DNO - Explained - We Power Your Car
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DNO – Explained

With every electric vehicle charger order at We Power Your Car, we have to contact your DNO before we can book your installation date.

In this blog, we will explain why the DNO plays a vital role in all electric vehicle charger installations, as well as what the DNO is and when your area-specific DNO would intervene in your installation.

What is a DNO?

DNO stands for Distribution Network Operator and, in simple terms, are the people in charge of your electricity supply. A DNO is licensed to distribute and manage the electricity from the national grid to our homes, businesses and elsewhere across the UK. In addition to being responsible for the poles, cables and towers that carry the electricity. Your DNO is essentially the middle man between the National Grid and your specific energy company, and there are different DNO’s for different regions.

If you have any trouble with your power, for example, a power cut – the DNO are your first point of call! DNOs are also often associated with required upgrades to electrical infrastructure, especially for larger projects, such as electric vehicle chargers or hot tubs.

Why do I need to know about my DNO?

With every EV charger installation order, we need to contact the DNO before your installation can go ahead. We let your regional DNO know the maximum electricity demand at your property. Once your DNO has been notified, they will check that your electricity supply is adequate for installation. After the DNO has approved this, we can go ahead and book your installation date. Please note, it is regulation to contact the DNO before installing your electric vehicle charger.

When would my DNO need to undertake work on my property?

There are some cases where the DNO will need to undertake work on your property before your installation can go ahead.

Some of the main issues include:

  • You have a looped supply (when your property’s electricity supply is connected or “looped” with your neighbours. It will need to be separated before you can have your charger installed)
  • You require a fuse upgrade (if your main fuse cannot handle the electrical demand of your desired electric vehicle charger, you may need a fuse upgrade, so the extra load the charger will be adding doesn’t blow your fuse). This is usually required if you have a 60 Amp fuse, and it needs to be upgraded to either 80 or 100 Amps.

The DNO will rarely need to intervene, and usually, your installation will be approved without any issues. However, if the DNO concludes that additional work needs to be completed before your EV charger can be installed, a delay will likely incur. Every DNO has different procedures, so timescales may vary. Please note we do not have any influence over your DNO’s speed of response, and there is nothing we can do about the delay in your installation. The DNO’s word is final, and we have no control over this, nor can we offer you a time scale as to when the work will be carried out and how long the additional work will take.

If this is the case, and your DNO does need to perform additional work on your property, your area-specific DNO will directly arrange any required work with you. For any questions concerning the DNO’s work, please contact them directly.

Any work your DNO carries out on your property will usually be free of charge. However, in some cases, your DNO may charge you for the works they complete. As it is your electricity supply, you would be responsible for this cost.

Who is my DNO?

There is a total of six DNO’s in the UK – Electricity North West, Northern Powergrid, Western Power Distribution, SSE Power Distribution,  Northern Ireland Electricity and SP Energy Networks. To find your area-specific DNO, please see the table below.

Area Company
North Scotland SSE Power Distribution
Central and Southern Scotland SP Energy Networks
North East England Northern Powergrid
North West England Electricity North West
Yorkshire Northern Powergrid
Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and North Shropshire SP Energy Networks
East Midlands, West Midlands, South Wales & South West England Western Power Distribution
Eastern England UK Power Networks
Southern England SSE Power Distribution
London UK Power Networks
South East England UK Power Networks
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland Electricity

To find your DNO by postcode, please click the link here.

If you are interested in a home electric vehicle charger and are wanting to take advantage of the current £350 OZEV Grant, please feel free to contact us today. Our deadline for the last orders with the current grant is 14th February, in case there is a delay to your installation due to your DNO.

Our expert advisers are standing by to take your calls on 03333 44 96 99 to offer you their expert and unbiased advice. Alternatively, you can contact us through our webchat or email us at [email protected]. 

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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.

Spread over a 60 month period.

Also available over 24, 36 and 48 month periods.

We will contact you to process the credit application. Approval is subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. 12.9% APR representative. T&Cs apply.

Your order is not confirmed until your application has been approved.

Underground cable

We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.

Overhead cable

We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.

Standard Installation
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.