DECC and Ofgem Smart Grid Forum

The DECC/Ofgem Smart Grid Forum (SGF) is a platform for industry, government and other key stakeholders to engage on the significant challenges and opportunities posed by GB’s move to a low-carbon energy system, particularly for electricity network operators. 

We jointly established the forum in 2011 with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to support the transition so it is safe, secure, efficient and delivers the best value for current and future energy consumers. We encourage stakeholders to contribute to the SGF and its nine workstreams.

You can find out more about smart grids on the UK Smart Grid Forum Portal

In addition to the portal, you can access agendas, minutes and outputs from our meetings, alongside our annual reports, in the publications and updates list below or through the relevant workstream page.  

Our aims

About the Smart Grid Forum's scope and aims

The Forum aims to:

  • identify future challenges for electricity networks and system balancing, including current and potential barriers to efficient deployment of smart grids.
  • guide the actions that we are taking with DECC to address future challenges, remove barriers and aid efficient deployment.
  • identify actions that DECC, the industry, other parties and we could be taking to facilitate the deployment of smart grids.
  • facilitate the exchange of information and knowledge between key parties, including those outside the energy sector.
  • help all stakeholders better understand future developments in the industry that they need to prepare for.
  • track smart grid developments and their drivers.
  • track smart grid initiatives in Europe and elsewhere.

Our workstreams

View the Smart Grid Forum's nine workstreams and access related outputs

Workstream one (WS1): Assumptions and scenarios

Led by DECC, WS1 develops the assumptions and scenarios necessary to keep our work consistent with government policy, and for network companies to use in their business planning.

Workstream two (WS2): Evaluation framework

Led by Ofgem, WS2 developed a framework to evaluate, at high level, alternative network development options. This workstream is now complete.  

Workstream three (WS3): Developing networks for low-carbon

Led by the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), WS3 assessed the network impacts of WS1 assumptions and scenarios.

Workstream four (WS4): Closing doors

Led by forum members, WS4 brought together stakeholders to identify credible risks posed by forthcoming policy decisions that may not fully consider the necessary enablers for smart grid development. This workstream is now closed.

Workstream five (WS5): Ways of working

Led by Ofgem, WS5 looks at how the SGF can best pursue its objectives and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

Workstream six (WS6): Commercial and regulatory issues

Led by Ofgem, WS6 brings together stakeholders to investigate the commercial and regulatory challenges of implementing smart grid solutions. 

Workstream seven (WS7): 2030 distribution system

Led by the Energy Networks Association, WS7 is a technical study of all aspects of the operation of a future distribution network.  

Workstream eight (WS8): Smart grid indicators

Led by DECC, WS8 is exploring ways our progress in deploying smart grid solutions can be monitored and reported.

Workstream nine (WS9): Technological innovation and growth

WS9 has three active work groups addressing: 

  • the smart grid technology supply chain
  • the application of the European Smart Grid Architecture Model
  • horizon scanning.

Background: Towards a smart grid

Electricity networks will have to be developed to efficiently facilitate low carbon developments in generation, supply and consumption, while ensuring security of supply.

To meet this challenge, the future system must be more integrated and flexible than it is today. We will need a smarter network with the capacity to transfer significantly more energy between a diverse range of generators and consumers.

In particular, the systems necessary to balance supply and demand will overlap and be integrated with network and demand control technologies. Significantly more system monitoring and intelligent control are expected to be needed to securely manage a much more complex system while meeting the demand for energy with the optimum level of generation and network capacity.

Against this background, the level of interest and activity related to the development of smarter electricity networks continues to grow. 

To this end, Ofgem took an early lead with DECC in 2009 when we published the Electricity Networks Strategy Group’s Vision and Route Map for Smart Grids. The SGF updated this work in 2014 with the Smart Grid Vision and Routemap.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 9th Feb 2017
  • Open letters & correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
Jointly signed letter to members of the both the Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG) and Smart Grid Forums (SGF)

  • Published: 8th Feb 2017
  • Open letters & correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
Jointly signed letter to members of the both the Electricity Networks Strategy Group (ENSG) and Smart Grid Forums (SGF).

  • Published: 14th Jan 2016
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
These are the meeting notes for the 20 October 2015 DECC/Ofgem Smart Grid Forum held at BIS Conference Centre.

  • Published: 11th Nov 2015
  • Reports & plans
  • 1 Associated documents
This report looks back at the work the Smart Grid Forum has delivered in the last year to support the UK's transition to a secure, safe and low carbon energy system.

  • Published: 1st Jun 2015
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
These are the meeting notes for the 21 April 2015 DECC/Ofgem Smart Grid Forum held at BIS Conference Centre. Topics discussed include the findings of Northern Powergrid’s CLNR project, the role of storage and the Power Networks Demonstration Centre.

  • Published: 12th Mar 2015
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
These are the minutes for the Smart Grid Forum held on 20 January 2015. Topics discussed include Demand Side Response, Horizon 2020 and more.

  • Published: 7th Jan 2015
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
These are the minutes for the Smart Grid Forum held on 28 October 2014.

  • Published: 9th Sep 2014
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
These are the minutes for the Smart Grid Forum held on 22 July 2014. The meeting discussed the SGF future workplan, emerging smart energy trends and SGF work stream updates.

  • Published: 19th Jun 2014
  • Reports & plans
  • 1 Associated documents
This report looks back at the work the Smart Grid Forum has delivered in the last year to support the UK's transition to a secure, safe and low carbon energy system.

  • Published: 10th Jun 2014
  • Agendas, minutes and presentations
  • 1 Associated documents
These are the minutes for the Smart Grid Forum held on 22 April 2014. The meeting discussed Systems Architecture, SGF work stream updates, the SGF future work plan and European updates.

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