September 9, 2017

Network Charging

Stefan Leedham, Head of Governance Services –

So, I must admit when it comes to network charging I am a bit (or probably a lot) of an anorak. Over the years I’ve been involved in the roll-out of the gas NTS charging model, set up of the gas DCMF and five-year forecasts, the gas TPCR, two GDPCRs, RIIO-GD1, RIIO-T1, RIIO-ED1, TransmiT and DCC charging to name but a few, and I have to admit I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

It should therefore be no surprise that I’m looking forward to the electricity charging targeted charging review (TCR) and the work that this will involve. This represents a great opportunity to look at the issues facing electricity transmission and distribution charging and come up with some high-level principles that could be applied across both regimes, and to ensure we have a holistic approach to network charging.

This week we attended the first Charging Delivery Board (CDB) meeting under the TCR and the outlook for this looks promising. The CDB has been set up in response to rapid and increasing pace of change, to make it easier to access the market with appropriate charging, and for a more holistic view of the changes to network charging and access. The role of the CDB is to manage all this work and make sure it is being delivered on time and to plan – but not the actual delivery which will fall to the taskforces. Angelo Fitzhenry attended this meeting for ElectraLink as the DCUSA Code Administrator as we are keen to work with the industry and deliver real change that meets the needs of a rapidly evolving market. With storage, electric vehicles and demand side response these are not small issues that can be solved overnight; however, getting the principles right should mean we can set the foundations for network charges to deal with whatever the future may hold.

This also represents a great opportunity to co-ordinate across distribution and transmission and highlight how effective co-operation can benefit the industry. We’ve been working with National Grid and Ofgem to help co-ordinate this project, making sure that the right touch points are in place, there is a common understanding of expectations across parties and to ensure that there is communication in place so all stakeholders are aware of what is being discussed and can decide whether to engage or not. As I said at the beginning I am a bit of a charging anorak so this does excite me – but from early discussions I am really hopeful that this will be a project that successfully demonstrates collaboration, co-ordination and communication for the benefit of the industry.