Well Connected 5

12 April 2007

Well Connected 5

ENA launched our second annual report on Thursday 12th April 2007. The report, looking at the state of our networks, was launched at the Well Connected 5 reception, held at the Atrium in Westminster. We also delivered a review of ENA activity over the past year to our members.

Guests were able to consider the implications of major policy changes in the light of the need for the networks to deliver them. The State of Our Networks document set out the role of both electricity and gas networks in delivering the UK’s energy. It also set out how ENA provides support to help companies maintain this vital role. The Annual Review 2006 looked at how we have delivered that over the past year.

At WC5, we heard from Ofgem’s David Gray as well as Nick Goodall. Nick, in introducing the State of Our Networks and Annual Review said that it should be something you would be able to read on the bus on the way home. He also remarked that you might care to leave it behind on the seat so that the message from the networks could be conveyed ever further! Nick also spoke about how ENA have been engaging with Government, Opposition and the Regulator over the past year.

David Gray (Managing Director, Networks at Ofgem) said that the Well Connected events had "established themselves in the energy sector calendar." He congratulated ENA on "its activity on distributed generation" and said ENA continued to do "really valuable work." He said the period of post-privatisation regulation that had seen an emphasis on cost reduction had come to an end (echoing recent pronouncements by Ofgem Chief Executive Alistair Buchanan) we were back to the 'lemon squeezing' analogy.

He believed that the importance of climate change and security of supply issues would now inform the direction of network development and this must be addressed by the regulatory framework. How Government policy and network regulation interfaced was crucial. He cited planning issues and the forthcoming publication of the SAGE Interim Assessment on EMFs as examples of this, believing that (despite these demands on the system) it would still ultimately be managed by a market framework. Nevertheless ‘un-Ofgemlike’ initiatives such as the Innovation Funding Initiative (IFI), he said, would continue to develop.