Electricity Act 1947

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1947 c. 54


Electricity Act, 1947

(10 & 11 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 54.

An Act to provide for the establishment of a British Electricity Authority and Area Electricity Boards and for the exercise and performance by that Authority and those Boards and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board of functions relating to the supply of electricity and certain other matters; for the transfer to the said Authority or any such Board as aforesaid of property, rights, obligations and liabilities of electricity undertakers and other bodies; to amend the law relating to the supply of electricity; to make certain consequential provision as to income tax; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[13th August 1947]

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I BRITISH ELECTRICITY AUTHORITY AND AREA ELECTRICITY BOARDS.

PART I.

BRITISH ELECTRICITY AUTHORITY AND AREA ELECTRICITY BOARDS.

S-1 Man functions of Electricity Boards.

1 Man functions of Electricity Boards.

(1) There shall be established an Authority, to be known as the British Electricity Authority, and it shall be of the duty of that Authority as from the vesting date to develop and maintain an efficient, co-ordinated and economical system of electricity supply for all parts of Great Britain except the North of Scotland District, and for that purpose—

(a ) to generate or acquire supplies of electricity;

(b ) to provide bulk supplies of electricity for the Area Boards hereinafter established for distribution by those Boards;

(c ) to co-ordinate the distribution of electricity by Area Boards and to exercise a general control over the policy of those Boards; and

(d ) to provide supplies of electricity for consumers for whom the British Electricity Authority are required by any provision of this Act or may for the time being be authorised by the Minister to provide such supplies.

(2) There shall be established Boards, to be known by the names mentioned in the first column of the First Schedule to this Act, for the areas which are described in general terms in the second column of that Schedule and are to be defined by orders made under this Part of this Act, and it shall be the duty of every such Board as from the vesting date to acquire from the British Electricity Authority bulk supplies of electricity and to plan and carry out an efficient and economical distribution of those supplies to persons in their area who require them.

(3) In this Act and in any amendment made by this Act in any other enactment the British Electricity Authority is referred to as ‘the Central Authority’ and the Boards established under the last foregoing subsection are referred to as ‘Area Boards’ and the Central Authority and the Area Boards, together with the North of Scotland Board, are referred to as ‘Electricity Boards’.

(4) Any Area Board may—

(a ) by agreement with any other Area Board and with the approval of the Central Authority, give to or acquire from that other Area Board bulk supplies of electricity;

(b ) by agreement with any person other than an Electricity Board and with the approval of the Central Authority, acquire bulk supplies of electricity from that person; and

(c ) by agreement with any other Area Board, supply electricity to consumers in the area of that other Area Board.

If any Area Board are unable to obtain the agreement of another Area Board under paragraph (c ) of this subsection, they may apply to the Central Authority for an authorisation to supply electricity to consumers in such part of the area of that other Area Board as may be specified in the authorisation, and, if the Central Authority gives such an authorisation, the first-named Area Board shall have power to supply electricity in accordance therewith.

(5) The provisions of the last foregoing subsection shall apply in relation to the North of Scotland Board and the North of Scotland District as if that Board were an Area Board and that District were the area of an Area Board, subject to the modification that any approval of the acquisition of bulk supplies of electricity from any person in the North of Scotland District and any authorisation for the supply of electricity by an Area Board to consumers in the North of Scotland District shall be given by the Secretary of State.

(6) In exercising and performing their functions the Electricity Boards shall, subject to and in accordance with any directions given by the Minister or Secretary of State under this Part of this Act—

(a ) promote the use of all economical methods of generating, transmitting and distributing electricity;

(b ) secure, so far as practicable, the development, extension to rural areas and cheapening of supplies of electricity;

(c ) avoid undue preference in the provision of such supplies;

(d ) promote the simplification and standardisation of methods of charge for such supplies;

(e ) promote the standardisation of systems of supply and types of electrical fittings;

and shall also promote the welfare, health and safety of persons in the employment of the Boards.

(7) As from the vesting date, the powers and duties of the North of Scotland Board under the Act of 1943, with regard to the generation of electricity by water power shall extend to the generation of electricity by any other means, and the North of Scotland District shall be altered so as to include the county of the city of Dundee, the whole of the counties of Angus and Perth and the county of Kinross, and so as to exclude the parish of Rosneath in the county of Dunbarton.

S-2 Additional functions of Electricity Boards.

2 Additional functions of Electricity Boards.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Central Authority and of any Area Board, in so far as they may be requested by the Central Authority to do so, to conduct research into matters affecting the supply of electricity, and the Central Authority and, in so far as they may be so requested, any Area Board may assist other persons conducting such research.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Central Authority and every Area Board, in consultation with any organisation appearing to them to be appropriate, to make provision for advancing the skill of persons employed by them and for improving the efficiency of their equipment and the manner in which that equipment is to be used, including provision by them and the assistance of the provision by others of facilities for training and education.

(3) The Central Authority shall have power—

(a ) to manufacture electrical plant and electrical fittings;

(b ) to sell, hire or otherwise supply electrical plant and electrical fittings and to instal, repair, maintain or remove any electrical plant and electrical fittings; and

(c ) to carry on all such other activities as it may appear to the Authority to be requisite, advantageous, or convenient for them to carry on for or in connection with the performance of their duties under the foregoing section or with a view to making the best use of any assets vested in them by or under this Act:

Provided that this subsection shall not empower the Central Authority to manufacture electrical plant or electrical fittings for export.

(4) Any Area Board shall have power—

(a ) to sell, hire or otherwise supply electrical fittings and to instal, repair, maintain or remove any electrical fittings; and

(b ) to carry on all such other activities as it may appear to the Board to be requisite, advantageous or convenient for them to carry on for or in connection with the exercise and performance of their functions under the foregoing section or with a view to making the best use of any assets vested in them by or under this Act:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall empower an Area Board to exercise or perform any of the functions referred to in paragraph (a ) of the last foregoing subsection or paragraph (b ) of the last foregoing subsection so far as it relates to the sale, hire or supply of electrical plant.

(5) The Central Authority and any Area Board shall have power to do any thing and to enter into any transaction (whether or not involving the expenditure, the borrowing in accordance with the provisions of this Act or the lending of money, the acquisition of any property or rights or the disposal of any property or rights not in their opinion required for the proper exercise or performance of their functions) which in their opinion is calculated to facilitate the proper performance of their duties under the foregoing section or the exercise or performance of any of their functions under the foregoing provisions of this section, or is incidental or conducive thereto, but nothing in this subsection shall be taken as empowering an Area Board to exercise or perform any functions specifically excluded from the last foregoing subsection.

(6) Subject to the approval of the Minister, the Central Authority may authorise any Area Board to exercise or perform on behalf of the Central Authority any of the functions of that Authority which are to be exercised or performed wholly or mainly in the area of the Area Board (not including any functions specifically excluded from subsection (4) of this section) and any such authorisation may be subject to conditions and limitations and may be so framed as to empower the Area Board to exercise or perform any of the functions delegated to them through agents.

(7) Any Electricity Board may, by...

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