New arrangements in place to facilitate competition in connections

For immediate release - 28 October 2015

The electricity distribution networks in GB have today (Wednesday) launched new arrangements to further improve competition in connections.

The new Competition in Connections Code of Practice comes into effect on Friday 30 October and will enable Independent Connection Providers (ICPs) and Independent Distribution Network Operators (IDNOs), to undertake connections work which previously only the regional Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) could do.

The Code of Practice will be able to develop over time and changes will be overseen by a Governance Panel of DNOs, IDNOs and ICPs. This Governance Panel has established a new website to allow all interested parties to engage in the future development of the code of practice.  The website launches as Ofgem confirms the licence condition designed to help facilitate this within the sector.

Energy Networks Association Chief Executive David Smith, said:

“Connecting new homes, businesses and generators to the distribution network is vital to UK economic growth and the increased competition in this area is a welcome development. The new Code of Practice will better inform the process and ensure the best service for customers.

“This represents a significant step forward in the further development of the competitive connections market. Through the new website, all parties will be able to influence the development of the Code of Practice and consequently the services which DNOs provide to further improve competition”

Some of the work carried out to connect to the network must be carried out by the DNO in order to protect the integrity of the network for all users but there are areas of connections which can be open to competition. The market share of Independent Connections Providers has grown significantly in this sector from 14% in 2010/11 to 32% in 2013/14.

The new website can be found at http://www.connectionscode.org.uk/.

ENDS

Notes to editors

ENA is the voice of the networks representing the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.