Energy regulator Ofgem has introduced a new code of practice for electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) to increase competition for grid connections.

Independent companies can already compete against the regional DNOs to connect new customers, such as housing estates, but many have complained of costly delays caused by DNOs.

Maxine Frerk, Senior Partner, Electricity Distribution, Ofgem, said: “We want to see competition in the electricity connections market thriving. While some DNOs are helping to achieve this, many independent companies still face unnecessary delays and needless complexity.

“This has to stop and our code of practice will ensure that independent companies are treated fairly and consistently across the country. This means housing developers, businesses and other organisations will get real choice in who delivers their connections, leading to quicker completion and higher customer service standards.”

‘Significant step forward’

David Smith, Chief Executive at the Energy Networks Association, the trade body that represents transmission and distribution network operators, 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.”

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