Distribution Network Operator
Frequently asked questions
These FAQs have been compiled from Salix webinars. The slides for these can be downloaded below.
Capacity and MPAN number
You can request your current capacity from your DNO or energy provider, by sharing the MPAN number of your connection.
You can also find your capacity on your electricity bill under “Assigned capacity”. The value is expressed in kVa (Kilo-volt-amperes).
If you don’t know your MPAN number, your electricity supplier can provide it to you through your client number.
Network usage data such as network availability heat maps, which can indicate where network capacity already exists, can be found on the respective DNOs open data portal.
We would advise to call your supplier first. The DNO can come out to your site to tell you this information but there will be a charge for this. The roll out of smart metering should help with this.
Network usage data such as the substation utilisation and operational metering, which can indicate the utilisation of the distribution network, can be found on the respective DNOs open data portal.
Yes, for any load the DNO should be notified. This is for any heat pump no matter the size even if you think you have capacity. This is because heat pumps can be disturbing loads (harmonic effects).
Note, for PSDS projects, it is a grant condition to ensure you have notified your DNO.
Yes, you will need to let your DNO know if you want to install EV charging points. They will need to check if there is capacity in the area for the amount of charging points you're wanting to install.
This is the maximum demand and agreed capacity you have within your supply contract, and future demand calculated by your installer or electrician. This will give you any headroom that you have and the DNO will check this along with any harmonic effects of the heat pump. The DNO will then approve or quote for any upgrade. You cannot just fill up any spare capacity or headroom with heat pumps as the motors they have affect the network and will need to be assessed.
There is constantly a queue of people waiting for capacity, so as soon as you give capacity back it will go to the next person in the queue. This means if you want to re-apply for capacity previously given up you will need to apply again and join the queue.
The DNO will ask for all harmonic and flicker data that can be provided so that they can analyse harmonics that cause the most disturbance.
We understand that applicants contact the DNO at different stages of their journey. If you don’t yet have all the information to request a formal quotation, we recommend you request a “Surgery” meeting via your DNO website. Those meetings are specifically designed to support your project's further development, identify any challenges your future connection might have to mitigate risks and inform you of the grid capacity before the design is completed.
Alternatively, you can ask for a budget estimate of an assumed figure of kVa increment. Whilst this is still a valuable tool, we discourage you from basing your budget on its outcomes because, as it is an estimate, conditions can change by quite far until you have a firm quotation.
We recommend you book a “surgery” meeting with your DNO that can address the magnitude of the works involved in your proposed design and help you identify design changes that could mitigate unsustainable costs, when possible.
We always recommend that you keep your DNO aware of any issues that can delay the electrification of your site.
Any changes in your project should also be shared with your DNO.
Should the delay be on the DNO side and quoted works remain unchanged, there is no risk for the already paid works to change value.
If a full works quote is requested, you can choose to accept and move forwards with either both contestable/ non-contestable works, or only the non-contestable works. If you accept only the non-contestable works you must employ a 3rd party to complete the contestable element – Any changes to the works accepted would require a requote.
This is not mandated, however if you cannot evidence that you have engaged with the DNO at application stage, this will be added as a condition to your funding. We recommend that you obtain a quotation from the DNO for any upgrade works needed as soon as possible to avoid delays to your project completion. DNO costs can be included in your application, so it is beneficial to have a good idea of costs when you apply.
DSO (Distribution System Operation) means that network operators look at managing the network at a local level with more control over local supply and demand. This can help to bring more low carbon flexibility services onto the network, reduce the need for reinforcement leading to lower bills, and avoid disruption by increasing performance in local networks. Distribution System Operation transition – Energy Networks Association (ENA)
We always recommend that you keep your DNO aware of any changes in your project. Therefore, if you plan to install a different equipment than quoted, please make the DNO aware on time, so they can assess if any changes are needed for the connection.
Due to increased demand, there are long lead times in some areas where demand is outstripping capacity. Your local DNO will be able to provide you with more information.
Network data is becoming more accessible via the DNOs Open Data Porta, allowing to identify where this is network constraints.
DNOs are regulated by Ofgem which means there are strict guidelines on this. If design hasn’t been delivered then you should contact the design team responsible.
Yes, the updated capacity requirement will be taken into consideration but the obligation to inform your DNO of the assets installed remains. Although you may not require an increased power connection, you will need to complete a generation connection form (please see useful links) to your DNO. Those are commonly called G98 or G99 form.
G98 and G99 specifically refer to different kinds of protection settings regulations that generator or storage assets must comply with to connect to the network. The protection settings are an important fail-safe mechanism that protects both the network and the asset from potential faults. So, it is important that you still get in contact with your DNO.
DNO organisations are quite similar. They all provide a quotation for power increase costs; they all require a G98 or G99 forms for microgeneration and they all require to be informed about any asset installed.
We invite you to visit your DNO website and navigate through the available tools.
Non-Contestable works must be done by your DNO, Contestable works can be carried out by either the DNO or an IDNO.
Correct, they are. You can ask your DNO to provide you with a list, or you might find a link in your quotation (near the contestable and non-contestable works).
As mentioned in the question, the interactivity scenario is mentioned in the DNO Offer, and usually, a link to find out what happens is shared in the quote.
Interactivity means that a request from any other customer for connections to the same part of your Distribution System has been received after your quotation has been issued.
We want to remind you that, until the quoted costs are paid and the quotation accepted, the capacity requested and quoted is not yours and you are now running against time and competition to get it.
If your quotation has interactivity then the validity period will be 30days. The DNO will inform others in the load queue that they are now subject to interactivity.
SSEN New electricity supplies: New electricity supplies - SSEN
SSEN Electrical Vehicle Guide: ssen-electric-vehicle-guide.pdf
SSEN: Generation connection: Generation Connections - SSEN
Distribution Energy Networks Association: Distribution System Operation transition – Energy Networks Association (ENA)