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New connections or alterations to supply

New Connections or Alterations to Supply

Unison is the electricity distributor for Napier, Hastings, Rotorua and Taupo, which also means we are responsible for all electricity connections in these regions.

We supply electricity to all property types including homes, farms, businesses, industrial buildings, and new subdivisions, and we deliver a range of different electricity connection types and services to help power your needs.

NOTE: It is a requirement of our Network Connection Standard that you consult with your electrician and Unison about your plans before adding new loads as this can overload network assets such as transformers resulting in asset failure and risks damage to property or persons.

Electricity Connection Types

Builder's Temporary Supply

A Builder’s Temporary Supply (BTS) is a temporary power supply for builders or other tradespeople working at a site that does not have an existing electricity connection.

Once work at the site is complete, the BTS connection can be either disconnected or upgraded to permanent supply.

Important information for electricians and developers below:

Distributed Generation

Generating your own electricity may interest you for a number of reasons. Maybe you want to lower your carbon foot print, live in a remote area and need ‘off-the-grid’ supply, or want to reduce your power bill.

Whatever your reason, if you intend to connect your generation equipment to the electricity network in order to sell power back to your electricity retailer, you’ll need to apply for a Distributed Generation connection.

Your retailer will require you to install a two-way meter, to measure how much power you use from the grid, and how much you return. You’ll need a qualified electrician to complete the installation and sign off on the ‘Code of Compliance’ to complete the process.

Find out more about Distributed Generation »

Standard Electricity Connections

If you need to connect to our network, and the network is already running past your property, your connection type is most likely to be ‘standard’. This is where we can connect your supply by running a service line from the network at your boundary in order to deliver supply. Generally, you will need to allow a lead time of up to six weeks for a standard connection.

Complex Electricity Connections

If we need to extend the network or change the level of supply in your area in order to complete your connection, then it will most likely be deemed as ‘complex’. This usually relates to rural or industrial connections, due to either the property’s location requiring us to extend the network in order to connect your service, or your power requirements exceeding our existing supply levels.

Complex connections will need to go through a detailed design process, and therefore have a longer lead-time, so it pays to request a connection well in advance of your required livening date. You should allow four to eight weeks to complete the initial quote (depending on the complexity of the project), and then another four to six weeks for construction.


Capital Contributions

If you are looking to connect your home or business to Unison’s electricity distribution network, we may require you to contribute towards some of the costs for the design and installation of the electricity assets.

Our network is constantly growing, as new homes and businesses are built or require extra capacity within our regions. Because the cost of building and maintaining our network is shared amongst all users through line charges, we may ask you to pay some of the costs (in industry speak, this payment is called a ‘capital contribution’) towards new assets if they have little or no benefit to the wider network users.

We’ve created this guide to help you understand why we may ask you to contribute, the process we follow for new connections, and how any capital contributions are calculated.

Power Supply Alterations

Changes to Connection or Load Requirements

If your electricity needs have changed, you may require your power supply to be upgraded or downgraded. We call this an ‘alteration’ to your electricity supply.

Depending on your needs, your request may need to go through our design team, so ensure you allow plenty of lead-time for this process if you have an important deadline.

NOTE: It is a requirement of our Network Connection Standard that you consult with your electrician and Unison about your plans before adding new loads as this can overload network assets such as transformers resulting in asset failure and risks damage to property or persons.

Our Electricity Connection or Alteration Process

For all connection types, we require you to follow our New Connection process.

The new connection or supply alterations process requires input from a number of different parties, including:

  • You, as the customer.
  • Your chosen electricity retailer, who your power account will be with once the connection is complete.
  • Your chosen electrician, who will help you complete the application form. It pays to obtain a quote and check the cost includes the Livening Agent and Electrical Inspector.
  • A certified ‘Livening Agent’ (arranged by your electrician).
  • An Electrical Inspector (arranged by your electricity retailer).
  • Unison, as the network owner.

The Connection or Alteration Process

  • Together with your electrician, complete the online form to request a new connection or alteration and provide the information required including the proposed electricity retailer that the consumer wishes to be have supply their electricity.
  • Unison will advise the proposed retailer of the request for connection and request the retailer’s approval to for Unison to create a new point of supply (ICP).
  • Once the customer’s electricity retailer has approved the new ICP Unison will now complete an assessment of your application, determining any costs to establish or change your supply, and any easement requirements, and provide a quote to you for the work. Depending on the complexity of the job, your request may need to go through our detailed design process which attracts an engineering fee of $3,450 inc. GST. This is deducted from your final invoice on acceptance of the quote.
  • If you wish to proceed, you will need to make an initial payment as formal acceptance of our quote and terms and conditions.
  • Once payment is received, we will arrange for the work to be undertaken, and once work is completed, issue an ICP number and ‘Approval to Liven’ to your energy retailer.
  • Your energy retailer arranges for the installation of your electricity meter.
  • Your electrician will arrange the electrical inspection, and a certified Livening Agent to liven your supply.
  • Your connection is now ‘live’, and you will begin to receive a bill for electricity from your energy retailer.

Allow Plenty of Lead Time

Ensuring that all connections or alterations to supply meet our network and safety standards is important to the resilience of our network. Please ensure you lodge your request with the following guide lead times in mind. We endeavour to action all requests promptly, but lead times are subject to change, so please contact our team to get information on expected lead times for your specific project.

Unison will always endeavour to provide timely and detailed information throughout the process.

Common delays could include long lead times for items required for the connection, e.g., distribution transformers. Other delays may be due to the complexity of the connection request and the requirement to consider upstream network capacity constraints.

As a guideline, please allow:

  • Up to six weeks for a simple connection
  • Up to twenty weeks for a complex connection