- Nov 2020
- Jan 2021
Decision not to issue a Final Order
On 25 November 2020 the Authority issued a Notice of Proposal to issue a Final Order to Utilita pursuant to section 26(1) and (2) of the EA89 and section 29(1) and (2) of the GA86. The Notice of Proposal was published on 27 November 2020.
The Notice of Proposal was issued to Utilita because the Authority was satisfied that, in contravention of standard licence conditions 39.7 and 33.7 of the electricity and gas supply licences (“the NRO Condition”), Utilita was failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure that any new or replacement electricity and gas meters it installs into domestic premises are SMETS2 meters, as it has been required to do since 30 June 2019, when the NRO Condition came into force.
The Authority is of the view that Utilita has failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the installation of any new or replacement electricity and gas meters are SMETS2 meters and therefore remains in contravention of the NRO Condition. Furthermore, the Authority remains of the view that Utilita’s breach of the NRO Condition is a serious contravention.
Notwithstanding Utilita’s commitment to the Authority that Utilita would deliver against the plans and timescales provided to the Authority, under normal circumstances the Authority would consider that a Final Order would still be appropriate to secure compliance with the NRO.
However, the Authority accepts that given the national lockdown restrictions currently in force and the dynamic nature of the situation, for the time being, it is not appropriate to impose the proposed Final Order. The current national lockdown restrictions mean that Utilita’s ability to take all the necessary steps to comply with the NRO Condition may be adversely affected for the time being. The Authority is therefore satisfied that, given the prevailing circumstances and Utilita’s written commitment to do its best to deliver against its plan, subject to the effect of Government restrictions, Utilita has agreed to take or is taking all such steps as it appears to the Authority for the time being appropriate for Utilita to take for the purpose of securing or facilitating compliance with the NRO Condition.
In the particular circumstances, the Authority has decided that it will take no further action against Utilita in respect of its compliance with the NRO Condition for the time being. However, Utilita’s compliance with the NRO Condition will be kept under review and a further Notice of Proposal to make a Final Order and/or a Notice to impose a Penalty may be issued in due course if the Authority is satisfied that Utilita has or is contravening the NRO Condition and it is appropriate to do so in the prevailing circumstances at that time.
Therefore, on 21 January 2021, the Authority made a decision not to make a FO. This was published on 28 January 2021.