Electricity Act

Applies to EnglandApplies to WalesApplies to Scotland

Title: Electricity Act

Category: England, Wales and Scotland Law

Date: 1989

Reference: Chapter 29 [Full text]

General Description:

This comprehensive act extends to 113 sections and sets out the framework for public supply and reorganisation of the electricity industry. Generation and supply of electrical power becomes primarily a function of the private sector. The law makes provision for the separation of the generation, transmission, distribution and supply functions of the industry. In addition to the sections there are 18 schedules in the act, including the compulsory acquisition of land (subject to the Acquisition of Land Act 1981).

Very little of the act is particularly relevant to the agricultural industry. However, with respect to environmental management generally, the legislation states that persons authorised to generate and/or supply electricity must have a regard for the conservation of the flora & fauna, and any geological features of special interest.

The act gives powers to licence holders, regarding entry onto land. Any person who is authorised (in writing) by a licence holder has the power, 'at any reasonable time' to survey the land, in order to ascertain whether such land is suitable for use for the purposes of the licence holder. In such instances, fourteen days notice is required, together with proof of authority. The power includes a right to bore holes in the ground, and the licence holder is obliged to repair damage caused to the land. This power applies to areas of land only, and not to buildings.

With respect to the maintenance of existing electricity networks, an officer authorised by an electricity supplier may, after giving five days notice, set foot in a premises for the purposes of:

  • replacing or extending existing electric lines or plants.
  • repairing or altering existing electric lines or plants.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Land Use

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