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Competition in Connections: ESPO’s Highway Electrical Connections Framework

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) reviewed the competition in the electricity distribution market and found it limited for growth and customer options in comparison to the gas market. To encourage further competition in the market, Ofgem have since altered the regulations surrounding electricity distribution and have created ‘Competition in Connections’. This means customers no longer have to rely on their electricity Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to carry out their electrical connections but can instead approach Independent Connection Providers (ICP) to source best value and meet their needs for electrical connections.

Since this change in regulations, ESPO has been approached by a number of local authorities to establish a framework agreement for their highway electrical connections requirements. To find out if there was place in the market for a national framework solution, ESPO conducted further market research with local authorities throughout the UK and concluded that there was a common requirement for low voltage, unmetered highway electrical connections provided by ICPs.

As a result of this research, ESPO created the Highway Electrical Connections framework (256), offering local authorities and other public sector organisations throughout the UK a solution to this common requirement. This framework is now live and available for use for ‘contestable’ works on any UK DNO network (except the Northern Ireland Electricity DNO area). The framework also offers access to ICPs for connection works on privately owned networks, and for minor installation works such as supply, erection and removal of street lighting columns, or for the provision of traffic management. 

As with all ESPO frameworks, Framework 256 is fully EU and UK Procurement Regulation compliant, with all the legislative checks having been completed in advance; saving procurement time and costs; and also preventing customers from having to run their own OJEU tender process. 

The framework offers a range of highway electrical connection works from a number of leading ICPs in the marketplace at competitive rates. All the awarded suppliers are accredited by the National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS) and many of them are also accredited by the Highway Electrical Registration Scheme (HERS).

To view this framework, please visit the ESPO website: Framework 256 - Highway Electrical Connections provided by Independent Connection Providers (ICPs)

Or for more information, please contact ESPO’s Place & Environment Team on 0116 265 7853 or by emailing

The following related ESPO frameworks are also available:

Channel website:

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