Are you wondering what a DNO application is? Or what does DNO stand for? Then you are in the right place!
What is A DNO Application?
When you are looking to install solar panels or any form of energy device that is going to be connected to the National Grid, you must inform your local DNO. Whether it is for your home or business, your DNO has to be notified in order to accurately calculate and monitor the amount of electricity needed. This is done by simply filling out a DNO application and sending it to your relevant distribution network operator.
The size of your system will determine the type of DNO application you will have to complete and if you will have to apply before or after installation. The rule of thumb is the larger the system, the more documentation that is required.
If this sounds daunting, fear not. Any DNO applications are managed at Deege Solar by our in-house green team.
What does DNO stand for?
DNO stands for Distribution Network Operator. Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are licensed companies responsible for distributing electricity from the National Grid to your home or business. There are 14 different district networks or DNO regions here in the UK, owned by 6 groups:
- Electricity North West Limited (ENWL)
- Northern Powergrid
- Scottish and Southern Energy (SEE)
- ScottishPower Energy Networks (SPEN)
- UK Power Networks (UKPN)
- Western Power Distribution (WPD)
Who is the DNO for my Area?
The easiest way to find out who your Distribution Network Operator is to visit the Electricity Network Association’s (ENA) website and enter your postcode. As a Nationwide solar panel installation company we have experience with all 14!
When Do you need to apply for a DNO Applictation?
When you’re making any significant changes to your connection, you must notify your local DNO provider. A significant change includes installing one of the following green energy devices:
Can you Avoid DNO Permission?
Unless you are installing an off-grid system, unfortunately, you cannot avoid getting DNO permission. As you are making a direct connection to the grid, the installation needs to be compliant with the grid regulations in your area. This is because as we push towards a Net Zero UK, electric-powered devices or energy assets such as electric vehicles and heat pumps will be on the rise. It is important to notify your local DNO so that the extra load and strain on the National Grid can be managed effectively. This is critical for reducing local back-outs, and ensuring that supply in your area is efficient.
Why Do you need a DNO Certificate for Solar Panels?
If you install a solar panel system without a DNO certificate you will be unable to receive SEG payments from the National Grid, as part of the incentive of being grid connected.
Different Types of DNO Applications for Solar Panels
The size of your solar PV system will determine the type of DNO application you will have to apply for. It is worth noting that the size of your PV system is based on the AC inverter rating, rather than the peak DC rating of the panels. The main two types of DNO applications are “connect and notify” or “apply to connect”.
To install small-scale Distributed Generation (DG) equipment at your home or business, you will need to contact a certified solar PV installer, such as Deege Solar to proceed with your installation. To count as a small-scale system, the system size must be under 16A per phase, which is the equivalent of 3.68kWp for a single-phase supply or 11.04kWp for a three-phase supply. If you are unsure about the size of your system, it is best to contact your solar panel installer.
Your chosen installer will check to see if your existing electricity supply is adequate for the additional load by completing an Adequacy of Supply (AoS) check. If the electricity supply is adequate, your chosen installer can install your solar panels without any prior permission from the DNO. However, your DNO must be notified within 28 days of commissioning the solar system. This is because such a small-scale system is unlikely to cause any load issues on your current local grid infrastructure. If your current supply is not suitable, your installer may need to upgrade your electricity supply in order to go ahead with the solar panel installation.
If you are installing a large-scale solar system, greater than 16A per phase, you will need to apply for DNO approval prior to installation. This is because the grid needs to determine whether your local distributor can handle the extra load. The process of the DNO reviewing your application can take between 8 to 12 weeks. If you are installing Distributed Generation equipment rated at 50kW or higher, you will need to complete a Standard Application Form (SAF).
If your G99 application comes back and your system’s export needs to be limited, a G100 application is required. At Deege Solar around 10% of our DNOs for solar panels gets limited. Applying for a G100 DNO will cost an additional £300-£700 for the application, and also increase your lead and installation time, as an extra device will need to be installed along with your system.
The Outcomes of a DNO Application
After your DNO application has been assessed, you will usually be sent a connect offer. This includes the maximum specification of the connection and if there are any connection charges. There are usually three outcomes of a DNO application.
- Your application is accepted, and your DNO is happy with the size of the system you have requested to install. This means you can proceed with your installation, with no extra charges or amendments.
- The system size is capped at a given kWp AC rating, and an export limitation is required. Sometimes a small fee is charged for a witness test, where your provider ensures a limitation has been put in place.
- Your supply size needs to be upgraded from a single-phase to a three-phase system in order to go ahead with your solar panel installation. This additional charge can be pricey depending on the site.
If the DNO declines your application to connect, it could be necessary to install an export power management system to limit the electricity from the PV system to the grid.
How Much Does A DNO Application Cost?
The G98 DNO application for “connect and notify” is a free application, however, administrative fees from your solar panel installers are usually charged in order to process the application. As for the G99 and G100 applications, they can cost anywhere between £300 – £750 each, with Scottish Power often being the most expensive.
How Long Does a DNO Application Take?
Due to the recent demand for homegrown energy, waiting periods for DNOs have increased. A G98 application for solar panels, usually takes 3 months, and whilst a G99 is stated to take around 8-12 weeks recent responses have taken anywhere between 4-6 months due to demand.
Expert Solar Panel Installers
DNO applications are not complicated, when you choose a team such as Deege Solar who are experts in DNOs for solar panels. If you are a UK home or business owner, looking to install solar panels, solar batteries or EV chargers, contact our green team today at 01322 479369 to secure your award-winning service. All DNO applications are included in our solar packages, and are part of our Nationwide service, so do not hesitate to get in touch.
For more information on solar panels, make sure to visit our guide to solar panels.