What is a DNO? | Smart Home Charge | Smart Home Charge

Who and what is a DNO?

12th Mar 2020 Danny Morgan

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 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) 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.


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, 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

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