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Get your home connected to a gas or electricity supply

This advice applies to England

If you've moved into a new home and the electricity or gas doesn't work, it's possible you'll need to get the property connected to a gas or electricity supply.

To do this, you’ll need to:

  1. Set up a connection - the company you get to do this will depend on where you live.
  2. Choose a supplier - this will be the company that will bill you for energy you use.

If the gas and electricity already works in your home, you won't need to set up a connection - but you'll need to set up an account with a supplier.

Set up a connection

Contact your local electricity distributor and gas transporter to get your home connected to the mains. These companies are responsible for the gas piping and electrical wiring - they don’t supply energy.

Coronavirus – if you need a home visit to set up your connection

If you’re ill, self-isolating, or worried about a home visit, tell your supplier. You should be able to rearrange it. 

How much it will cost

The distributor or transporter will give you a quote for the cost of the work to connect your home.

The cost will depend on how much work they have to do and how long it takes. For example, it might take longer if the company needs access to neighbouring properties or to close a road to make the connection.

Some parts of the work may be able to be done by someone else, such as a registered electrician or gas engineer. This is called ‘contestable work’.

If you think you can get the work done more cheaply:

  • ask the distributor or transporter to break down the quote into contestable and non-contestable work
  • get quotes from contractors for the contestable parts of the work
  • compare the quotes to the price provided by your supplier to see if you can get the work done at a better price

Always check with the distributor or transporter whether any of the work carried out by an independent contractor needs to be agreed or inspected by them.

If you’re refused a connection

In some situations, a gas transporter or electricity distributor might refuse to provide you with a connection. This might be because:

  • the pipework or wiring is in a dangerous condition - you may need to have work carried out to make it safe before you can be connected
  • your area is not supplied with gas because your home is not within 23 metres of a gas main - you could look at arranging for a pipe to be laid and connected to the mains, but it could be expensive

Choosing a supplier

As well as setting up a connection, you’ll need to choose a company to supply your gas or electricity. This will be the company that will send you bills.

Suppliers are normally regional, so ask the distributor or transporter organising your connection what companies you can use.

The supplier will install a meter on your property, so you should choose them in good time before you want the connection to take place, in order to avoid delays. You might have to pay for this installation - it depends on the supplier.

When choosing a supplier you'll sign up to a tariff - you should make sure you understanding the different energy tariffs available.

Further help

If you’re refused a connection or if you have a problem getting it set up, contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.

If you’re in Northern Ireland, contact Consumerline.

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