SITE ASSESSMENT

Water and electricity

Electricity and water are two items that can be prohibitively expensive and therefore essential to price into the amount you are paying for the site. The cost includes the standard utility connection fees plus any infrastructure that has to be built, e.g. a pole, both of which involve the network operator. For electricity ESB Networks in ROI, NIE in NI and for water Irish Water in ROI, NI Water in NI.

On your site, any work such as digging the trenches will be your responsibility and will usually come at the cost of hiring a groundworks tradesman to do this for you with a digger.   

You will need water on site before you begin construction and, although not essential because generators can be used, an electricity supply will make life a lot easier during the build. Temporary connections may be worth considering but can represent an unnecessary cost. For example in ROI, a temporary builder’s connection comes with expensive commercial rates (cost per kWh higher than for domestic).  

Alternatives for potable water include drilling a well or in ROI, connecting to a group water scheme. Quotes are fairly easily obtained but be mindful of the ongoing testing and associated maintenance costs that will be needed. 

Also consider rainwater harvesting as a source of limescale-free water. 

In the case of electricity, going off-grid remains prohibitively expensive for an average family home, starting around the £35K/€40K mark. 

For those working from home, having access to fibre broadband can be just as essential; checking if there is a connection is quickest by asking neighbours if they have broadband. Many rural areas still aren’t fully connected.