need to register for this. 

From the menu of the Distribution Network Operators website, look for the electricity area and select “Change an existing supply” or, in case of a new building that never had an energy connection, please select “Install something new”.  

Complete your request form and submit it to the address on the form. You should receive a confirmation of submission within 48 hours of your submission. 

What is important to know:  

Be accurate when writing contact details, make sure that the email address and phone number in your details are active and used regularly.

Site address:

If your project is taking place at a single site, use the site address. If your project includes a series of locations, to avoid any confusion, make sure that you have a conversation with your Distribution Network Operators customer service to address what is the best way to submit your request.


Please be very clear that your request is Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme related so that the Distribution Network Operators team can give the right priority to your question.

Type of quotation:

We recommend asking for a formal quotation; however, you will need to be very clear on how much capacity you need and where. Any quotation is not guaranteed until payment is made to the Distribution Network Operator.

In addition to the guidance above, if you feel it would be beneficial to talk to Salix to understand our funding programmes better, please contact us.


Distribution Network Operator webinar 

On 12 July 2023 we invited guest speakers Kyle Smith, Connections Strategy Engineer at National Grid and Austen Toone, Lead Relationship Manager at Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks to share the following: 

  • What the Distribution Network Operator is and why it is relevant to your Public Sector Decarbonisation project. 
  • How grant recipients can successfully deliver projects involving the Distribution Network Operator. 
  • Best practice. 

View the Frequently asked questions for Distribution Network Operators