Contestable Works

What does the term ‘contestable works’ mean?

When applying for a new electricity connection – the work that is needed to be completed in order to fit a new supply can be split into contestable works, and non-contestable.

It is a strange differentiation to make, that is true. There are certain types of reinforcement works that can seriously affect the day-to-day operation of DNO networks. Because of the sensitivity and risk-potential, these works fall into the classification of ‘non-contestable’. This means that it is only the DNO who is legally able to complete these works.

The other group of work – the contestables – have emerged in response to the introduction of competition within the UK electrical distribution network. This is all of the work that can be legally completed by accredited ICPs or IDNOs. Generally speaking, the nature of work included in this category has a much lower potential for risk for DNOs.

Source: UK Power Solutions

Common terminology

We have included some of the more commonly used acronyms in this article below, to refer back to.

AcronymStands For
DNODistribution Network Operator
ICPIndependent Connection Providers
IDNOIndependent Distribution Network Operators
NERSNational Electricity Registration Scheme

What are contestable works?

Contestable works can be classified as connection works that can legally be undertaken by ICPs or IDNOs instead of just the DNO. We have created a non-exhaustive list that includes some common scenarios of contestable works:

  • Design for the network extension and any contestable reinforcement of the existing network.
  • Any procurement and provision of equipment and materials to DNO specifications for an extension.
  • Any trenching and/or preparation work for the site in question, including the circuit routes between the area of development and connection point.
  • The construction of the network extension as well as any contestable reinforcement and diversions.
  • Any recording of works completed as well as the location of cable routing and other equipment on site. The provision of this information to DNO is also included.
  • Reinstatement of the site, including circuit routes. This included both temporary and permanent.
  • Provisions for the installation of meters or metering equipment.
  • Legal consents.

Source: Enwl

What are non-contestable works?

Non-contestable work can be classified by works only legally allowed to be completed by Distribution Network Operator (DNO). This is decreed by the Electricity Act (1989) in an effort to keep customers and workers safe. We have created a non-exhaustive list that includes common scenarios of non-contestable works:

  • Processing of customer application and organisation of equipment.
  • Connection of the extension reinforced or diverted equipment to the distribution system and their energisation.
  • The process of any works needed to reinforce the distribution system where contestable work conditions are not met.
  • Any planning, design, specifying and carrying out work associated with diversion of distribution equipment where contestable work conditions are not met.
  • Any removals or repositioning of any existing electrical equipment or cables.
  • The process of agreeing and obtaining any required legal consent.
  • The operation of, repairs, and maintenance of any electrical equipment and electric cables.
  • The inspection, monitoring, or testing of any contestable work.

Source: Enwl

Non-contestable works recently opened to competition

Although the work outlined below is technically speaking non-contestable, recent changes to the competition in connections code of practice have opened this type of work up to accredited contractors.

  • Determination of the point of connection to the new distribution system.
  • Approval of contestable designs for new connections and contestable reinforcements.

Source: Enwl

What is an ICP?

An ICP (Independent Connections Provider) is a National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS) certified company that is legally allowed to build electricity networks. Any electricity network constructions need to meet the specification and quality outlined in the agreed standards.

If you would like to search for all available ICPs then this is a handy tool to use:

What is an IDNO?

An IDNO (Independent Distribution Network Operator) is a NERS accredited company that can build their own local network. IDNOs will usually continue ownership of their local network, as-well as provide any and all ongoing network services. This usually includes most maintenance work and 24-hour fault repairs. IDNOs are connected to the DNO either directly, or through another IDNO.

Often IDNOs will step in to provide supplies to new housing, commercial developments, or rural areas – all who are not able to be supplied directly by DNO. Although IDNOs are regulated by Ofgem like others in the energy sector, their services are often associated with slightly higher prices than if they were to be carried out by DNO.

We have included a list of IDNOs within the UK later in the guide.

What can a NERS accredited ECP do?

Any NERS certified Independent Connections Provider is legally allowed to carry out work that is classified as contestable. Contracts for registered NERS providers are awarded through the contestable connections market. Once a connection has been installed, the host DNO will adopt the connection for the remainder of its lifetime. For help with identifying what work is classed as ‘contestable’ we have compiled a short list later on in this article.

Source: UK Power Networks

What is the NERS?

The NERS has been set up to allow ICPs to carry out connection work. For anybody wishing to carry out contestable connection work, they must be accredited under this scheme. Ofgem is the regulatory body for the energy industry and the ones who enforce this rule.

All DNOs on mainland UK recognise this scheme – and hold it in high regard.

The benefits of registering for the NERS are as follows:

  • Accreditation that is recognised by all UK DNOs.
  • Independent assessment and registration process.
  • Assignment of accreditation mark that will represent your achievement of incredibly high technical skills, quality and safety standards.

