Electricity consumption costs: Save in 2023 (2023)

Whether you want lighting, an electric grill, a security system or a powered garden workshop, powering your shed is a great first step. In the UK, you cannot do this job alone. Instead, you will have to pay a registeredelectricianto do the work for you. However, the total cost will depend on the percentage of work you do yourself, the distance from the shed to the mains and your location.

The average cost of running shed electricity in the UK is £150-£950, or an average of £350. Actual pricing depends on whether your electrician has to dig up or remove panels, how far the shed is from the grid, and even the size of the line.


Electricity to reduce costs*

The cost of powering a shed varies depending on distance, labor required, etc.

For example, the diagram below details the average cost of running a new circuit in a shed 10 meters from the mains, consisting of digging a trench, laying cable and testing the system. With local Building Regulation Approval, the full project will likely cost upwards of £400.

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Court feesTotal
Hourly wages45-60 £236-430 £
Digging2 hours90-120 £
Power cord1-2 hours45 £- 120 £
Testing system15-20 minutes11-30 £
Call charges45 £- 85 £
Approval of Building Regulations for Notifiable Work£170- £450
Materials45 £- 160 £
451 £- 1040 £

*Please note that these costs were based on average costs at the time of writing, April 2023. Actual prices are subject to change and may differ at the time of reading.

5 Pricing Factors

The two biggest costs for powering a garden shed are the electrician's hourly rate and the average cost of notifiable labor in your area. However, some of these costs will be invisible in your quote.

1. Digging

The mains must be buried when crossing open spaces. This requires first checking for existing cables and pipes and then digging a trench for the pipe. Then you lay an armored cable or SWA (Steel Wire Armored Cable) and bury it. The steel coating ensures that if the location is not properly marked and someone later tries to dig in the area, the cable is not immediately cut when the shovel hits.

The minimum depths for burying the electrical cable are:

  • 450 mm on paths and edges
  • 500mm in gardens

If you are running your cable through an area used for agricultural purposes, you will need to dig it to 1000mm.

Here, you can choose to have the electrician handle the task of digging the trench for you. This will normally cost about 1 hour of work per 5 meters of cable run. You can also choose to do the digging yourself, provided you first consult with the electrician and decide where it should be.

2. Marking the cable route

Your electrical wire must be routed from the connection point – either an existing outlet or switch box – to the shed. This may mean removing drywall and possibly drilling a cable route into the subframe.

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Here, you can choose to do the work yourself. However, you should talk to your electrician first. Discuss the work you want to do, where to travel and when they will intervene.

Having the cable route prepared by the electrician will likely cost anywhere from 30 minutes to 2+ hours depending on the distance of the cable route.

3. Hourly fee

Most registered electricians in the UK charge £40-60 per hour. Some will charge more. Additionally, some may charge less but are probably not enrolled in the Competent Person Scheme. You also want to make sure you're working with a registered competent person, as this will save you a lot of hassle when notifying building control about the work.

Hourly billing can have an impact because powering your garden can take anywhere from 1-4+ hours depending on the distance and work involved.

Most electricians charge a call out fee of £50-£85. This covers the cost of travel and their first hour of work. Then you pay the basic hourly rate.

Call-in fees may also apply to any quotes if you require an inspection and quote before starting work. So the actual invoice might look like this:

  • Call Charge – £85 (Advice and Quote)
  • Call Charge – £85 (Starting Work)
  • Hourly rate (3) – £135

In other cases, the initial quote and consultation will be free, handled over the phone, or included as part of the overall job. However, you can normally expect to pay a promotion fee for each visit to your property.

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4. How much power do you need?

You should discuss your energy needs when requesting a shed power quote. Here, your electrician will want to know what you plan to run in the shed. In most cases, you will end up with a 20 amp cable and circuit, with a matching residual current device. In other cases, you may need a 32 amp or even 60 amp installation.

You will always need:

  • A cable suitable for the distance and power required
  • Fuses (if connected to the mains and not to an outlet)
  • Accessories, switches and sockets
  • Wiring from mains to lights and sockets
  • Residual current device

All of these will change in cost depending on the power you need at the destination. Additionally, you should always discuss your actual needs with the electrician before you can determine the cost of the materials.

On the other hand, if you're only running one light off-line, your electrician may choose a solid spur, off an existing RCD ring, meaning you won't even need one.

5. Cost of reportable work

If you are working with oneRegistered Competent Person,they will probably be able to report Notice Work to Building Control on your behalf. This means that the cost can be built into your larger offer. However, call charges can be significant. For example, they range from around £170 to over £640 depending on your location.

Your electrician may roll this cost into the total fee. This means that a large percentage, or up to half, of their fee may be Building Control fees.

