This consultation response argues that distributed flexibility markets, regional and local energy planning and coordination, and customer information delivered by a trusted partner are vital for meeting net zero.

By Dr Helen Poulter, Dr Jess Britton and Professor Janette Webb.

We welcome this Call for Input and proposed engagement work on an area we consider vital for the UK to meet its decarbonisation targets. Within our responses in section 2, we highlight three main areas for consideration:

  1. The future of local energy institutions and governance cannot be considered in isolation. We welcome Ofgem’s acknowledgement that local area energy planning will play an important role, and we suggest that this call needs to be considered in conjunction with calls for a statutory duty to be placed on local government to produce local energy plans. Our research also recognises the vital role that regional coordination and planning will play in meeting decarbonisation targets, and again we welcome Ofgem’s acknowledgement of this via the whole system planning function in Model 3.
  2. An energy system/market which includes a significant proportion of decentralised and distributed resources needs to place the customer at the centre. To create a fair and just system the customer needs to become an active and engaged member of this system. This requires trust in energy system institutions and governance, and we call for processes that are open and transparent, so encouraging trust. We also suggest that to encourage engagement, the delivery of customer information on aspects of the energy system transition should be considered as a system function, to be carried out by a trusted partner.
  3. In times of rapid change, creating certainty and reducing risk is of consequence and can be achieved by looking at ease of implementation and suggesting frameworks that are quick to implement. However, reducing risk and creating certainty for energy system actors can also be achieved by promptly choosing which model to implement, thereby clarifying future roles and responsibilities via expected timelines and milestones. Therefore, we suggest that new legislation and length of time to implement should not be considered as a risk when choosing the most appropriate future model.