The price of going on grid

It often surprises me how coincidences can happen. I have recently set up this site and Shed Lite and I was reminiscing about what was then CoSIRA (The Council for Small Industries In Rural Areas). This organisation was based in Salisbury and was disbanded many years ago but I know one person working there who told me of the many problems people in more remote areas were having in getting connected to the grid. I was thinking of relating his comments on this page.

Well, lo and behold if I did not run into him in Salisbury last Saturday! (26/11/16). I reminded him of the story and asked him to clarify it. It is a sobering thought:-

To cut a long story short, this person wanted to get 3-phase supply to his workshop. He was told that the only way he could get this was to install a substation at a cost of £65,000! (rememeber, we are talking 1980's prices here). He argued that he should not have to pay fo the whole installation as they could then use it for other properties nearby. The utility would not budge on the issue and he had to go elsewhere. Other tales abound of people having to fork out for 11kV transformers to be installed before they can get their electricity - and don't forget this is infrastructure; you can't simply go to a different supplier. The price? If you are lucky, you are talking over £12,000 and latterly, I have heard of quotes for £70,000 for 3-phase transformers.

Now, I am not going to offer solar equivalents for 3-phase supplies (although it can be done) but when you think of these sort of costs (and that is BEFORE you actually wire up the building) you can see how solar can be much cheaper to install.

If you have to go on-grid, please don't rely on a web calculator to get a quote for connection. Get a written quote. Only do sit down before you read it.