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Street Lighting

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 7 February 2003, Official Report, column 461W, on street lighting, in what way regulation 25 of the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002 facilitates competition in connections for street lighting; and if she will make a statement. [116926]

Regulation 25 of the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002 provides for connections being made to distributors' networks by persons other than the distributors' own staff or contractors. In order to protect the safety of the public and network integrity the regulation requires persons making connections to distributors' networks, for example cable jointers employed directly by local authorities, to obtain permission from the local distributor before making the connections. Disputes arising from the distributor's delay in giving or refusal to give consent for such connections on public safety or network integrity grounds may be referred to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for determination. In this way regulation 25 provides a safety framework to enable competition in connections to operate for street lighting.

Ofgem is currently engaging with the industry and local authorities with a view to formally introducing competition in connections at some stage in the future.