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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    I am about to start a self-build bungalow in Mitcham in South London and have just been quoted 10K from UK Power Networks for a single phase connection! I was budgeting about 3K and this could derail all my plans - I thought I was being generous with the 3K budget!

    I have read somewhere that most DNO’s use sub-contractors to do their works and it is often possible to get a much lower price by getting one of these sub-contractor to quote directly. Does anyone know of/can recommend any contractors working in the London/South East, that would be able to quote for this? What are my alternatives? Or am I tied to the UK Power Networks monopoly?

    Thank you
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2018
    You may find this booklet useful:

    Why is their quote so high? What does it include?
    Hi djh, The main part of the cost is to dig a trench from the main road (point of main power cable) along the pavement of a side road to the front of the site. About 20 meters. I offered to dig the trench on the piece of land between the site and the main road (which I also own but not part of the title of the plot i'm building on) but they said they cannot accept that.

    Have tried to discuss and knock their price down but to no avail.
    • CommentTimeNov 9th 2018
    OK, that seems to make sense. Why does the side road not already have power along it? (I don't know but I'd've thought that provision of services was a prerequisite of adoption of a street, no?)

    I can see why they wouldn't want power underneath private land, with all the requirements for wayleaves for maintenance and future complications that implies.

    Given the work they're quoting for, it doesn't sound so unreasonable to me.
    • CommentTimeNov 10th 2018
    The price will normally be split between contestable and non contestable costs.

    The former you can get other contractors to quote for it. But in my experience they all quote similar amounts.
    In Shropshire the council see any road service installations as a money spinner so the make road closures requirements as difficult and expensive, as possible and they ruthlessly check the quality of the reinstatement.
    These means contractors are exposed to more risk than they used to be.

    Normally the electricity company will be happy for a wayleave over private land so its worth asking again what the issue is.
    Thank you for that! I will try and contest the portion of the quote and ask for a wayleave over private land. Maybe that way I can do that portion of the trench myself.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2018 edited
    If their quote included VAT remember it should be zero rated to you.

    If you google you can find companies that say they can do it all. Here is one example..


    .. but I don't know if they really can do the lot or how much they have to get the DNO to do.
    Hi CW
    Thank you for that! I have contacted UKPN regarding the vat. Also spoke crown utilities - you are right as it seems they are just project managers and they go to UKPN to get the work done.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2018
    If they question the VAT refer them to VAT Notice 708 section 3.3.4 "Work closely connected to the construction of the building"



    Subject to sub-paragraph 3.3.6, your work is closely connected to the construction of the building when it either:

    (a) snip

    (b) produces works that allow the building to be used, such as works in connection with:

    •the means of providing water and power to the building (this can extend to the work required to make the connection to the nearest existing supply)

    End Quote

    VAT 708 isn't the easiest document to read but it tells people how much VAT they should charge you.

    There is also a thread on the whole Self Build VAT reclaim scheme here...

    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeNov 21st 2018
    Just a heads up: If you are in an area where the CIL has been introduced do NOT start any work onsite until you have done ALL the paperwork for your CIL exemption. Otherwise you loose it !!!
    Yes I have been filling out that paperwork. Only hoping to start work early in the new year
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