Source: Safety Compliance UK

List of ICPs

List of all NERS accredited ICPs in the UK
ABB Limited
Addison Project Plc
Advance Utilities (Scotland) Ltd – MURS Accredited
AG Cable Jointing Ltd
AIM Utilities Ltd – MURS Accredited
Air Utilities Ltd
AIS Utilities Ltd
AK Lighting and Signs Ltd
Alconex Infrastructure & Solutions Ltd – MURS Accredited
Alken Construction Services Ltd
ALS Civil Engineering
Altitude Services Ltd
Ameon Utilities Ltd – MURS Accredited
Amey Highways Ltd
Amey Utility Services Ltd
Andel Plant Ltd
Applebridge Construction Ltd – MURS Accredited
Approved Power Services Ltd
Aprenda Ltd
Aptus Utilities – MURS ACCREDITED
Arcadis Consulting (UK) Ltd
ARC-Tech MU Ltd – MURS Accredited
Aspire Utility Solutions
Athena PTS
Avon Utilities and Generation
Balfour Beatty Living Places
Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions
Balfour Beatty Vinci Joint Venture
Barhale Ltd
Barratt Energy
Beehive Contractors Ltd – MURS Accredited
Belac Ltd
Bethell Utility Services Ltd – MURS Accredited
BGS Ltd (Birchwood Gas Services Ltd) – MURS Accredited
Blu-3 (UK) Ltd
British Power International
Bryan J Rendall (Electrical) Ltd
Burns & McDonnell
C and P Engineering Services Ltd
C Spratt Multi UtilityLtd
C&D Resource Solutions Ltd
Cable Connections Ltd
Cable Test Ltd
Capita Real Estate and Infrastructure
Carris Utility Solutions Limited
Catsurveys Ltd
CBZ Utilities – MURS Accredited
Central Power Ltd
Centre Great Ltd
Civil and Fibre Ltd
Clancy Docwra
CNX Utilities
Compass Infrastructure UK (CI UK) Ltd
Complete Utility Solutions Ltd
Connect It Utility Services Limited – MURS Accredited
Couch Perry & Wilkes
CP Civil Engineering (UK) Ltd
Crown Highways Ltd
CS Cable Jointing
CX Utilities Ltd
DaCI Utilities Engineering Consultancy Ltd – MURS Accredited
Datom Utilities Ltd
Delta HV Power Services
Dewhurst Utility Services Ltd -MURS Accredited
Distribution Cable Jointing Ltd
DNO Consulting Ltd
DT Civils Ltd – MURS Accredited
DT Hughes Contractors
Dutton Contractors
E Donald & Associates Ltd
Eclipse Power Networks
Eco-Drill Ltd
Electrical Jointing Services
Electrical Testing Ltd
Electricity Asset Service Ltd – MURS Accredited
Electricity North West (Construction & Maintenance) Ltd
Electricity Solutions Ltd
Electricity Supply Solutions Ltd
Electricityworx Ltd
Elm Surfacing Ltd
Elmeridge Cable Services Ltd
EME Power Connections
Energetics, Design and Build Limited – MURS Accredited
Energy and System Technical Ltd (East Solutions)
Energy Assets Utilities Ltd – MURS Accredited
Energy Network Services
Engineered Systems Electrical (ESE) Ltd
Entity Power Ltd
Envevo Limited
E-ON Energy Solutions Ltd
ESM Power Ltd
eSmart networks
Estate Lighting Solutions Ltd
Eta Projects Ltd
Ethical Power Connections Ltd
Excalon Ltd
Falco Construction Ltd
Fastflow Pipeline Services Ltd
FES Support Services Ltd – MURS Accredited
Fincher Utilities Limited
Firdale Construction Ltd
First Connect Utility Solutions Ltd
FJ Infrastructure Services Limited
FM Conway Ltd
FMJ Solutions Ltd
Fosse Civil Engineering Ltd
Freedom Power Solutions
Fulcrum – MURS Accredited
Fusion JV
G2 Energy Ltd
Galldris Services (trading as Galldris Construction Ltd.)
Gas and Utility Technology Limited
Glenelly Infrastructure Solutions Ltd
GMac Utilities Ltd
GMP Contracting Services Limited
Granite Engineering Ltd
Green Frog Connect
Grid Team Services Lltd
Groom Design Services Ltd
GTC Infrastructure Ltd – MURS Accredited
H&MV Engineering Ltd
H&MV Engineering Services Ltd
Haddon Power Services
Harlaxton Engineering Services Ltd – MURS Accredited
High Voltage Engineering Services Ltd
High Voltage Substation Services Ltd
High Voltage Systems and Services (HVSS)
Highways and Konnection Services Ltd
Hilton Main Lighting & Connections Limited
Hollybox Ltd
HV Energy Systems Ltd
ICP Design Solutions Ltd
ICP Services Ltd
IDEC Technical Services (incorporating IDEC Power Services)
Infrastructure Gateway – MURS Accredited
Ingenious Power Engineering Ltd
Instalcom Ltd
Instrument and Control Services Ltd
Integrated Utility Services – MURS ACCREDITED
Integrum Power Engineering Ltd
IP (In Phase) Electrical Engineers Ltd
Ipsum Power (Licensed Networks) Limited
J Browne Developer Services Ltd
J Geraghty Limited
J Murphy and Sons Ltd – MURS Accredited
J T Utilities Ltd
J. McCann & Co. Ltd – MURS Accredited
JCM Groundworks Ltd
JK Jointing Ltd
JK Jointing Services Ltd
JN Civils Ltd
Jones Lighting Ltd
JPB Utilities Ltd – MURS Accredited
JSM Construction
