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Energy Act 2008

Commentary on Sections

Section 98: Costs connected with making an offer of connection

546.Section 16 of the Electricity Act 1989 states that a Distribution Network Operator is under a duty to make connections to the distribution system in specified circumstances. Section 16A of the Electricity Act 1989 states that when a third party requests a connection from an electricity distributor, the distributor is required to provide a network connection offer. Section 19 of the Electricity Act 1989 enables the electricity distributor to recover costs reasonably incurred in providing a network connection. The provision does not, however, entitle Distribution Network Operators to charge for work carried out, and expenses incurred, for network connection offers where a connection is not subsequently made.

547.Subsection (2) of section 98 addresses this problem by inserting new subsections (4A) to (4C) into section 16A of the Electricity Act 1989.

548.Subsection (4A) of the Electricity Act 1989 provides the Secretary of State with a power to make regulations entitling a Distribution Network Operator to request (to such extent as is reasonable in the circumstances) payment of expenses incurred when making network connection offers under section 16A(5) of the Electricity Act 1989. The power may only be exercised after consultation with the Authority.

549.Subsection (4B) states that the kind of expenses recoverable will be specified in regulations and, consistent with section 19(1) of the Electricity Act 1989, must have been reasonably incurred. The combined effect of subsections (4A) and (4B) is that a Distribution Network Operator may only request payment of his expenses if it is reasonable to do so.

550.Subsection (4C) provides scope for the regulations to specify circumstances under which an electricity distributor is not entitled to require payment and how expenses reasonably incurred are to be calculated.

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