Britain’s electricity distribution companies face potential financial penalties of nearly £14m following complaints from customers who request new connections, Ofgem has warned. The energy market regulator believes distribution network companies – which own and operate the local cables that deliver electricity from the national network into homes and businesses – are guilty of a number of failings, including poor explanation of the costs of new connections and how any work is progressing. New businesses and housing developers are traditionally the major customers for new connections but, increasingly, small power generators, such as small wind or solar farms or factories that generate their own electricity, are connecting to distribution networks. This trend is expected to accelerate as Britain’s energy market moves away from the model of large power stations towards more renewables, local projects and smaller plants that can easily be switched on and off according to demand. UK Power Networks, which owns and maintains electricity cables across London and is owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong group, could face the biggest penalty of £4.62m. This is followed by SSE andÂ Scottish Power, which are facing penalties of £2.9m and £2.58m respectively, which would be delivered via cuts in their revenue. The Energy Networks Association, a trade body that responded on behalf of the companies, said that last year, distribution network companies “delivered a reduction in the length of time to connect customers, accommodating rapidly increasing demand from renewable generators”. They were also “fast tracking connections for small scale storage providers” the ENA said.
FT 21st Aug 2017 read more »