Regulation

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All six electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) across Great Britain have now submitted their draft business plans for the RIIO-ED2 price control to Ofgem, with spending plans amounting to £23.2 billion. Utility Week looks into the details.
News
Ofgem “technocrats” are not well placed to decide the right balance between meeting net zero and cutting energy bills, the regulator’s former chief economist has told a House of Lords committee. Joe Perkins suggested a “stripped down” regulator may prove to be a more effective one.
News

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Market-wide half hourly settlement is finally set to become a reality in 2025. But Ofgem’s long-awaited green light for the programme will not achieve a fully flexible energy system on its own. In her latest column exclusively for Utility Week members, Maxine Frerk discusses what else needs to be done to underline the message that timing matters.
Opinion
Western Power Distribution chief executive Phil Swift explains how the company has responded to calls to be radical and ambitious in the second draft of its business plan for the RIIO ED2 price controls beginning in 2023.
Opinion
Ofgem’s proposal to make energy suppliers repay surplus credit balances has received mixed reactions. Is the regulator cracking down on unsustainable business models or choosing short-term wins over a permanent fix for a broken market? Adam John asks what this latest crackdown says about the nature of regulation in energy retail.
Analysis

Latest in Regulation

The government has pledged to introduce regulation for smart energy appliances "when Parliamentary time allows". This would set requirements based on the principles of interoperability, data privacy, grid stability and cyber security.
News
Ofgem has proposed taking on a strategic oversight role for energy code governance as part of a joint consultation with BEIS, published amidst a flurry of energy policy announcements. Presenting this as their preferred option for reform, they said the regulator would issue a strategic direction for energy codes on an annual basis and ensure it is delivered by a series of code managers that would take on most of the functions currently performed by industry-led code panels.
News
As part of a flurry of energy policy announcements, the government and Ofgem have outlined their initial views on the responsibilities, ownership and structure of an independent system operator for electricity and gas. The consultation suggests transferring all responsibilities of the current electricity system operator but leaving some gas system roles with National Grid. It also gauges views on a privately-owned or public sector model.
News
UK Power Networks’ (UKPN) chief executive has stressed that distribution network operators must spend “only what is necessary, not what is allowed” over the next five-year price control period. Basil Scarsella spoke to Utility Week about the network's ED2 business plan, his vision for an independent distribution system operator and why UKPN aims to become a “disruptor”.
News
Young energy consumers in Britain continue to be the group most heavily impacted by Covid-19, a new Ofgem report has revealed. The regulator's latest survey examining the impact of the pandemic on consumers shows younger people are more likely to seek emergency credit for their pre-payment meters. Additionally, those aged 16-34 were twice as likely to be worried they might fall behind on energy bills due to a drop in income (42 per cent) compared to the GB average of 21 per cent.
News
Consumers should contribute to the upfront costs of building the shared transmission infrastructure that will be required to connect new offshore windfarms to the power grid, Ofgem has proposed. The suggestion is included in the results of the regulator's year-long review into the offshore transmission network.
News
Ofwat’s final decision on extra investment in green recovery schemes on top of the PR19 packages has seen the total fall from £850 million in May’s draft announcement to £793 million today. This is as a result of Thames Water – one of the five companies to submit green recovery plans – reducing the size of its smart metering programme after the regulator cast doubt on its deliverability.
News
A senior figure at Northern Powergrid has said the company is being “careful” not to “overpay” for flexibility and suggested some distribution network operators (DNOs) may be procuring more than they actually need “just to have a high number”. Discussing the company’s draft business plan for the RIIO2 price controls, policy and markets director Patrick Erwin said it is also refraining from creating separate body to perform its distribution system operator (DSO) functions, describing this as an “artificial distinction”.
News
Ofgem is consulting on a request by distribution network operators (DNOs) to be allowed to set Distribution Use of System (DUoS) charges at shorter notice than usual for the first two charging years under the RIIO ED2 price controls. In a letter to the regulator in May, the DNOs asked to be relieved from their normal obligation to publish upcoming DUoS charges with 15 months’ notice, warning that they would otherwise be required to set prices for 2023/24 and 2024/25 without knowing Ofgem’s final determinations on spending allowances.
News
Water UK's director of policy Stuart Colville tells Utility Week the government needs to match the water sector's ambition to meet demand management goals and to improve sewerage systems
Analysis
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