NAPIT has said that it is delighted with the decision taken by OFGEM to approve the Distribution Connection and Use of System Agreement (DCUSA) Change Proposal 394 to widen the scope of the DCUSA to allow any authorised REC accredited meter operator to carry out de-energisation and re-energisation works.
This Change Proposal, which will be implemented on 29 June 2023, will allow any Retail Energy Code (REC) accredited Meter Equipment Manager (MEM), in the capacity of a Safe Isolations Provider (SIP), to carry out de-energisation and re-energisation works and if reasonably necessary adjust the terminals or terminate/replace the customer tails of the meter at metering points at which they are not the appointed MEM.
NAPIT has been calling for action to be taken to make the process of requesting the removal and replacement of a service cut-out fuse simpler for over a decade, following concerns raised by members on wait times, cost differences, challenges getting through to the right department and receiving conflicting information about the right thing to do. Whilst the organisation’s preferred option to allow registered, qualified electrical contractors to perform this role is not currently permitted, NAPIT says it is a welcome positive step that accredited MEM’s will be able to perform de-energisation and re-energisation works from 29 June 2023.
NAPIT has supported the Change Proposal process over the last 18 months, actively contributing to the stakeholder meetings, and providing empirical evidence, through its member survey results, to assist with justifying the need for change. It says it hopes this change will make the process of requesting and arranging the removal and replacement of a service cut-out fuse quicker and easier, thereby enhancing electrical safety standards by reducing wait times, and by reducing the number of unauthorised service cut-out fuse removals.
Commenting on the decision from Ofgem, Frank Bertie, Chairman of the NAPIT Trade Association says, “This decision has been a long time coming, and I’m delighted to see it pass the final decision stage. With the rise in interest and installation rate of low and zero carbon technologies, which often require the de-energisation and re-energisation of the electrical supply, along with an increase in electrical work following the electrical safety regulations which have been placed on landlords, this change has come at a good time. I hope that this change will lead to wider availability and better service for our members looking to arrange de-energisation and re-energisation works. Whilst I am fully supportive of this change, we will continue to listen to members to understand if this change is enough, or if more still needs to be done.”