BEIS and Ofgem Call for Evidence: ‘Smart, Flexible Energy System’

Opens: 00:00 on Friday 11th November 2016

Closes: 23:59 on Thursday 12th January 2017

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Ofgem issued their much-awaited Call for Evidence today, as part of their commitment to building a 21st century energy infrastructure, incorporating smart technologies for a flexible energy system.

BEIS and Ofgem have been working together to understand how to manage the transition to a smart, flexible energy system and what steps need to be taken to achieve this. Ofgem published a position paper in September 2015: “Making the electricity system more flexible and delivering the benefits for consumers”, which set out Ofgem’s priority areas to ensure that regulation supports an efficient, flexible energy system. In December 2015, BEIS published “Towards a Smart Energy System”, a report setting out how smart, more flexible energy solutions could help them meet the challenges the UK energy system faces as we seek to power our economy and decarbonise cost-effectively.

A flexible energy system offers significant benefits for consumers and the economy, helping us use energy more flexibly and increasing the efficiency of the whole energy system. Over the period to 2050, studies have shown that a flexible energy system could deliver up to £40bn in cumulative net savings by helping us to build less power generation, turn off generation less when it exceeds demand, avoid the high cost of significantly reinforcing our energy networks and reduce the cost of balancing our energy system in real time. This can help to ensure the UK has a secure, affordable and clean energy system now and in the future, while enabling growth in all parts of the country.

Consumers are at the heart of the development of this system, which can give them choice and control over how they use electricity, including any that they generate themselves. Smart energy technology and processes have the potential to deliver lower bills and new services for consumers.

The call for evidence sets out BEIS’ and Ofgem’s intended approach to realising such a system. They invite your views on how to develop our energy system so that it is smart and flexible, while capturing benefits for consumers and businesses. The responses to this document, as well as wider engagement, will help shape a plan that BEIS and Ofgem expect to publish in spring 2017, setting out the specific actions to be taken to remove barriers, improve price signals, catalyse innovation and shape roles and responsibilities.

Responses to this call for evidence should be submitted on the dedicated online platform from 00:00 on 11/11/2016 until 23:59 on 12/01/2017. For any queries, please email smartenergy@beis.gov.uk or flexibility@ofgem.gov.uk.