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Energy networks seeks stakeholder views on next version of flexibility services standard agreement

27 August 2021


Energy Networks Association (ENA) has today launched a consultation on the next version of its standard contract for flexibility services, which seeks to further drive standardisation, consistency and transparency.

Stakeholders are invited to help shape the third iteration of this standard contract, which was created through ENA’s leading Open Networks project, with input from distribution network operators and National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), to provide a consistent GB-wide core agreement for those wishing to provide vital flexibility services to the networks. The consultation is open until Friday 22 October 2021.

Key recommendations in the proposal for the improved version include:

  • Further alignment: Increased alignment with National Grid ESO’s approach.
  • Further streamlining of the core contract: Simplified content – reducing the contract length by almost 50%.
  • An Agile Framework Structure: Incorporating a framework structure which allows one or more contracts to be awarded, which will encourage more buying/selling of Flexibility services.
  • More inclusive: Modifying contract wording to ensure it works for aggregators (including smaller assets).
  • Improved options for dispute resolution: Ensuring that parties have access to a range of dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Greater industry transparency: Retaining the simplicity of previous versions whilst also allowing the sharing/publication of relevant data.

The updated version, due to be published at the end of the year, will help take the transition to the smart grid to the next level and marks another step forward in bringing consistency across the industry.

The project team will be engaging with industry and other interested parties in a range of ways during the consultation period, including hosting a webinar on Wednesday 22 September which individuals can register for on ENA’s website.

Farina Farrier, Head of Open Networks Project at Energy Networks Association, said:

“This announcement comes at a time when flexibility is at the forefront of industry’s mind. We recently revealed record levels of local flexibility have been contracted so far this year and figures from Government's recent Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan – which ENA welcomed – show that flexibility could also reduce annual energy system costs by £10bn a year by 2050 while also creating 24,000 ‘green collar’ jobs.

“We want to continue this progress, alongside the networks, Ofgem, Government and other interested parties. A key part of the project is to be open with the way that we work, the outputs we publish and in receiving feedback, and this consultation is no different. I encourage you to get involved – particularly if you provide or are looking to provide flexibility services – to help us shape this next iteration together, as industry viewpoints are vital in bringing the energy system closer to the people it serves.”

Andy Rice, Flexibility Services Agreement Project Lead at National Grid ESO said:

"This is another positive step towards a ‘whole industry’ standard agreement being finalised. A single, aligned contract for Great Britain’s distribution network operators will help networks better manage their systems and plan investment.

“The UK has some of the world’s most ambitious decarbonisation targets and ENA’s Open Networks project is helping to pave the way through flexibility to bring on more low carbon technologies”.

Now in its fifth year, the project continues to deliver change at a rapid pace, driving key areas for standardisation, open flexibility markets, providing better visibility of data, and working across whole systems to build an efficient energy system that leaves nobody behind.

Press contacts for journalists

Emily Jones

Communications Lead, Open Networks

+44 (0)20 4599 7681

ENA Press Office



ON21-WS1A-P4 Flexibility Services Standard Agreement - 2021 Consultation Overview (27 Aug 2021)


Notes to editor

More information on the consultation is available on ENA’s website. The consultation is open for eight weeks and will close on Friday 22 October.

The Standard Agreement Schedule Structure and proposed Standard Agreement (V2) are also available on ENA's website.

Examples of flexibility services

  • Households charging their electric vehicles at off-peak times or when it is sunniest, whilst other households’ domestic solar panels are generating electricity.
  • Businesses striking demand-side response agreements to adjust their electricity use at the times of day when they least need it, helping reduce the need and cost of building new infrastructure.
  • Using battery storage to help network operators proactively manage a rapidly changing electricity grid where electricity now flows in many different directions, rather than in just one as it has done in the past.

About Energy Networks Association

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing 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 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 40,000 people in Great Britain.

More information