Power On pioneers radical ‘self-connection’ scheme

A Leicestershire-based company is pioneering radical changes to the electricity distribution market resulting in greater choice, faster connections and reduced costs for construction managers.

Power On Connections, the UK’s leading Independent Connections Provider (ICP) for electrical infrastructure to large commercial, industrial and residential developments, has conducted an innovative pilot scheme that eliminates the need for the regional electricity company, or Distribution Network Operator (DNO), to complete the final connection and power up the site.

‘Self-connection’ allows ICPs to locate and make the point of connection for electrical infrastructure, meaning developers and main contractors only have to work with one company from start to finish, thereby avoiding length delays to site schedules and unnecessary paperwork. Power On trialled this scheme on a development in Burnley, Lancashire, completing a low voltage metered live-jointing self-connection. By working closely with the DNO, Electricity North West (ENW), to ensure the connection went smoothly; Power On replaced a large feeder pillar with an unobtrusive link box before completing a live breech joint and live pot end.

The pilot was independently monitored and assessed by Lloyd’s Register, the electricity industry’s auditor, and Power On has become the first ICP in the UK to be accredited to carry out self-connection works in the ENW region. Subsequently, Power On has also gained accreditation in the Northern Power Grid (NEDL and YEDL) region and is undertaking trials with other DNOs for both low and high voltage self-connection.

“Allowing ICPs to conduct self-connection works helps to address the imbalance in the electricity market and increase competition with regional DNOs, a target outlined in the Ofgem 2010 Connections Industry Review,” explains Paul Ragg, operations manager at Power On Connections.

“Power On has always strived to be at the forefront of the industry and the ENW pilot scheme demonstrates our determination to continually improve service and flexibility whilst also reducing time and costs. We are pleased to be formally accredited for the ENW and Northern Power Grid regions and will continue to trial similar schemes across the country so that self-connection can become standard practice.” Paul concluded.