Connections Action Plan – streamlining connections to the electricity network across the United Kingdom

By Control Energy Costs
schedule19th Apr 24

The United Kingdom stands at the forefront of the global shift towards renewable energy. In a remarkable transformation, 48% of the nation's electricity was generated from renewable sources in the first quarter of 2023, a stark contrast to the mere 6% recorded in the same period in 2010. This surge marks a monumental stride, reflecting the country's commitment to sustainability and energy security.

By replacing imported fossil fuels with cheaper, cleaner, domestic sources of energy, the UK aims to shield itself from the volatile fluctuations in energy prices exacerbated by geopolitical tensions, as seen with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022.

The imperative for such a transition becomes even more pronounced as the nation progresses towards its net-zero targets. Electrification and the decarbonisation of heat, transport, and industry are pivotal components of this journey. It's projected that by 2050, electricity demand will double, necessitating a comprehensive overhaul of the nation's energy infrastructure.

The increasing electricity demand has unearthed significant challenges, particularly concerning grid connectivity. The surge in connection applications to the transmission network over the past five years, growing approximately tenfold, has led to an average delay of over five years for projects vying to connect. These delays not only hinder the decarbonisation of the energy system but also impede the rollout of low-carbon technologies and deter investment in the UK.

Causes of connection delays

The causes of these connection delays are multifaceted. The sheer volume of projects holding connection agreements coupled with the existing 'first come, first served' approach has created bottlenecks in the system. Additionally, assessing the impacts of connections and the subsequent need for network reinforcement further exacerbates delays.

Recognising the urgency of the situation, the Government, Ofgem and industry, as outlined in their Connections Action Plan, has set objectives to reform the electricity connection process. Shorter average connection times that better align with clients' needs and facilitate a timely transition to net zero are among the key priorities.

Control Energy Costs’ connections services

To help combat these challenges, Control Energy Costs merged with Energy Connection Services (ECS) in April 2023 to enhance service delivery and broaden our offerings. Having collaborated closely for over a decade, the merger was a natural progression, allowing both companies to combine strengths and expertise. The unified entity operates under the Control Energy Costs brand, focusing on providing a more streamlined utilities connections process and siteworks service to clients.

Utilities connections

One of the primary outcomes of the merger with ECS is our newfound expertise in managing business utility connections and metering for industrial, commercial and SME clients. Through end-to-end project management, we offer a wide range of services, including new connections, reconnections, disconnections and supply removals.

The scope of our services extends further to the design, installation, and maintenance of Building Network Operator (BNO) networks, Current Transformer (CT) meters, sub-metering and smart and Automated Meter Reading (AMR) meters. The goal is to provide efficient and cost-effective solutions, assessing our clients’ current and future needs and eliminating redundant, costly services.

Seamless premises transition

We recognise the importance of a seamless transition when moving into or out of premises. Whether it’s a Change of Tenancy or a Change of Occupancy, we ensure a fully managed service for businesses. By expediting the transition process, we minimise disruptions and facilitate a smooth handover between tenants and utility providers. We recommend early assessments for meter upgrades or new services, helping clients avoid delays and ensure a hassle-free transition.

Siteworks services

We also bring our expertise to siteworks services, covering new sites, property development, temporary builders' supplies, upgrades, and new infrastructure. We assist clients in evaluating both existing services on a site and the need for new services, ensuring that immediate and future utility requirements are met. For new property developments, we conduct comprehensive feasibility studies and oversee siteworks operations, from quoting to completion.

Our partnerships

With access to industry data and longstanding relationships with key players in the sector, we navigate the complexities of the connections process with finesse.

We have partnerships with Independent Connection Providers (ICPs) to present clients with enhanced service levels, competitive pricing, and expedited communication. By leveraging these collaborations, clients can unlock a full turnkey solution, providing a streamlined offering and significantly reducing costs associated with traditional distribution network operators.

Control Energy Costs’ guide timescales

For an average connection – up to 100 amps

2-6 weeks for a quote

4-6 weeks for installation

Up to 400amps or more than connection/plot

4-8 weeks for a quote

6-10 weeks for installation


4-8 weeks for a quote

12-14 months for connection via traditional network

8-10 months via ICP-born connection

Gas via network

6-8 weeks for a quote

10-12 weeks for installation

Gas via independents

1-2 weeks for a quote

6 weeks for installation

While guide timescales provide a glimpse into the journey ahead, we acknowledge the myriad variables that can influence project delivery. From site location to external factors like global events, each project presents its unique set of challenges. Yet, with a wealth of experience and unwavering dedication, Control Energy Costs stands poised to navigate these challenges, ushering in a new era of energy resilience for the United Kingdom.

For more information on how we can help with your utilities connections and siteworks services, contact [email protected]

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