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OFGEM LOOKS FORWARD IN PAST YEAR REPORT
• Ofgem charts year of progress in large-scale projects that will benefit all consumers, today and for the future
Energy regulator Ofgem has highlighted progress in a series of major projects that will benefit energy consumers in the immediate term and in the future. In its annual report for 2008-09 Ofgem has outlined its achievements as well as other gains in prospect.
Our energy supply market probe will result in new rules and other measures to bring the benefits of competition with greater protection for all consumers especially those on low incomes and other vulnerable groups.
In Project Discovery the regulator is looking ahead over the next decade at the prospects for security of supply in Britain, with the independent and impartial analysis that it is uniquely positioned to deliver.
The Transmission Access review has delivered a new interim regime with swifter connections to the national networks for low-carbon generation and new funding for expanding grid capacity. There are no network-related barriers now to getting connected
The new Offshore Transmission regime will ensure faster, more innovative connections and better value for money for consumers in the costs of connecting offshore wind farms to the national grid.
Our fifth Electricity Distribution Price control review is looking to expand funding for innovation and prepare networks for a low-carbon future while continuing to protect customers. The review will seek to secure excellent service at reasonable prices as well as achieving better value for consumers.
Ofgem’s RPI-X@20 project will set the future direction of energy network regulation to meet low-carbon, security of supply and quality of service goals for consumers.
Under our Consumer First programme we appointed our first Consumer Panel drawn from households across Britain to help the regulator keep in tune with changing consumer concerns and priorities.
Finally, an overhaul of the energy industry rule-making process through our Codes Governance Review is tackling, head-on, the scope for vested interests to delay key rule changes. The review will bring more transparent and efficient decision-making in key issues including security of supply and sustainability.
Notes to editors
1. Ofgem works for the interests of consumers now and for the future.
2. Offshore transmission
Following a consultation carried out jointly with Government, Ofgem concluded that Britain’s transmission network owners should tender competitively with others to build, own and maintain the links that will connect planned offshore wind farms to the mainland grid. The tendering process began this summer.
3. Transmission Access Review
Ofgem is driving forward reform of the arrangements governing connection to the national electricity grid to speed up the connection of renewable and low-carbon generators. We have put in place measures that will remove immediate barriers to investments and we have proposed new financial incentives.
4. Electricity Distribution Price Controls
Ofgem launched its fifth electricity distribution price control review with the first consultation in March 2008. The review will run from 2010 to 2015. Ofgem has outlined proposals to strengthen the incentives on the distribution network operators (to help tackle climate change. These are in addition to the established incentives to provide a secure and reliable network at an efficient cost and to improve services for customers.
5. Review of the regulatory regime
Ofgem has progressed its review of the 20-yea-old regime governing its regulation of the gas and electricity networks. The two-year review will seek to establish whether the existing approach – based on pegging revenue increases below the retail price index (RPI) - is still the best way to ensure that networks are well-run, provide good service to customers and innovate to meet the challenges of moving to a low-carbon economy.
6. Consumer First
The Consumer First programme was introduced in 2008 to improve the way we take consumers’ interests into account in decision making. It aims to increase the scope for getting direct consumer contributions to Ofgem’s deliberations over policy on customer issues.
7. Energy industry rules
In our Industry Codes Governance Review we are proposing to overhaul the way the rules for industry players’ participation in the market are drawn up and changed. We have proposed a reform package to speed up delivery of major policies. The review will seek to strengthen competition by making it easier for small players to get involved.
Ofgem is the Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets, which supports the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority, the regulator of the gas and electricity industries in Great Britain. The Authority's powers and duties are largely provided for in statute, principally the Gas Act 1986, the Electricity Act 1989, the Utilities Act 2000, the Competition Act 1998, the Enterprise Act 2002, the Energy Act 2004 as well as arising from directly effective European Community legislation.
For further press information contact:
Trevor Loveday 020 7901 7288 / 07887 652 252