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Advance payment or security?


R (UK Power Networks (Operations) Ltd.) v. Gas and Electricity Markets Authority [2017] EWHC 1175 (Admin)

Ouseley J has delivered an important judgment for electricity distributors and their connection customers on the subject of whether statute requires distributors to pay interest on sums received by them in advance of connection works. Despite longstanding industry practice to the contrary, the industry regulator had determined that such sums constituted “security” within the meaning of section 20 of the Electricity Act 1989 with the consequence that interest was payable. The judge quashed that determination, holding that the regulator’s approach would introduce “no clear advantage to the consumer. It could not have been Parliament’s intention, with the language it used, to achieve such a result”.

The judgment is available here.

Richard Gordon QC and Gerard Rothschild represented the claimant distribution company, UK Power Networks.