Keltbray Distribution & Transmission Ltd
Kelvin Power Consultants & Kelvin Power Structures
Kier Integrated Services Ltd
Kirby Group Engineering
Kirkman Utility Services Ltd
KOR Energy Ltd – MURS Accredited
L A Clark Civil Engineering
L J Heffernan Utilities Ltd
Land and Power Ltd
Levertech HV Engineering Limited
Linbrooke Services Ltd
Live Line Power
LPC Construction Limited
LV Connections Ltd
Lydon Contracting Ltd
M and A Doocey Civil Engineering Ltd
M&M Contractors (Europe) Ltd
M.B. Power Services (Essex) Ltd
Mac Civils Ltd
Man Power Connections
Mason Street Furniture Ltd
Matrix Networks Ltd – MURS Accredited
MB Power Services (Essex) Ltd
McAndrews Utilities and Civil Engineering
MCD Utility Solutions Ltd
MDF (Services) Ltd
MDH Utility Services Ltd
Megson Utilities Limited – MURS accredited
MES Power Engineering
Metricab Power Engineering Ltd
Milestone Infrastructure Ltd
MM Miller (Wicks)
Modus Utilities Ltd
Monaghan Civil Engineering Ltd
Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastrucuture Ltd
Morrison Energy Services
Morson Projects
Mulholland Contracts Ltd – MURS Accredited
Multi Connex Networks Ltd – MURS ACCREDITED
Multi Utility & Surfacing Ltd
Multi Utility UK – MURS Accredited
National Energy Direct – MURS Accredited
Natta Building Company Limited
NDC Utility Services Ltd
Neary Construction
Network Plus Multi Utility Ltd
Network Plus Services Limited
Network Power Connections Ltd
Networx Utilities Ltd
Nexus Utilities Ltd
NG Contracting Ltd
Nicol of Skene Ltd – MURS Accredited
NorPower Ltd
North West Multi Utilities Ltd
Novus Utility Services Ltd
O’Connor Utilities
Omnific Civil Engineering & Outdoor Electrical Ltd
Optimum Technical Services Ltd
Options Energy Group Ltd
OPUS Utility Solutions Limited
Pascon Ltd
PBU (UK) Ltd – MURS Accredited
PDI (Utilities Design and Management) Ltd – MURS Accredited
Pegasus Utilities Ltd
Pegasus Utility Services Limited
Phoenix ME Ltd
Phoenix Utilities Ltd – MURS Accredited
PI MacDonald and Son
PJ Carey (Contractors) Ltd
PJ Southall LTD
PMK Civil Engineering
Power Distribution Support
Power Jointing Distribution Services Ltd
Power Lines, Pipe & Cables Ltd(PLPC)
Power On Connections
Power One Ltd
Power Supply Projects Limited
Power Testing Ltd
PowerComm Engineering Ltd
Powersystems UK Ltd
Powerteam Electrical Services UK Ltd (trading as Omexom)
PowerTek Utilities Ltd – MURS Accredited
Prenco Professional Energy Consultants Limited t/a Prenco Utilities
Prestige Utilities Ltd
PWG Connections Ltd
Quantum Power Connections Ltd – MURS Accredited
Quartzelec Ltd
R & D Network Design
R&M Construction Services Ltd trading as R&M Lighting
Radius Utilities Ltd
RCD Utility Services Ltd
Reach Active
Renewable Energy Systems Ltd
Ringway Infrastructure Services
RJ Power Connections Ltd
RM Power Services Ltd
Roadbridge UK Ltd
Robelec Ltd
Rock Power Connections Ltd
Rogers Civil Engineering Ltd
Rosgal Ltd
S&E Engineering (Elec) Ltd
S&R Construction Ltd – MURS Accredited
Sapphire Utility Solutions Ltd
SAS Utility Services Ltd
SBS Highways Ltd
Sedona Civils Ltd
Serconnect Ltd
Shadow Utilities Ltd
Sienna Construction Ltd
Sinewave Energy Solutions Ltd
Site Energy Ltd
Skanska Construction UK Ltd
Smith Brothers Contracting Ltd
SmOp Cleantech Ltd,
SMS Energy Services Limited
SOS Electricals & Services Ltd
Sparkx Ltd.
SRM Utilities Ltd
SSE Contracting Lighting Services
SSE Enterprise Contracting (HV Services and Civils)
SSE Enterprise Utilities – (a trading name of SSE Utility Solutions Ltd Company reference 6894120)
Stone Utility Services Ltd
Success Connections Utility Consultancy & Engineering Services Ltd
Swat Security & Electrotech Systems Ltd
T&M Cable Services Ltd
Taylor Plant Ltd
TClarke Contracting Ltd.
Tesford Ltd
The Dunamis Group Ltd
The Electricity Board Ltd
Thompson Civil Engineering
Total Excavation Services Ltd
Total Utility Connections Ltd
TriConnex Ltd – MURS Accredited
Trust Utility Management Limited
UCP ChoiceLimited
UCSL (Utility Connections Solutions Limited)
UK Power Networks Services (Commercial) Ltd
UK Power Solutions Ltd – MURS Accredited
Utilex Connections Ltd
Utility Consultancy and Engineering Ltd
Utility Engineering Solutions Ltd
Utility Infrastructure Solutions – MURS Accredited
Utility Select Ltd
VIA East Midlands Ltd
Vital Energi
VolkerSmart Technologies (VST)
Voltz Power Services Ltd
VUS Limited
W & N Adams Ltd
Waitings Drainage
Walker & Watts Limited
Water & Pipeline Services Ltd
WSP UK Limited
Wyson Ltd

