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This study proposes an imperialist competition algorithm (ICA) to maximise the benefits of distribution network operators (DNOs) because of the existence of distributed generation (DG) units. The sum of active loss reduction and network investment deferral incentives has been considered as the objective function to be maximised in this study. The optimal location and size of DG units in the network are found considering various techno-economical issues. The application of the proposed methodology in the UK under current Ofgem financial incentives for DNOs is investigated. The ability of the proposed approach in finding the optimal solution is validated by comparing the obtained results with other methods of the literature.