The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has published a decision notice finding E.ON UK plc (“E.ON”) a public authority for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“EIR”).
The decision has potential implications for a wide range of companies operating in regulated areas, most clearly for energy suppliers who are regulated under the Electricity Act 1989 (“EA 1989”) and the Gas Act 1986 (“GA 1986”).
In March 2017, Fish Legal (a fishery rights group) made a request for information relating to fishing around the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm. E.ON did not respond, stating that it was not covered by the EIR. The requestor contacted the ICO arguing that E.ON was a public authority for the purposes of the EIR. The ICO served an information notice on E.ON in July 2017, launching a two year process where E.ON unsuccessfully appealed against the ICO’s powers to decide its public authority status.