Source: Lr

List of IDNOs

The UK has been split into different geographical regions to be managed by DNOs. Within these geographical areas (which can be quite large) IDNOs own and operate smaller networks. These IDNO ran networks are usually extensions to the DNO network – focussing on serving new housing, commercial development, or rural areas.

We have included the current list of all registered IDNOs below:

  • Eclipse Power Limited
  • Energy Assets Network Limited
  • Last Mile Electricity
  • ESP Electricity Limited
  • Fulcrum Electricity Assets Limited
  • Harlaxton Energy Networks Limited
  • Independent Power Networks Limited
  • Leep Electricity Network Limited
  • Murphy Power Distribution Limited
  • The Electricity Network Company Limited
  • UK Power Distribution Limited
  • Utility Assets Limited
  • Vattenfall Network Limited

All of these IDNOs will be regulated in the same fashion as the DNOs. However, the IDNO licence does not have all of the same conditions as the DNO licence. IDNO pricing for customers is controlled by Ofgem (regulatory body) via ‘Relative Price Control’. This has resulted in IDNO charges being capped at a level roughly consistent with the equivalent DNO price.

Source: Ofgem

How to make your money go further

If you have just finished this article and have been left wondering what on earth all of these acronyms mean, or even just complete utter confusion – don’t worry, we are here to help.

We believe in doing things differently at Energy Solutions. We create guides like this for our customers because for too long businesses in the energy sector have hidden behind complex terminology, acronyms, and jargon. Not us.

It is a difficult ask for anybody to tackle the planning and undertaking of electrical based construction work – that is where we come in.

We have been in the business of energy for well over twenty years now, so know the ins and outs of every facet of this industry. Looking for someone to procure the best possible energy for your business? Yep.

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So, if you would like to arrange a quotation for one of our services – get in touch today!

You can email us at or call us on 0131 610 1688 during all normal UK office hours.

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Google Snippets

What is an ICP?

ICPs are Independent Connection Providers. They are accredited companies that can build electricity networks to agreed standards. They are owned by either a DNO or IDNO

What is an IDNO?

IDNOs are Independent Distribution Network Operators. IDNOs develop, operate, and maintain local distribution networks. IDNOs are always directly connected to the DNO directly or indirectly through another IDNO.

What is a NERS?

NERS stands for National Electricity Registration Scheme. It has been developed to allow providers (ICPs) to carry out contestable connection works. Anybody who desires to carry out this type of work must be accredited under the scheme.

What does ICP stand for?

ICP stands for Independent Connection Provider.

What does IDNO stand for?

IDNO stands for Independent Distribution Network Operator.

What does NERS stand for?

NERS stands for National Electricity Registration Scheme.

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