DNO permission for heat pumps: How can it impact your project?

The transition to heat pumps is expected to play a huge role in achieving the UK’s targets for decarbonising the housing sector, helping to reach the government’s net zero target by 2050. As demand increases, more and more installers will be expected to take on heat pump installations for customers who are looking to make their homes more sustainable.

If you’re new to the industry, there are a few things you should be aware of before approaching your first project – including DNO permission for heat pumps.

What is a DNO?

A District Network Operator (DNO) is a company licensed to distribute electricity in the UK. They are responsible for the distribution of electricity from the National Grid to industrial, commercial and domestic users. They also maintain and operate all underground cables, overhead lines and substations.

A DNO is different to an energy supplier – instead, a portion of your customer’s energy bill is paid to their local DNO for the management of the connection.

When you install a heat pump, it is the DNO who will connect it to the local power network. They will be responsible for ensuring the grid can cope with the additional demand.

How do you apply for DNO permission?

Connect a heat pump to an existing supply

If you have a customer looking to install a heat pump in their home, it will be connected to the existing electricity supply.

  • Collect information about current electricity supply and load

  • Assess the new Maximum Demand (MD) of the property with the heat pump factored in

  • If the new MD is over 60A (the case in most instances), a DNO application form will need to be submitted. If the new MD is under 60A, the customer may still need to complete a DNO application form prior to installation, as the heat pump in question, may be categorized as “Notify to Connect”. A call to the DNO will be able to provide this information.

  • If upgrade works are required to the supply, this is usually completed by the DNO free of charge (especially if the current supply rating is lower than average)

Connect a heat pump to a new supply

When building a new house and getting a new electricity supply connected, the data for the heat pump will need to be incorporated into the application to the DNO for the new supply.

Freedom HP are able to support installers with the DNO approval process. We can supply EV HP forms (previously known as DNO forms) to customers with the technical heat pump information filled in, with just the installation address information left to be completed by the installer.

Who is your DNO?

There are currently 14 licensed DNOs owned by 6 different groups that cover geographically defined regions across the UK:

  • SSE

  • SP Energy Networks

  • Electricity North West

  • Northern Powergrid

  • UK Power Networks

  • Wester Power Distribution

Northern Ireland Electricity cover Northern Ireland.

Check out the map below to get an idea of who your customer’s DNO is.

Source: Ovo Energy

To find out more about how we could support you with DNO permission for heat pumps on your next project, get in touch with the Freedom HP team on 02380 274833 or email sales@freedomhp.co.uk.