Did you know you have a choice?

From 28th March 2018, the market will open to competition for all new connections to the distribution network. This means that, if you are planning to connect a new home, business or renewable technology to the electricity network, you will have a choice to select NIE Networks to carry out the full connection works, or to appoint an accredited Independent Connections Provider (ICP) to undertake some of the work, known as the ‘contestable works’. You will need to check that an ICP operates in your market area, for example, connecting a new house. 

Making an application & receiving a dual offer

You will still send your initial application to NIE Networks for your new connection. You can't apply to an ICP for a connection to the distribution network. If you submit an application for a new domestic connection, commercial, multi-site or generation connection or a load change where a new connection is required then we will provide you with a dual offer which contains two options:

  • Option 1 will set out the costs for NIE Networks to carry out the full connection works
  • Option 2 will set out the costs for NIE Networks to carry out the non-contestable works only.

How does the connections process work?

If you choose option 2, you will have to appoint an accredited ICP to carry out the contestable works. Your chosen ICP will submit a design of their proposed contestable works to us.

Once we have reviewed the design, and are satisfied that it complies with NIE Networks’ policies and specifications, we will engage with your ICP to complete quality assurance inspections on the contestable works as well as undertaking construction of the non-contestable Works.


Your ICP will submit a signed adoption agreement to us before commencing construction of the contestable works. Once construction is complete your ICP will send us a signed completion certificate, then upon successful energisation we will adopt the assets and transfer ownership and operational responsibilities of the contestable works from your ICP.

Accredited ICPs will be able to access our policies and technical specifications, and submit job specific documentation, through our ICP Portal.

How the process works?   

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