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New User Forums announced to help shape key areas of ENA’s Open Networks project

21 May 2021

The first forum will work with stakeholders to help inform the next version of a constraint solutions tool for DNOs. 


Energy Networks Association (ENA) has announced the launch of a new User Forum through its world leading Open Networks project, to bring stakeholders directly into the development process and help shape and deliver the next iteration of its Common Evaluation Methodology and Tool.  

The tool, introduced last year and adopted nationally last month, has been developed for all distribution network operators in Great Britain to be able to ‘market test’ and make decisions on potential flexibility solutions. 

A first for Open Networks, the new User Forum will bring together up to 25 non-network industry representatives each month – as led by the project team – to support the next steps and further development of the methodology and tool. ENA is inviting interested parties from a wide range of areas to express their interest in joining the forum, including flexibility providers, generators, academics, code managers, community and local energy and the supply chain.  

From today, stakeholders can apply to join the forum via an Invitation to Participate form, with applications closing on Friday 11 June. As part of the application, they will be invited to outline their relevant expertise and how they would like to contribute to deliver the scope as set out in the Terms of Reference (ToR), which offers a detailed overview of relevant information in relation to the User Forum. 

The User Forum will operate under open governance arrangements, a more collaborative approach to governance which puts into practice principles of transparency, participation and accountability. All applicants will be notified of the outcome by the end of June, with the User Forum commencing in July. 

A second User Forum, which will inform the Whole System CBA framework, will be launched later this summer. 

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

“Now in its fifth year, Open Networks is playing a pivotal role in helping to support the move towards a Net Zero future by laying the foundations of a smart, flexible energy system in Great Britain that leaves nobody behind.  

“The project is open with the way that we work, the outputs we publish and in receiving stakeholder feedback – including the Advisory Group, consultation responses and public webinars. However, we want to go a step further and invite people in from an earlier stage in the process and from a wider range of areas to ensure we’re listening and working collaboratively in our approach.” 

Simon Brooke, the Common Evaluation Methodology project lead and ED2 DSO Business Plan lead at Electricity North West, said: 

“It’s an exciting time for stakeholders to help shape the Common Evaluation Methodology, arguably the world's first of its type and a significant step forward in building confidence in new local markets. We look forward to receiving applications and getting people involved in the next step of the journey when the User Forum kicks off this summer. 

“The forum will look to build further, important considerations into the tool, such as optionality and carbon impact assessment – with reaching Net Zero carbon emissions ultimately remaining our top priority.” 



ON21 CEM and Tool User Forum Process for inviting participation


ON21 CEM and Tool User Forum Terms of Reference (ToR)


Notes to editor

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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