Information for Customers

You have a choice.

You have a choice on who delivers your new or modified connection scheme and who owns the constructed network. We can provide you with a complete connection service but you may also ask an Independent Connection Provider (ICP) or undertake some of the works and/or an Independent Network Operator (IDNO) to own the new network. More information on the role of ICPs and IDNOs is provided below.

Further information regarding how the competition in connections process works can be found in our leaflet here.

Ready to apply? Click here.

Independent Connection Providers (ICPs)

What is an Independent Connection Provider (ICP)?

An ICP is a company that can build electricity networks to agreed standards and quality for adoption by WPD or an IDNO. The ICP must be registered with Lloyds Register EMEA under the National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS) and hold the relevant scopes for the works to be undertaken.

Where can I find an ICP?

Please click here for a list of ICPs active in the WPD area. Click here for access to the Lloyds Register website for further details of the NERS scheme and a list of registered ICP’s.

What work can be done by an ICP?

Connections works are split into contestable and non-contestable works. Contestable works can be carried out by WPD, an ICP or an IDNO. An ICP can undertake contestable works activities but cannot undertake the non-contestable works. A table of contestable and non-contestable activities can be found at the bottom of this page.

Click here for details of the operational activities that an ICP is permitted to undertake on the WPD network.

Independent Network Operators (IDNOs)

What is an Independent Network Operator (IDNO)?

An IDNO is a company licensed by Ofgem to own and operate electricity networks. They will be responsible for all future operation, maintenance and fault repairs on the network that they own.  In some instances IDNOs may choose to construct their own networks.

Where a new connection and new network is built by an ICP it may be adopted by an IDNO. In this case, the end customers connected to this new network will be customers of the IDNO rather than WPD.

Where can I find an IDNO?

A list of IDNO's can be found here.

What are Contestable and Non-Contestable Works?

  • Contestable works are the elements of the connections work which can be undertaken by an ICP or IDNO rather than WPD. Non-contestable works are the elements of the connections work which must be completed by WPD or our appointed agents.

    A list of activities can be found in our connection charging methodologies. Click here to view the methodology documents for each region.

    The following table summarises elements of the work that are either Non-Contestable (can only be undertaken by WPD) or Contestable (may be undertaken by WPD, an ICP or an IDNO):

    Determine point of connection to distribution systemNoYesYes
    Design of extension assets;YesYesYes
    Design upstream reinforcement works associated with new connectionsNoYes 
    Design diversionary works associated with new connectionsYesYes 
    Design approvalNoNoYes*
    Plant and materials specificationsNoYes 
    Procure materials for own worksYesYesYes
    Land rights negotiations with third party landownersYesYesYes
    Produce wayleave/easement documentation and enter into agreements with third party landownersNoYes 
    Trench excavation and duct installation - on siteYesYesYes
    Trench excavation and duct installation - on public highwayYesYesYes
    Construction of substation buildings and other civil works - on siteYesYesYes
    Cable laying for own worksYesYesYes
    Substation plant installation for own worksYesYesYes
    Excavation for jointing bay - on siteYesYesYes
    Excavation for own works jointing bay - public highwayYesYesYes
    Jointing (dead) of cables within extension assetsYesYesYes
    Connection of Contestable works (live) to the distribution system. For the avoidance of doubt this applies to LV works onlyYesYesYes
    Connection of Contestable works to the distribution system at HVNoYesYes
    Connection of Contestable works to the distribution system at EHVNoYesNo
    Excavation for joints to connect Contestable works to distribution system (closing joints)YesYesYes
    Live LV jointing on newly adopted new extension assets1YesYesYes
    Reinforcement/diversionary work on the existing distribution systemNo2Yes 
    Quality assurance inspectionsNoYesYes**
    Testing of extension assets installed by ICPYesYesYes
    Commissioning and connection of extension assets to the distribution systemNoYesYes
    Recording of installed assetsYes3YesYes
    Operations, repairs and maintenanceNoYesNo
    HV OperationsNoYesYes***
    Removing disconnected LV mains, HV and EHV Overhead conductors and polesNoYesNo
    Removing disconnected Pole and Ground type substationsNoYesNo

    1Live LV jointing may be carried out by a suitable accredited ICP subject to our prior agreement.
    2Sole funded reinforcement and diversionary works associated with the new connection carried out independently of the existing distribution system will be treated as Contestable work.
    3Only for Contestable works installed by the ICP.
    *For LV and HV demand.
    **Subject to specific criteria being met.
    ***Subject to the provision and acceptance of the ICP's Safety Management System.