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ENA members set ambitious targets in the 2023 Open Networks plan

31 January 2023

The new work plan for ENA’s Open Networks programme has revealed 11 tangible goals that will be key to increasing the participation in, and the size of, the UK’s local flexibility markets for energy.


Now in its sixth year, ENA’s Open Networks programme, which has supported the UK in creating one of the world’s largest local flexibility markets for energy, marks the start of a new phase in the programme. Following rigorous scrutiny from the Open Networks ‘Challenge Group’ of industry stakeholders, the programme has evolved, and is now firmly centred on delivering clear benefits to consumers and the sector. These include allowing flexibility providers to more easily engage with the market and making energy networks more coordinated and aligned.

The programme’s desired outcomes have been translated into public targets for participating ENA members to meet, with deadlines spread across the next two years. The targets include standardising flexibility contracts, specifications and products, using consistent standards in carbon reporting and harmonising data sharing arrangements. Progress towards these targets will be assessed and publicly reported. A full list of commitments and targets is available in the programme’s 2023 launch document.

Targets are just one way the programme is engaging with the sector and energy specialists this year. On the 21 February there is a webinar looking at the year ahead for Open Networks – featuring the chairs of both the programme and the Challenge Group set up to ensure it responded to stakeholder feedback. This is the best opportunity for people to pose questions around the way ahead to some of the programme’s decision makers. It is open to anyone with an interest in the Open Networks programme or energy flexibility.

Dr. Avi Aithal, Head of Open Networks at Energy Networks Associations (ENA), which represents the UK’s energy network operators, said:

“It’s been a tremendously exciting time for the programme, as government and the sector have been focused on making flexibility accessible to everyone. This will help the UK meet our net zero goals at the least cost to consumers.

“The ambitious work plan, and the public goals we have set ourselves, are a testament to how the programme is accelerating and our intention to deliver practical benefits to customers – I’d encourage everyone in the industry to make 2023 the year they engage with their local flexibility services.”



Notes to editor

  • The 2023 launch document and detailed work plan for the year ahead are available on our website
  • Also available is the Strategic Roadmap for Flexibility that describes the developments in the wider industry required for existing and future flexibility markets to grow
  • The BEIS and Ofgem Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan (2021), set out that flexibility could save consumers £10bn per year in energy costs by 2050 and reduce the total cost of the net zero transition by up to £70bn.
  • As part of the Flexibility Commitment, Britain’s Distribution Network Operators, and Open Networks remain committed to six key steps as we transition to a more efficient, smarter and low-carbon energy system fit for Britain’s future. These are:
  • Champion a level playing field
  • Ensure visibility and accessibility
  • Conduct procurement in an open and transparent manner
  • Provide clarity on the dispatch of services
  • Provide regular, consistent and transparent reporting
  • Work together towards whole energy system outcomes




About us

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the energy networks. Our members include every major electricity network operator in the UK. The electricity networks are at the heart of the energy transition. They directly employ more than 26,000 people in the UK, including 1,500 apprentices. They are spending and investing £33bn in our electricity grids over the coming years, to ensure safe, reliable and secure energy supplies for the millions of homes and businesses reliant on power every day.

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