Detailed, expert knowledge combined with close working relationships with the distribution networks from the outset can smooth the process of bringing or reconnecting utilities to a construction site or development project.
Dunore Utility Connections is a full project management service for the construction and property development sector, getting involved from as early as the first identification of a potential site right through to connections going live when the work is done.
Jon Newsham, the founder of Dunore Energy, a utilities partner that specialised in negotiating and recommending gas, electricity and water contracts for business across the region, has put his extensive knowledge to good use and turned his attention to the needs of the construction and development sector.
Dunore Utility Connections can become involved at any stage of the process, using its existing relationships with providers to drive a project forward and identify and meet clients’ needs.
“We have always worked with clients who needed a new utility connection or a supply change,” explained Jon. “We came to realise that dealing with the networks is not necessarily the easiest part of the process and developers and commercial clients trying to sort utilities out themselves might not always be getting the best customer service or the best delivery timescales.
“Because Dunore has established relationships with the networks and industry bodies we can really drive processes forward, which makes all the difference when it comes to working to tight timescales and making sure what needed to be in place was in place at the right time, each step of the way.”
A menu of services from Dunore is available for anything from a single house up to a large commercial industrial installation, where negotiations are still taking place over a piece of land with a view to development. The firm can carry out a utility survey to provide a clear indication of what services are already in the area and produce a detailed report outlining the costs of bringing services into the piece of land.
If it goes project goes ahead, Dunore can then make applications to the networks for the services that are needed, accessing its trusted supply chain to potentially drive savings on the project in terms of both costs and time.
“If we look at it from a developer’s point of view, you have three utilities to deal with – gas, electricity and water – so that’s three separate applications that have to be handled as part of the overall project.
“Appointing us means that all that hassle is taken care of. It also means that when the quotes come in, we’re casting an expert eye over them. We know from experience what the costs for a particular development should look like, certainly more than a landowner or developer might, and so we know when the client is getting the right price.
“We communicate regularly with the providers to make sure they are aware of the installation dates and connection dates that are expected within the development’s timescale so there shouldn’t be any hold-ups.”
Dunore can also advise on any additional costs that a site might incur – such as a recent project where the site was on a cobbled street resulting in a higher-than-normal outlay in terms of digging up the path and making good afterwards.
There’s a wide base of clients, each with their own specific needs, from a recent project for a large supermarket that was installing fast charge points and needed to discuss their current supply and reconnect to a new supplier, while Dunore is also working with a developer that is building 25 new flats.
“What we deliver is a full end-to-end service from the first plans for a piece of land and making applications, right through to making sure the meters are fitted on time and seeing everything go live.
“Energy project management attracts two types of clients. There are those who are not familiar with the process of applying for and organising utilities, and benefit from our help and guidance, but there are also those that are fully aware of what’s involved but would rather ask someone else to handle everything and save them that headache.
“Dunore works for the client, independently from any network or supplier, and we are completely transparent about our fees. We charge a project management fee, so that the client knows exactly where they stand and what the services are costing them. They can see that we are not just going with the best commission deal for us, what the networks quote is the price the client sees, and I think they appreciate that openness and are happier to engage us on that basis.”
For more information call Dunore Utility Connections on 01933 427601