If you don't have a registered competent person installing your power cable, you may end up submitting the notice yourself. This means that you will pay the fee yourself and your electrician will charge you a lower price for the actual installation.

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Benefits of powering your shed

Wiring a shed can be convenient, safer than running an extension and can add to the value of your home.

  • Lighting– It is always possible to install a solar or battery powered light in your shed. However, mains powered lighting will always be brighter and more reliable. This is ideal if you often find yourself going to the shed after dark. In addition, if you want to use the shed, such as for an office or as a workshop, you will need to install electricity to ensure available lighting. Fortunately, the lighting is easy to install and you can get away with just one socket, probably switching off an existing socket in your home – meaning you may not need to notify Building Control.
  • Security– If you store expensive equipment or machinery in your shed, you may want to install security. Electrical installation makes it easier and ensures that your security system is more reliable.
  • Ease– Running extensions out in the garden is never convenient. Having electrical outlets in your shed means easy access to charge garden equipment, use power tools or even charge your phone while in the garden.
  • Security– Extension cords create dust hazards. They are also far from waterproof. Therefore, leaving a plugged-in cable outdoors can short-circuit your home. Burying your cables and keeping them out of the elements – and your feet – ensures that you and your family stay as safe as possible. And, without having to constantly wind and unwind your cables, you're less likely to experience electrical shorts due to cable faults and breaks.
  • Power Distribution– Running an extension cord in your garden can allow you to use electronics there. However, you will always be limited based on the lead. If you want to use a lot of tools or high power tools, you're usually limited to 1,500-3,500 watts. A single circular saw can use 2,400 at startup and run at 1,200. So the power mode can allow you to use more tools at the same time. Plus, it can prevent you from flipping switches if you're taking out the same circuit block as your stove or a washing machine.
  • Resale value– Powering outbuildings can improve the resale value of your home, provided it has the appropriate certifications. However, this is not guaranteed, so investing time and money into it is not necessary if you are considering selling your home. On the other hand, if you have an unauthorized electrical installation in your shed, it could prevent the sale of your home until you have it inspected and approved.

There are many reasons why you might want electricity in your garden shed:

  • Lights
  • Study/Office
  • Security systems
  • External freezers/fridges
  • Pumps/air pumps for swimming pools

Powering your shed may or may not be extremely useful. It mostly depends on what you do with your building and garden.

Do you need a license to run Power To Shed?

Under Part P of the Building Regulations, any electrical installations must either be carried out by a registered tradesperson or inspected and certified by one. As a homeowner, you are responsible for ensuring that any work completed on your home is safe and complies with safety regulations. For example, you may not be able to sell a house if you have electrified the shed without proper notice and signature from a registered competent person. Additionally, working with a registered electrician can save you a lot of work as you may not need to notify your local authority about the work.

Additionally, not all electrical installations require notification. For example, if your electrician runs from an existing circuit, such as an existing outlet, you will not need to notify.

WorkCertifications requiredBuilding inspection notice (England)Building inspection notice (Wales)
Installing a new circuit from the mainsElectrical Installation Certificate, Building Regulation Compliance Certificate/Part P CertificateYesYes
Adding or Modifying an Existing Circuit (Fusion Circuit)Certificate of Minor Electrical Works, potentially Building Regulation Compliance Certificate/Part P CertificateNoYes
Adding or changing an existing circuit from a room with a bathtub, sauna, swimming pool or showerCertificate of Minor Electrical Works, potentially Building Regulation Compliance Certificate/Part P CertificateYesYes

Essentially, in Wales, you must always notify Building Control. In England, this will depend on where you are and the specific local authority regulations. Your registered electrician will know if your work counts as a Notice Work. You can also check the regulationshere.

Hiring checklist

If you are hiring an electrical contractor, you want to know that he is capable of doing the job and that he can help you get the required certifications and approval. The following recruitment checklist will help you:


  • Are they registered? Find a registered electrician atFINE, or aRegistered Competent Personand always make sure to look up their registration number before hiring
  • What do they charge? Does it compare well with competitors' offerings? It's usually a good idea to compare at least three quotes.
  • Do they have liability and workers compensation insurance?
  • Does the company have a manufacturing warranty?
  • Are project expectations included in the contract in writing?
  • Do the schedules meet your needs? Is there a competitor that has better schedules?
  • Will they handle Building Control Notices for you?
  • Do they have good reviews online?

In most cases, you can expect your electrician to take 2-6 weeks to have time available for your project.

Next steps

Installing electricity in your garden shed will typically cost £350 or more. However, for a simple project, this could be as little as £150 or as much as £1,000. Unfortunately, the cost depends on project factors and local building control notice costs. For example, in some parts of the UK, the Notice costs £640. This can significantly increase the overall cost of the project.

If you're ready to get started, contact us today for quotes on powering your shed.


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