UK energy regulator Ofgem has announced plans to introduce new requirements to speed up the connection of new housing, business premises and generators to local electricity networks.

Ofgem has taken action following complaints that electricity network operators took too long to complete connections work. The complaints emerged from a review by the regulator of competition in gas and electricity connections.

Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan said: The current performance of some electricity network companies in connecting new premises is unacceptable and the delays resulting from this work have caused frustration for developers and businesses. So we are proposing mandatory performance requirements for the companies which should improve the service they offer. If they don’t meet these standards they could face enforcement action from Ofgem.

The new standards will be introduced through a formal license condition for the electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) obliging them to meet a 90% target in three key service areas.

The three service area requirements are:

provision of quotations including technical information, which is vital so independent connections providers (ICPs) can complete work, within 15 working days for low-voltage connections and 50 days for the extra-high voltage connections used by energy intensive industries;

Approval of an ICP’s connection design or a full explanation why it has been rejected within 10 days of a request, and;

As connection works are nearing completion, ICPs will only need to give the DNO 10 days notice to carry out the final connection for low-voltage connections and 20 days for high-voltage connections.