With the rapid pace of development in the Counties Power network area, tradespeople are coming from far and wide to deliver services. If you are new to working in this area please take the time to get familiar with the local requirements before you commence works.
Power can be disconnected to allow safe work near power lines. Disconnections and re-connections are free during business hours when planned in advance. There is a small charge for after-hours or urgent service. Don't take risks when painting, tree trimming or doing other work near Counties Power lines or private service lines - request a safe disconnection.
Local electrical requirements
Before you quote building or electrical work, be sure you know local requirements and wiring plans. Here are some must-read documents for electricians working in the Counties area:
- The Requirements for Electrical Installations for the Counties Power area include local wiring diagrams.
- If you are installing solar, wind or other local generation that will feed back to the grid you should also check out the Distributed Generation Requirements document.
- We encourage builders and electricians to take responsibility for arranging builders’ temporary supply, service line connection and electrical inspections.
- Sign-up here to receive the latest trades updates from Counties Power. These high both local and national changes that might impact local projects.
To book an electrical inspection please call your customer's chosen electricity retailer and allow at least five business days for the inspection to occur. You will hear back from Counties Power within two business days. We will tell you which day your inspection will be, but a time will not be specified. You can request we call you back on the day for a closer approximation of the inspector’s arrival time.
Some things you can do to help things go smoothly:
- When we call to confirm the inspection window, be sure to let us know where the COC will be found and leave a cell number where you can be contacted.
- The inspector needs power to test and liven. If you are not absolutely sure that the service line is connected, be sure to ask for a pole-top or pillar connection when you book your inspection.
- Check your COC carefully, especially if you will not be on site when the inspector arrives. The regulations do not allow the inspector to correct the forms for you – or liven power if they are incorrect.
- Be sure to check that the service main is complete and its own COC is available for the inspector.
- For older installations it helps for you to locate the earth pin and leave instructions as to where the inspector will find it.
- Remember that it is the electrician’s job to make sure the job meets the Electrical Safety Regulations and the local Requirements for Electrical Installations.
Tips for new connections
You can help new connections and renovations go smoothly for your customers by getting to know the local new connections process. Here are some things they might need to know:
- Most new residential sub-divisions in urban areas have been designed for single phase 63 amp supply. Customers are able to pay to upgrade to 2 or 3 phase supply.
- All connections in rural areas need to have at least 2 phase supply. Be sure to wire all rural developments, including houses, for 2 or 3 phase supply.
- New three phase supplies are up to 100 amps per phase. Higher demands can be met, and options will be discussed .
- Counties Power brings power to a pillar or pole-top near the property boundary and customers provide their own private service line to bring power from there to the boundary. You can help your customers by checking they have provided for a service line in their plans.
- The electrical requirements in the Counties Power area, and throughout New Zealand, have changed over time so if you are working in established areas it is important to check the location and capacity of the available supply before committing to a project.
- Unlike in some parts of Auckland, electric water heating in the Counties Power area is separately metered and some retailers pass on the price benefits of controlled water heating to their customers. Controlled water heating prices are set by retailers but are normally about 20% below continuous supply.
- In the past, some customers have connected onto existing private service lines rather than direct onto the network. In some cases this has been known to cause neighbourhood disputes and threaten reliability of supply so the practice is now actively discouraged. If your customer is planning to connect onto someone else’s private service line please encourage them to talk to us first on 0800 100 202.
Distributed generation (solar, wind or other)
If you are installing solar panels, wind generation or any other kind of small scale power generation and your customer wants to push power back into the grid, they need to apply to Counties Power in order to connect the distributed generation device. Some useful resources for tradespeople involved with distributed generation are:
- Applications for connections up to 10kw using a pre-approved inverter will be processed within ten business days.
- Information packs for Distributed Generation up to 10 kW.
- Information packs for Distributed Generation over 10 kW
- The technical document Distributed Generation Requirements.
- The section of the Electricity Industry Participation Code (2010) that provides for connection of distributed generation.
The “Electricity Industry Participation Code” changed in February. Two important changes to the law about connecting solar, wind and...