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Statement on Assessment & Design Fees charged by Distribution Network Operators

04 April 2018

Assessment and Design Fees are charged by local electricity network operators for applications to connect planned projects to the electricity grid. A quarter of Britain's electricity generation capacity is now connected at a local level and in recent years there has been a huge increase in the deployment of new forms of clean, renewable energy. Energy networks are proud to have played a key role in helping deliver this as part of their commitment to creating a smarter, cleaner and more efficient energy system for our homes and businesses.


On 6th April 2018, changes were introduced to the Fees because of the large number of speculative applications that were being made by project developers but then not taken forward. Each application requires a network operator to commit resources to understanding the impact of an application on the behaviour of the local electricity grid through modelling, design and assessment work. This work is important to maintain the integrity and reliability of the network and to ensure that any connection does not compromise that.

These changes were introduced following a Call for Evidence by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy which found that the majority of respondents supported the Government's proposed changes to the way these charges are structured. 

Commenting on the changes an ENA Spokesperson says:

"The charges for connection applications have been introduced following a recent Government consultation, which found that the majority of industry supported the change. Under the old system a large number of speculative applications were being made without being followed through. The costs of the modelling, design and studies undertaken by the connection teams of the local network operators for those applications would then fall completely upon those developers who decided to accept a connection agreement.

 "The new system will be fairer because those developers accepting an agreement will no longer have to bear all the costs. The cost of connections for those developers will be reduced and network operators will be able to deliver connections more quickly, helping them play their part in delivering a smarter, cleaner and more efficient energy system."

Notes to editor

  • The changes to charges are being introduced following a Call for Evidence by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Industry feedback is summarised on P2 of the response which can be found online here.
  • The changes to the charges will be revenue neutral for Distribution Network Operators.

About us

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the energy networks. Our members include every major electricity network operator in the UK. The electricity networks are at the heart of the energy transition. They directly employ more than 26,000 people in the UK, including 1,500 apprentices. They are spending and investing £33bn in our electricity grids over the coming years, to ensure safe, reliable and secure energy supplies for the millions of homes and businesses reliant on power every day.

Press contacts

You can contact ENA's press office by emailing For urgent or out-of-hours enquiries from journalists, please call 0204 599 7691.