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Starting a self build in the next few weeks and have just received my quote for electricity connection, take a seat before the reveal- £25000 , this is apparently because the pole situated in our ground has no capacity for us so they need to run a new line 283m from the substation, quite honestly we cannot afford this it’ll take an eighth of our build budget, any help gratefully received 

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to the forum.

 

You need to look into eg what work you can do yourselves, but for a start we need to know where you are, where the substation is, and what is in between, in or over which the cable will run or could potentially run. An anonymised plan with x and y marks the spot would be good.

 

And to know whether you have time to address this carefully or are you committed to your dates and need to scramble. For dealing with utilities a few weeks in probably a very short time indeed.

 

Ferdinand

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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Talk to them and see what they CAN supply from that pole.

 

What KVA rating did you ask for?  It's tempting to ask for 21KVA (100A) but you almost certainly do not need that.

 

We were in a similar situation, adding an extra house to an existing 100KVA transformer.  I just knew if I asked for 21KVA there would be a big cost for upgrading the transformer. So I sked for 12KVA and that could be accommodated from the existing transformer.

 

Firstly 12KVA will be plenty for our house anyway, but the reality is we have the same cable and same 100A fuse as we would have if we had asked for 21KVA

 

So go back and ask what capacity they could supply from the existing pole, and see if you can live with that.

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We are in Scotland, they want it taken underground on the verge of the road,it’s a B road with grass verge, we know plenty of people capable of doing the machine work but they don’t have road works tickets, also I believe the 185mm 4 core cable required is very expensive , I’ve uploaded the plan they sent, depending on what time length you’re talking about we can go ahead with the build but need to find a way round this!

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30 minutes ago, Christine Walker said:

Starting a self build in the next few weeks and have just received my quote for electricity connection, take a seat before the reveal- £25000 , this is apparently because the pole situated in our ground has no capacity for us so they need to run a new line 283m from the substation, quite honestly we cannot afford this it’ll take an eighth of our build budget , any help gratefully received 

I’ve recently helped a friend with a barn conversion

Power right next to the barn But no spare capacity 

He was given a simalar quote to yours But dug all the trench out himself and we rolled the cable ducting out and back filled if

He wasn’t allowed to dig the final ten mtrs as it crossed a side road

So he still had a hefty 4K bill 

for the connection But saved around £18k on the original quote

He had only budgeted £1000 for the electric contraction Being as the main ran right past his front door 

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Anyone with a street works permit can do the trenching, but I found all the independent contractors were more expensive than the utilities.  Depending on the road, even though they re only digging in the verge they may need traffic management as well.

 

Before you go any further, where is your water and telecoms connections going to be?  If they need the road or verge up, then don't be digging it up twice.

 

In my case all 3 came from the other side of the road, so I had the road up only once, and Scottish Water were the cheapest of them all to make the road crossing.

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16 minutes ago, ProDave said:

So go back and ask what capacity they could supply from the existing pole, and see if you can live with that.

 

Good idea.

 

Also, are you on gas? Not having to run high capacity items such as, eg, stoves, ovens or air source heat pumps would make a lower capacity supply more feasible.

 

24 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

For dealing with utilities a few weeks in probably a very short time indeed.

 

Absolutely. There are nightmare stories here and elsewhere of many month delays with utilities.

 

They may want it buried, but are they allowed to insist? Would it be cheaper to replace the (presumably pole-hung) cable that presently goes to the pole on your land? They might be reticent to do this due to the impact on others supplied on the same cable, but might be worth looking into.  

 

Oh, and welcome to the forum! I hope this hiccup isn't enough to stop the dream.

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We have looked at doing all the trench work ourselves but since it’s on the road side the chap we use with a digger thinks he may need a road work permit which he doesn’t have also we are under the impression we’d need to pay for the cable which seems to be over £50 a metre so still a lot of money for 283m!

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The cheeky bit is they get you to pay for a 4 core cable, and use 2 cores.  If someone then wants to build a house next door to you, then there would be "spare capacity" that you have paid for and they would get a cheap connection.

 

Are there any other houses planned nearby? if so coordinate with them.

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You have a pole in your garden, maybe be you should ask them to remove it, after all its of no benefit to you!

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There are 5 plots currently being marketed next to us although no buyers yet, I have pointed this out to the energy company and that they could recoup their outlay further down the line as obviously 25k to them is a drop in the ocean whereas to us it will mean going without a lot of the stuff we’d planned but they won’t listen as they only have the application for power from us at the moment, they have said that should they get further applications we would be reimbursed some of the cost as long as it’s within 5 years!

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Can you play the waiting game? Are the other plots being marketed now, how long will you have to wait, with six new customers you could do a deal.

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15 minutes ago, Christine Walker said:

also we are under the impression we’d need to pay for the cable which seems to be over £50 a metre so still a lot of money for 283m!

 

Can they not use aluminium cable?

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https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/87259/guideelectricitydistributionconnectionspolicy.pdf

 

I found this when I was in a similar situation.  It explains but doesn't really help.  I had to pay 13.5k for about 50 metres.  Firstly it was going to be 8.5k and then the council said that for access reasons to a doctor;s surgery on the road the work could only be done on a Sunday.  

 

No choice - no negotiation.  Tried to get other quotes for the  contestable works and couldn't even get a quote no one was interested.  I don't think the document says that it is only within 5 years that they would have to pay you back some of the money but that is no comfort to you as things stand.

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Could you delay the cable to the end of the build, the other plots might have been sold by then, so more customers to share the costs with?

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Could you go to the current owner of the plots and strike some sort of deal for the 'share'? 

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I have now emailed them (as it’s almost impossible to get the right person on the phone) to ask if we would be able to have a reduced amp age , explaining that with the energy efficiency of the proposed house it’s unlikely we’d need the full whammy, I will await their reply once they get round to it, there’s one lesson I’ve already learned before we even start this project, nobody ever does what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it!

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1 minute ago, Christine Walker said:

 one lesson I’ve already learned before we even start this project, nobody ever does what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it! 

 

 

I think a lot of people here will agree with you.

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1 minute ago, Christine Walker said:

I have now emailed them (as it’s almost impossible to get the right person on the phone) to ask if we would be able to have a reduced amp age , explaining that with the energy efficiency of the proposed house it’s unlikely we’d need the full whammy, I will await their reply once they get round to it, there’s one lesson I’ve already learned before we even start this project, nobody ever does what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it!

You will find that all the way through the build

 

the problem with dealing with utility’s is that you are put through to a call centre Ten calls ten different operatives 

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Could you approach the owner of the other plots and see if he would get the supply installed to each.  I am willing to bet by collectively doing it, the cost would be about £5K per plot. Then the plots would be for sale partly serviced which would make them more attractive.

 

I would also get your water connection quote, and if there are similar issues look at a collective agreement for that as well.

 

It seems odd to sell 5 plots unserviced. Often around here such a development gets the services connected by the owner and are then sold as serviced plots.

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Yes I thought it was odd especially since they have detailed planning on them, they’re asking 150-175k per plot which around here is about 50k over a normal plot, we asked estate agent what ours was worth and he said 125 and a much nicer more level plot, just don’t know how approachable they’d be

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 I take it your plot is not one of the same ones then, just close by? i.e you did not pay that much for it.

 

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10 minutes ago, Christine Walker said:

 just don’t know how approachable they’d be

 

Nothing ventured ..... 

 

Get your marketing hat on and explain the challenges of selling an unserviced plot compared to one with at least a power connection sorted. Also ask the estate agent for info in relation to prices / time to make a sale for serviced vs unserviced plots. 

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