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For details of how TPA affects you, please send an email request here for a copy of our explanatory booklet titled

“TPA– The Case for UAL”

with your name and contact details

Third Party Access—TPA

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In May 2008 the European Court ruled that electricity suppliers should not be deprived access to customers connected to license exempt networks. The outcome of that ruling also determined that customers should have access to a competitive supply market. 

EU legislation on European electricity and gas markets came into force on the 3rd September 2009 and known as the “Third Package” paved the way for legislative change in the UK. Click this link to the Ofgem website for more information.

In November 2011, The Electricity and Gas (Internal Markets) Regulations were introduced. Click here to be directed to the legislation.go.uk web page.

Ofgem issued guidance for licence exempt network operators to allow customers to be connected and how they should be charged. Click here for the Ofgem web page.



The impact of the Regulations allow for any customer connected to a license exempt network (commonly referred to as private wire) to access the competitive supply market. A license exempt operator has to consider and either grant, and provide a charging methodology for the use of the distribution system, or reject the request, providing good substantiated reasons why the request would be declined.

Schedule 2 of the Regulations are specific that within 10 days of receiving an expression of interest from a customer wishing to take a supply from a third party, a distribution exemption holder must respond accordingly. In the vast majority of cases the customer is making no change to their load requirements and therefore no increase in the existing connection capacity is necessary.

The exempt distribution network operator has a further 10 days to provide all relevant documentation.

Furthermore a failure to respond to the expression of interest within 10 days allows the third party by default access to the network to enable the third party supplier to give a supply of electricity to the customer. The whole process has to be complete in 28 days.

Providing regulated electricity distribution services does not normally align with a developers core business and where access must be granted is where UAL lease / licence agreement arrangement will provide a solution without necessarily depriving a developer of any energy income from those customers not requiring third party access.