Collas Crill acts for Sark Electricity

Posted: 03/12/2018

Collas Crill's work with Sark Electricity has resulted in the Sark Electricity Price Control Commissioner setting aside his decisions concerning a reduction in electricity prices, which had threatened to cut off supplies to 300 islanders at the end of November. 

The law firm has acted for Sark Electricity since 2012, advising the small family firm in its defence of its prices. The 11th-hour negotiations have opened the door for a deal between Sark's government and Sark Electricity, which it is hoped will lead to the sustainable provision of electricity on the island.  

The recent dispute culminated in Sark Electricity’s appeal against a price control order made by the Commissioner in August and the Commissioner’s earlier determination that the power company’s prices were not fair and reasonable. 

The price control order forced Sark Electricity to reduce its price per kWh from 66p to 52p. The price was below the cost of production and resulted in a £20,000 unsustainable monthly loss for the firm and, it was feared, would have resulted in insolvency for the island’s electricity provider.  

Collas Crill’s team, led by Partner Michael Adkins and Associate Quentin Bregg, argued that the Commissioner’s process was flawed, that Sark Electricity's prices were not unfair and unreasonable, and the price control order should not stand. 

The Commissioner must now also publish his policy on the future regulation of the firm. 

This outcome will help to ensure the continuation of Sark’s supply of electricity, whilst paving the way for negotiations between Sark Electricity's shareholders and Sark's government of the acquisition of the utility, and potentially a lasting resolution to Sark's electricity issues. 

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