No prosecution says DTI


Electricity firms will not be prosecuted for the power cuts that hit south London and Kent on 28 August and the West Midlands on 5 September. The energy minister, Stephen Timms, said findings from an investigation will be passed on to the electricity companies concerned "so that they can take the necessary action to enhance the robustness of their networks, and so make such occurrences less likely".

The investigation, carried out by DTI's Engineering Inspectorate, checked for compliance with the Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002, and also looked at the security of electricity supplies to Network Rail and London Underground.

The inspectorate will hold talks with the companies to ensure that its recommendations are implemented.

Ofgem's investigation, which looks at whether any of the firms' statutory duties or licence conditions have been breached or are likely to be in the future, has yet to be concluded. The regulator could enforce a penalty on each of the firms if it believes there has been a breach.

The information gathered by the Engineering Inspectorate is commercially sensitive and the report cannot, therefore, be published.