Proposed changes to fees charged for applications under the Electricity Act 1989

Closed 23 Jun 2022

Opened 30 Mar 2022

Feedback updated 1 Nov 2022

We asked

For your view on proposals to revise the arrangements for fees payable by developers to the Scottish Government for the determination of applications for electricity generating stations and overhead electric lines under sections 36, 36C and 37 of the Electricity Act 1989. Revisions were proposed in order to more accurately reflect the costs of the resources required to determine the applications.
 

You said

We received 25 consultation responses. Some of the key matters you raised were as follows:

  • increasing application fees to provide cost recovery is broadly supported in principle but there is disagreement or uncertainty with the proposed levels
  • more clarity is required on the improvements and efficiencies to be made to the consenting process and service if fees are to increase, including improved consenting timescales
  • funding and resourcing provided to planning authorities should be adequate to reflect the costs to planning authorities of processing the applications as statutory consultees
  • more information or evidence is required to justify the magnitude of the proposed fees for variation applications and the new bandings for 500 MW and above projects
  • greater certainty is required on statutory consultee funding going forward, including for offshore projects
  • it is broadly recognised that new bandings are required to capture the amount of work involved for the increasing scale of offshore developments
  • the proposed fee increases would have financial implications for developers as they would increase the budget required for projects

We did

We published on 1 November 2022 the analysis of the responses to the consultation.  
 
We published on 1 November 2022 the Scottish Government response to the consultation, setting out full details of the revisions which Ministers intend to implement.  

It is intended that the revised fees will be implemented by the Electricity (Applications for Consent and Variation of Consent) (Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2022. This is subject to a negative procedure in the Scottish Parliament. The regulations are due to come into force on 13 December 2022.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

This consultation document sets out proposals for changes to fees to be charged for applications submitted under sections 36, 36C and 37 of the Electricity Act 1989 ("the Electricity Act"). 

Read the consultation paper.

Why your views matter

The Scottish Ministers are responsible for determining applications for consent under sections 36, 36C and 37 of the Electricity Act for certain onshore and offshore generating stations and overhead lines. The Energy Consents unit and Marine Scotland Licensing Operations Team process these applications on behalf of the Scottish Ministers. 

The current fees payable for these applications are set out in The Electricity (Applications for Consent and Variation of Consent) (Fees) (Scotland) Regulations 2019.

In accordance with the Scottish Public Finance Manual, the Scottish Government adopts the principle that there should be full cost recovery for all public services, including those associated with discharging consenting functions under the Electricity Act. There is currently a shortfall between the cost of processing these applications on behalf of the Scottish Ministers and the income received from the existing fees. This consultation paper sets out proposed changes to fees to address this shortfall and support full cost recovery going forward as follows:

  • an increase to existing fee categories of approximately 20%;
  • new bandings for larger scale applications for developments that exceed capacities of 500MW, 750MW and 1 GW;
  • changes to the fees and bandings for variation applications to reflect the increased resource needed where these applications require an environmental impact assessment.

Scottish Ministers would welcome your views on the proposed changes to fees payable for applications under sections 36, 36C and 37 of the Electricity Act. Your views will help inform our decision.

What happens next

Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public, and after we have checked that they contain no potentially defamatory material, responses will be made available to the public at http://consult.gov.scot. If you use the consultation hub to respond, you will receive a copy of your response via email.

When the consultation closes, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us determine the final outcome on fees.

We intend on making all non-confidential responses to the consultation available to the public on the consultation page after the closing date. We will also post an analysis of responses received to the consultation on the Scottish Government's consultation web pages.

We aim to issue a report on the consultation exercise and this report will be available on the Scottish Government consultation hub.

Interests

  • Energy