Skip to main content

Connecting unmetered equipment

We can facilitate requests to install new unmetered connections, transfer supplies and disconnect unmetered connections.

  • An unmetered connection is a supply to equipment which does not require a meter, e.g. street lights, traffic signals, some communications cabinets etc.

    The Electricity (Unmetered Supply) Regulations 2001specify strict criteria for determining whether or not a connection can be unmetered:

    a) The load must be predictable. If the value of the load or its duration cannot be readily predicted the connection must be metered. Standard electricity sockets may not be installed at an unmetered connection as equipment connected to the socket cannot be determined.

    b) The demand at each load point should be rated below 500W. In some limited circumstances, where it is not practical to install metering due to high costs, technical difficulties or legals reasons, it is acceptable for load in excess of 500W to be unmetered. All loads above 500W shall be submitted to the Unmetered Connection team who will determine if the load can be unmetered.

    c) The total combined load beyond the Supply Point shall not exceed 5kW (per fuse way) The Supply Point is the point of connection to the authorised distributors network (exit point of WPD’s network, e.g. outgoing fuse terminal of WPD’s cut out).

    We have developed a guidance document for unmetered connections, a copy can be found here.

  • There are a number of standard arrangements for providing small unmetered connections. These are available to view in our Standard Technique SD5P which can be located on our Technical Information website.

    In each case a connection will only be made to a fused cut out / distribution board housed within a secure weather proof cubicle, pillar or street lighting column. Connections will not be provided to cut outs located within traffic bollards, roundabouts, traffic islands or to compartments placed below ground.

    Where a connection is required for equipment located on a motorway (or equivalent dual carriageway) e.g. lighting, signs etc. the highway authority shall provide a pillar / enclosure remote from the motorway carriageway. Access to the pillar / enclosure shall be provided from land adjacent to the motorway and not from the hard shoulder.

    The maximum cut-out fuse size for individual items of un-metered equipment where the connection utilises a street light type cut out is 25A.

    All new unmetered connections (including augmentations) if installed within a 20m distance from a suitable low voltage main (CSA > 35mm²), shall be connected with a sole use service cable (i.e. dedicated service).

  • When we receive your application form we will make an assessment of the works required and associated costs. Once we have completed our assessment we will send you a connection offer. These are valid for 90 days and the works should normally be completed within 90 days from the date of acceptance. This is subject to change; for example, we may need to obtain permissions from third party landowners or the highways agency prior to commencing any works.

  • Each application is individually assessed and costs are determined in line with our Connection Charging Methodology Statements.

    What will I need to pay for?

    Your connection offer will reflect the cost of providing the connections you have requested and will take account of;

    • The type of surface to be excavated and reinstated by our teams in the highway or third party land, e.g. road, tarmac footpath, block paving, turf
    • The distance from the existing network mains cable
    • The number of connections, disconnections and transfers to be provided
    • Whether or not we need to obtain legal permissions and consents
    • Known traffic management costs such as temporary traffic lights and road closures.

    In some instances, there may not be enough capacity available on the existing network and we may need to upgrade equipment or install a new transformer. We will discuss this with you once we have completed our initial studies.

  • We are required to comply with a set of standard timescales under the Connection Guaranteed Standards of Performancealthough we often issue connections offers in advance of the target deadline.

  • It is usually the customer’s responsibility to provide suitable earthing arrangements for street furniture.

Unmetered Connection Offer Survey

In May 2020 we invited Customers who had applied for an unmetered connection within the previous 6 months to participate in a survey on the unmetered connections offer process. The survey is now closed. This link provides a copy of the full survey and feedback received.  Our summary of the survey and feedback can be found here.

How would you like to apply?

Supporting information

Legal permissions and consents

Connection offers and agreements

Charging statements