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Responding to Ofgem's new five-year vision for Britain's energy network, which comes into force on April 1, 2023, Polly Billington, Chief Executive of UK100, calls it a "significant win" for local leaders.

Responding to Ofgem's new five-year vision for Britain's energy network, which comes into force on April 1, 2023, Polly Billington, Chief Executive of UK100, says:

"We are delighted to see Ofgem acknowledging that collaboration between local and regional authorities and the distribution network operators is central to delivering Net Zero and a robust, flexible and resilient energy system. It is a significant win for local leaders and a vindication of UK100’s work to this point.

“We have been working with Ofgem and the DNOs to demonstrate why long-term local energy planning and network operation must go hand in hand. I’m delighted that Ofgem has confirmed it will put this vital collaboration on a regulatory footing.”

In the draft determination published in June, Ofgem credited the work of UK100 for highlighting that collaboration with local authorities should be part of DNOs' core business. In its Final Determination, published today [30 November], Ofgem has retained and strengthened this position. 

Ofgem states: “As we noted at Draft Determinations, we consider that engaging with local authorities on future investment and planning options is part of the core business of DNOs, and consumers should not pay for additional incentives in this area.”

Ofgem is setting a licence condition to ensure each of the six DNOs produces a collaboration plan outlining how they will work in partnership with stakeholders to support the development of local and regional Net Zero strategies.

Polly continues: "We are delighted to see Ofgem credit the influence of UK100's work as it reaffirms its vision for a future-proof energy system that places local and regional leaders at its core. We have long advocated for a decentralised energy system that works with local authorities and for local communities. It's great to see this reflected in Ofgem's plan, but now we need to know how the vision will translate into action.”

Polly concludes, "This is a positive vision and a welcome step forward. But there are still questions to answer. We stand ready to continue our work with Ofgem to ensure that a future energy system is responsive to local Net Zero action and works to unlock rather than block local ambition."


Notes to the editors

The final determination reiterates Ofgem’s vision for the creation of an independent Future System Operator (FSO) to work as a strategic planner for the GB (Great Britain) energy system alongside a reformed set of local energy institutions designed to play a key role in local energy planning and distribution system operation. 

In UK100's Local Net Zero Delivery Energy Progress Report, we called for the proposed FSO to embed local delivery in the future Net Zero energy system. As the Energy Bill continues its passage through Parliament, UK100 will work to amplify this message.

As Ofgem continues its engagement of the future governance of the energy system in 2023 and beyond, UK100 will continue working with Ofgem to ensure local ambition is unlocked as Britain builds an energy system fit for the future.

About UK100

UK100 is a network of the most ambitious local leaders working towards Net Zero as soon as possible but no later than 2045. We help them collaborate to take decisive action in their communities.

Our members represent more than 37 million people in towns, cities and counties across the UK.

We facilitate knowledge-sharing between members, partnership-building and leadership mentoring. And support them to harness their collective power to affect vital national change.

Warm homes, affordable energy, clean air, and healthy landscapes make thriving communities. 

And UK100 members have pledged to deliver a Net Zero future that delivers for people and planet.