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Competition in Connections

Did you know you have a choice?

The Northern Ireland connections market is 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 can choose NIE Networks to carry out the full connection works, or 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 segment.

How will this work?

You must send your initial application to NIE Networks for your connection. You cannot apply to an ICP for a connection to the distribution network.

If you are submitting an application for a new domestic connection, a new commercial connection, a new multi-site connection, a new 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.

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

Your connection will follow the steps listed in the application process map for your type of connection (domestic, commercial etc...). If you choose option 2, you will need 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 can access our policies and technical specifications, and submit job-specific documentation through our ICP Portal. Customers can use the portal to access additional documentation about competition in connections.

Our Contestability Guidelines [1MB, PDF Format] contain the process detailing how competition in connections operates in Northern Ireland.

NIE Networks has outlined 15 commitments [1.2MB, PDF Format] which demonstrate how we facilitate competition.

For more information about competition in connections please read our you have a choice leaflet [3.7MB, PDF Format].

Contact one of the competitions in the connections team

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