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Energy networks consult on new plans to open up flexibility markets even further

01 August 2022

Press contacts for journalists

Joshua Atkins

Head of Communications

[email protected]

ENA Press Office

[email protected]

Following a landmark announcement of record levels of flexibility tendered and procured, ENA are consulting on key future components of the UK’s world-leading flexibility markets.

Energy Networks Association (ENA) has today launched their annual flexibility consultation, welcoming views on further developing the processes that underpin UK’s world-leading local flexibility markets. ENA’s Open Networks project was launched in 2017 with the projects being consulted upon commencing in 2019. These consultations have been used to seek views from the industry on how best to standardise and simplify these evolving markets.

ENA’s Open Networks project has played a key role in helping get these markets to where they are today, from 117MW in 2018 to 3.7GW in 2021. Over the years the Open Networks project has helped to simplify and standardise these markets; this consultation seeks to build on this further and help take these markets and the processes which underpin them to full maturity. Stakeholder feedback is essential to developing these processes in such a way that it encourages the continued growth and development of the flexibility markets themselves.  

Open until 12 September, ENA’s consultation is seeking feedback on a number of key developments from this year that are helping to improve access these local markets and increasing opportunities for participation. The consultation will be used to shape further development of ENA’s proposals and, if successful, take them through to implementation.

The focus of this consultation is to ensure that the foundations and frameworks of these flexibility markets are right, in particular the governance arrangements which networks operate the markets within.

To ensure the markets support participation from across the industry in an open and transparent manner, ENA recently set up the Open Networks Challenge Group. This group is independently chaired and has over 21 key representatives from the sector that are providing ongoing input and challenge into our development work. ENA also set up a Dissemination Forum for broader engagement with the sector that has enabled us to have a wider reach along with continuing engagement through other channels such as focus groups for key products, industry workshops, and public consultations like the one issued today. These new avenues, along with those already in place, mean that the Open Networks project can now get industry input into all of their development work throughout the year.

Dr Avinash Aithal, Technical Lead for Open Networks at Energy Networks Association, which represents the UK and Ireland’s energy networks businesses, said:

“As our recently announced flexibility figures show, these markets are witnessing year on year growth, proving their value to the energy system. With this latest round of consultation, we’re creating more avenues for the industry to engage with us in ways that work for them. We want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible so we can continue to deliver the smart, flexible system essential to achieving Net Zero at least cost.”

Notes to editor

  • This consultation will be open for six weeks and closes on 12 September 2022. Responses are welcomed by email to [email protected].  
  • There will be a consultation webinar on Tuesday 16 August, an online panel session hosted by Business Green on Tuesday 24 August, and a dedicated session for Community Energy representatives on Thursday 8 September – details of these can be found on ENA’s Events page.
  • In the last financial year, approximately 3.7GW of Flexibility was made available to the market to respond to and around 2GW of this was contracted. Full information on ENA’s recent flexibility figures announcement can be found on ENA's Flexibility services web page.

About Energy Networks Association

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.

ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.

Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.

What are energy network operators?

Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).

Press contacts for journalists

Joshua Atkins

Head of Communications

[email protected]

ENA Press Office

[email protected]