Who and what is a DNO?
Before we book you in for an installation, we must notify your DNO. This short guide explains what a DNO is, why they are involved with your charger installation and how it could affect your installation date.
What is a DNO and what do they do?
Your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) looks after your local/regional electricity supply. The DNOs are licensed to distribute electricity in the UK and operate the cables and towers in your area.
Think of them as the go-between the National Grid and your energy company. That electricity must be transmitted and distributed to your property. It’s the distribution part that the DNO is responsible for, including the cables, poles and meters that deliver electricity to your individual property.
Every car charger installer will need to inform your DNO of the likely maximum demand at the property, so it can check the supply is adequate.
How can my DNO affect my installation date?
All EV charge point installers must notify the DNO of the charger installation. Different DNOs have different processes, so the response and timescale for an installation could vary depending on who yours is. Unfortunately, we do not have direct influence over the DNO’s speed of response.
If the maximum demand is likely to outstrip the supply at your property, then some chargers can be "de-rated" (such as the Ohme home pro) which means they will use less power - for example 16 Amps instead of 32. In most cases, this means the installation can safely go ahead until your DNO has upgraded your supply and your charger can be returned to full power.
Your DNO may wish to carry out works at your property, such as an upgrade. Any delay in the installation approval from your DNO is in addition to Smart Home Charge’s typical 3-4 week lead time.
Can the DNO delay my installation?
Potentially. Where at all possible, we will carry out your installation but there are some instances where the DNO needs to carry out works before we complete your installation. Examples include:
- DNO delays due to looped supply
A DNO (Distribution Network Operator) looks after the electrical supply to your home, such as the equipment in your meter box. In some cases, properties can be “looped” to the neighbouring property. In this instance, the DNO will often insist on “de-looping” the properties before an EV charger installation can take place. Smart Home Charge and the DNO will advise you if this is the case, but unfortunately this is out of our control and we are reliant on your DNO completing the works before we can continue.
- DNO delays due to fuse upgrade
As part of our due diligence, we have to calculate the estimated electrical demand on your property and notify your DNO which will confirm if your main fuse can manage this demand. In most cases, there are no issues but there are occasions when a main fuse upgrade is required which will need to be completed by your DNO. Again, this is out of the control of an installer, such as Smart Home Charge, and it can take up to two months for your DNO to complete the upgrade.
- DNO delays due to new meter
Your DNO may also wish to install a new meter before an EV charger installation is completed. This is completely outside of the installer’s control and can take an extremely long time for the DNO to complete the works. DNO lead times and processes vary between different operators.
Will my DNO need to carry out works on my property?
In many cases, an EV charge point installation is a straightforward affair and just requires the DNO to check and approve the installation.
However, as mentioned above, there are scenarios where your DNO may choose to carry out works on your property and these could include:
- Fuse upgrade
- Cable upgrades
- Unloop your power supply if you are connected to your neighbour’s supply
If the DNO determines that works need to be carried out, then this must go ahead before we can install your car charger.
This is out of our control and your DNO will arrange any works that are required with you directly.
Who is my DNO?
There are just six DNOs in Great Britain: SSE, SP Energy Networks, Electricity Northwest, Northern Powergrid, Western Power Distribution, UK Power Networks and Northern Ireland Electricity.
So who is your DNO? Well, the image from OVO Energy below gives you a rough idea, but to find out for sure you can have a look at the Energy Networks website: https://www.energynetworks.org/info/faqs/who-is-my-network-operator.html