Electricity Act 1989

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1989 c. 29


Electricity Act 1989

1989 CHAPTER 29

An Act to provide for the appointment and functions of a Director General of Electricity Supply and of consumers' committees for the electricity supply industry; to make new provision with respect to the supply of electricity through electric lines and the generation and transmission of electricity for such supply; to abolish the Electricity Consumers' Council and the Consultative Councils established under the Electricity Act 1947; to provide for the vesting of the property, rights and liabilities of the Electricity Boards and the Electricity Council in companies nominated by the Secretary of State and the subsequent dissolution of those Boards and that Council; to provide for the giving of financial assistance in connection with the storage and reprocessing of nuclear fuel, the treatment, storage and disposal of radioactive waste and the decommissioning of nuclear installations; to amend the Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards) Act 1954 and the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973; and for connected purposes.

[27th July 1989]

Be it enacted by the Queen'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 ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

PART I

ELECTRICITY SUPPLY

Introductory

Introductory

S-1 The Director General of Electricity Supply.

1 The Director General of Electricity Supply.

(1) The Secretary of State shall appoint an officer to be known as the Director General of Electricity Supply (in this Act referred to as ‘the Director’) for the purpose of carrying out the functions assigned or transferred to him by this Act.

(2) An appointment of a person to hold office as the Director shall be for a term not exceeding five years; but previous appointment to that office shall not affect eligibility for reappointment.

(3) The Secretary of State may remove any person from office as the Director on the ground of incapacity or misbehaviour.

(4) Subject to subsections (2) and (3) above, the Director shall hold and vacate office as such in accordance with the terms of his appointment.

(5) The provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Director.

S-2 Consumers' committees.

2 Consumers' committees.

(1) The Director shall establish committees, to be known as consumers' committees, for the purposes of this Part.

(2) Each consumers' committee shall be appointed for an area consisting of—

(a) the authorised area of a public electricity supplier; or

(b) if the Secretary of State so determines, the authorised areas of two or more such suppliers;

and any reference in this Part to the allocation of a public electricity supplier to a consumers' committee shall be construed accordingly.

(3) Each consumers' committee shall consist of—

(a) a chairman appointed by the Director after consultation with the Secretary of State; and

(b) such other members, not being less than ten or more than twenty, as the Director after consultation with the chairman may from time to time appoint.

(4) An appointment of a person to hold office as the chairman of a consumers' committee shall be for a term not exceeding four years.

(5) Subject to subsection (4) above, the chairman and other members of a consumers' committee shall hold and vacate office in accordance with the terms of the instruments appointing them and shall, on ceasing to hold office, be eligible for re-appointment.

(6) The provisions of Schedule 2 to this Act shall have effect with respect to each of the consumers' committees.

(7) In this Part ‘public electricity supplier’ and ‘authorised area’, in relation to such a supplier, have the meanings given by section 6(9) below.

S-3 General duties of Secretary of State and Director.

3 General duties of Secretary of State and Director.

(1) The Secretary of State and the Director shall each have a duty to exercise the functions assigned or transferred to him by this Part in the manner which he considers is best calculated—

(a) to secure that all reasonable demands for electricity are satisfied;

(b) to secure that licence holders are able to finance the carrying on of the activities which they are authorised by their licences to carry on; and

(c) subject to subsection (2) below, to promote competition in the generation and supply of electricity.

(2) The Secretary of State and the Director shall each have a duty to exercise the functions assigned or transferred to him by this Part in the manner which he considers is best calculated to secure—

(a) that the prices charged to tariff customers by public electricity suppliers for electricity supplied in pursuance of section 16(1) below to premises in any area of Scotland specified in an order made by the Secretary of State are in accordance with tariffs which do not distinguish (whether directly or indirectly) between different parts of that area; and

(b) that public electricity suppliers are not thereby disadvantaged in competing with persons authorised by a licence or exemption to supply electricity to such premises.

(3) Subject to subsections (1) and (2) above, the Secretary of State and the Director shall each have a duty to exercise the functions assigned or transferred to him by this Part in the manner which he considers is best calculated—

(a) to protect the interests of consumers of electricity supplied by persons authorised by licences to supply electricity in respect of—

(i) the prices charged and the other terms of supply;

(ii) the continuity of supply; and

(iii) the quality of the electricity supply services provided;

(b) to promote efficiency and economy on the part of persons authorised by licences to supply or transmit electricity and the efficient use of electricity supplied to consumers;

(c) to promote research into, and the development and use of, new techniques by or on behalf of persons authorised by a licence to generate, transmit or supply electricity;

(d) to protect the public from dangers arising from the generation, transmission or supply of electricity; and

(e) to secure the establishment and maintenance of machinery for promoting the health and safety of persons employed in the generation, transmission or supply of electricity.

and a duty to take into account, in exercising those functions, the effect on the physical environment of activities connected with the generation, transmission or supply of electricity.

(4) In performing his duty under subsection (3)(a)(i) above, the Secretary of State or the Director shall take into account, in particular, the protection of the interests of consumers of electricity in rural areas.

(5) In performing his duty under subsection (3)(a)(iii) above, the Secretary of State or the Director shall take into account, in particular, the interests of those who are disabled or of pensionable age.

(6) In this section references to the functions assigned to the Secretary of State by this Part do not include references to functions under section 36 or 37 below and references to the functions so assigned to the Director do not include references to functions relating to the determination of disputes.

(7) In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires—

‘exemption’ means an exemption under section 5 below;

‘licence’ means a licence under section 6 below and ‘licence holder’ shall be construed accordingly.

Licensing of supply etc.

Licensing of supply etc.

S-4 Prohibition on unlicensed supply etc.

4 Prohibition on unlicensed supply etc.

(1) A person who—

(a) generates electricity for the purpose of giving a supply to any premises or enabling a supply to be so given;

(b) transmits electricity for that purpose; or

(c) supplies electricity to any premises,

shall be guilty of an offence unless he is authorised to do so by a licence or exemption.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

(3) No proceedings shall be instituted in England and Wales in respect of an offence under this section except by or on behalf of the Secretary of State or the Director.

(4) In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires—

‘supply’, in relation to electricity, means supply through electric lines otherwise than to premises occupied by a licence holder for the purpose of carrying on the activities which he is authorised by his licence to carry on;

‘transmit’, in relation to electricity, means transmit by means of a transmission system, that is to say, a system which consists (wholly or mainly) of high voltage lines and electrical plant and is used for conveying electricity from...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT