Ofgem to hit network operators’ pockets over connections failures?


Energy regulator Ofgem has floated plans to clawback revenue from distribution network operators (DNOs) over perceived failures within their grid connections operations.

The regulator is consulting around key issues raised by stakeholders and has mooted penalties ranging from £0.6m to £4.6m for each DNO.

Many of the DNOs could face penalties for inadequate stakeholder engagement with customers that want to connect to the network or, in the case of local authorities and councils, plan longer-term programmes of work.

Some of the networks may be penalised because customers say they appear not to have a single point of contact for connections, making a difficult process more difficult, and for generally taking too long to provide a quote. Some have been accused of being ‘obstructive’.

While DNOs say they are taking steps to improve connections processes, it is often cited by businesses surveyed by The Energyst, as one of the biggest hassle factors in connecting assets to provide demand-side response.

However, some DNOs also appear to have been swamped with ‘highly speculative’ connections applications in recent months as investors rush to exploit strategic locations that may accommodate assets such as batteries.

Ofgem outlines specific incidences of failure within its consultation document, inviting responses by 18 September. See the consultation here.

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