Frequently Asked Questions  
1. What's the difference between a Distribution search and a Transmission search?

A Distribution search covers localised infrastructure, such as the gas pipes that are situated in towns and Villages and sometimes across countryside. A Gas Distribution search can be carried out for Cadent Gas Ltd. areas via this website. Cadent Gas Limited covers the majority of gas distribution pipes in the middle of England. However Scotland, Wales and Southern England are covered by other Gas Transporters.

For an explanation of Distribution vs Transmission, please see this map.

The operators addresses can be found by using our post code checker. For Distribution electric plans you would need to contact local electric companies and their details can be found at http://www.ofgem.gov.uk/Networks/ElecDist/Pages/ElecDist.aspx

You can also view information about the electricity distribution network operators here: http://www.energynetworks.org/info/faqs/electricity-distribution-map.html

A Transmission search covers regional infrastructures such as overhead electric cables and high pressure underground gas pipes and underground High Voltage electric cables. To find out what National Grid plc covers please refer to the map within the postcode checker.

In a nutshell; Transmission apparatus takes power to the Distribution system. Distribution apparatus takes power to the end user.

2. What does UtilitySearch cover?

UtilitySearch facilitates (Gas) Distribution searches for cadent Gas Ltd. areas, Gas and Electricity transmission searches for National Grid Gas and National Grid Electricity areas. For a visual map of areas covered, please click here.

Utilitysearch is a service for solicitors, conveyancing companies and individuals dealing with Cadent gas distribution, National Grid Electricity Transmission and National Grig Gas Transmission. This search will ascertain if Easements or Wayleaves may exist for the property of interest with acompanying plans where applicable.

If your enquiry is in relation to your property service pipes or independent Gas Transporters (IGT's), you should consider contacting www.energynetworks.org, www.findmysupplier.energy, the Meter Number Helpline on 0870 6081524 or for more information on IGT's please refer to: www.ofgem.gov.uk/gas/distribution-networks/connections-and-competition/independent-gas-transporters

3. What are the charges and how do I pay?
The charges for each search will be displayed upon submitting a search of your desired search type. Payment can be made by debit or credit card, which is done by our payment provider 'Nochex'

A Cadent Gas Distribution search is £36.34 + VAT.
National Grid have two searches combined (Gas Transmission and Electricity Transmission) for which the total cost is £72.68 + VAT.


Both can be paid for online by credit card or you can pay by cheque (made payable to 'Utilitysearch'). All searches require pre-payment.

4. What is a 'standard' area?

The standard charge is based on a plan with a scale of 1:1250. This would roughly cover 1km2. If the area is densely populated with Infrastructure then 1:500 scale may be required and this will reduce the overall size of the printable area conversely if there is very little infrastructure in the area for example a pipeline crossing fields then results may be produced on 1:2500 scale covering a slightly larger area. If your area is larger than this then we recommend breaking it down into smaller parcels of land, which will also help identify which parcel of land may be affected by an easement.

5. Why is there such a difference in charges between Distribution & Transmission?

Transmission searches (National Grid) is two searches combined and cover the combined transmission of Gas Pipelines and Electric overground and Underground assets. They are operated by two independent companies, National Grid Electricity Transmission and National Grid Gas Transmission

6. Which utility company looks after my search area?
Use our area postcode checker to find out who covers your area.

7. I don't have a post code for the search area, is this a problem?

It makes the process a lot quicker and more accurate if there is a post code. Try using www.postcode.royalmail.com

Alternatively, grid co-ordinates should be supplied. Try using www.streetmap.co.uk

8. I don't have access to a large scanner to get my plans on-line, what should I do?

If you don't have a scanner, often a photo (even from a mobile phone) will be clear enough to use. Alternatively if you only have a hard copy, you can still input your request and pay on-line. Simply tick the box to say plans are being sent in the post, then send them to:

UtilitySearch
Mansell House
Aspinall Close
Horwich
Bolton
BL6 6QQ

9. Can I check the status of my search request on-line?
You are able to log into your account and view your submitted requests at any time. Once submitted, your request is immediately awaiting an engineer to complete the request and you will be able to view the response once it's been completed. At this time we don't display the estimated completion date, please see the FAQ below regarding how long the search process takes along with the ability to prioritise.

10. Can I cancel a request once it has been submitted?
As long as the engineers have not started processing the search, we will hapily cancel the search and refund the fee. However if work has commenced upon the search we are unable to refund. In order to cancel a search, please find your search in the system and view the search detalis. At the top right under options, you will find a 'Cancel Search' button. If you have submitted more than one search for a property (Gas Distribution and the Transmission searches) then you will need to cancel all searches separately if that is what you require.

11. How long does the search process take?

The National Grid & Cadent engineers operate to a standard of D + 7 working days. The average time to complete an on-line search is 2 business days with results often being provided the day after they are submitted. It may take longer if there is a high volume going through the system or due to resource constraints. Postal requests will definitely take longer due to the postal time as well as the manual data input/output stages required. For this reason, we highly recommend submitting online. In order to ensure no delays, please ensure your plan is clearly marked with the property boundary, readable roadnames where possible and a comprehensive address, ideally with Easting and Northing Grid References.

Expediting Requests:
If your search requires a faster turnaround, you have the ability to mark the (online) search as a high priority. However in order to be fair to all customers, this is restricted to a small quantity based on your monthly volumes submitted. To prioritise or view your remaining allotment, once your request is in the system, find and view the request and you will see the option at the top right of the request details.
Note: A high priority search will provide the results sooner than normal as it will be amongst the first searches to be completed by the engineers when they start processing requests (typically done daily). This ability however is provided as good-will and does not guarantee an instantaneous turnaround, the timescales could in some circumstances still be similar to those advised above.

12. Can I get a VAT receipt?

If you have made payment on-line you can print off a receipt through the 'payment details' button when viewing your request online.

If you have made payment by cheque, you will be able to view/download the Invoice from the 'payment details' button when viewing your request online.

13. The plan I have received states "Site supplied by IGT (Independent Gas Transporter)", how do I find their contact details?

If the area of your search is marked with "Site supplied by an IGT" or contains "IGT Polygons" such as a new housing estate or new commercial park, then ‘Cadent Gas Limited and/or National Grid plc will have gas mains in the vicinity and the search may indicate this, however the specific property may be supplied with Gas by another gas Transporter, and they may own gas mains supplying your property with gas, for assistance identifying the owner of these gas mains you will need to contact www.energynetworks.org. For more information go to
http://cadentgas.com/Get-connected/8-steps

14. What will I receive in terms of results

When a search is carried out, your site will be checked against the records of the supplier to ascertain if there are assets owned by the supplier within or in close proximity to the property boundary which could mean that there are easements or wayleaves. If this is the case then the response letter would advise accordingly and you will be provided with a map showing these assets. Should there be the possibility of easements then you would be required to obtain these from Land Registry. If there are no assets affected by the property or within proximity then you will still likely be provided with a plan of the suppliers assets but only if the map facets are held by the supplier for the area. Regardless of if a map is provided or not, the search of assets still requires to be carried out by the supplier and as such the fee remains payable.

For sample response documentation (subject to change), please see our documentation library.

15. Can I get a VAT Receipt

Yes, simply login, find and view the request that you require a receipt for. Beside the payment line, you will see a 'Details' buton. Select this and it will open a popup window with the payment details. At the bottom of this popup, you will see a link to view the receipt.

View The Utilitysearch Overview to see how easy it is >>

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