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To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reports that the powers are sometimes abused, whether it will carry out an assessment of the use of powers of entry by (a) energy and (b) other private companies, and what its position is on imposing a requirement that any such action must only be carried out following the approval of a court.

Answered by Fergus Ewing (02/11/2015):

Any abuse of power by any company or organisation would be a matter of serious concern for the Scottish Government. The legal situation relating to powers of entry for energy companies is very clear: companies must have either the owner’s permission or an appropriate warrant from the courts. The only exception to this is in an emergency – where there is reasonable cause to believe that circumstances exist which are likely to endanger life or property.

We are not aware of any specific reports or instances relating to abuse of right of entry powers by energy companies. However anyone who does suspect such an abuse of these powers should contact the company concerned directly or raise the matter with the regulator Ofgem. Of course if any criminal activity is suspected, the matter should be reported to the police.

If the Member wishes to provide the Scottish Government with any more detailed information we would be happy to look into this further or facilitate contact with the relevant organisations as appropriate.

Current Status: Answered by Fergus Ewing on 02/11/2015
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