Network innovation

Britain's energy mix is changing and the way our gas and electricity networks operate needs to change too. We provide essential backing to innovative projects which aim to help make the energy networks smarter, and accelerate the development of a low carbon energy sector and delivering financial benefits to consumers. The projects help develop crucial knowledge and expertise which is being shared across the industry.

Innovation Stimulus

As part of the RIIO price controls we introduced a Network Innovation Stimulus. The Stimulus includes two annual Network Innovation Competitions (NICs): one for electricity network companies and one for gas network companies.

The Network Innovation Competitions

Through the NICs network companies compete for funding for the research, development and demonstration of new technologies, operating and commercial arrangements. Funding is provided for those innovation projects which meet our evaluation criteria – which are available on our website.  We are supported in our review and assessment of the projects by an independent expert panel for each competition.

As part of the electricity distribution price control arrangements (1 April 2010 to 31 March 2015), we established the Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund. The LCN Fund allowed up to £500m of funding to support projects sponsored by the distribution network operators (DNOs).  The projects trial new technology, operating and commercial arrangements. The Electricity NIC has replaced the LCN Fund.

The objective of the NICs and the LCN Fund is to help network companies understand what they need to do to provide security of supply at value for money as Great Britain moves to a low carbon economy.

Innovation Working Group

We held a meeting of the IWG to discuss running the 2014 network innovation competitions on 19 February 2014. We will announce the dates of any future meetings on this page.

For further information please contact networks.innovation@ofgem.gov.uk.

 

Innovation competitions

To access detailed information on the LCN Fund, alongside the Gas NIC and Electricity NIC, please see:

Electricity Network Innovation Competition

Gas Network Innovation Competition

Low Carbon Networks Fund

Publications and updates

  • Published: 18th Jul 2017
  • Decisions
  • 3 Associated documents
This notice explains our decision on proposed changes to version 3.0 of the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) Governance Document.

  • Published: 18th Jul 2017
  • Decisions
  • 7 Associated documents
Modification of network licences to curtail the recovery of Bid Preparation Costs by RIIO network licensees after 1 April 2018 from the NIA.

  • Published: 30th Jun 2017
  • Decisions
  • 3 Associated documents
This notice explains our decision on proposed changes to version 3.0 of the Network Innovation Competition (NIC) Governance Document.

  • Published: 27th Jun 2017
  • Closed: 25th Jul 2017
  • Consultations and responses
  • 6 Associated documents
Consultation on Innovation Roll-out Mechanism submissions from SP Energy Networks and UK Power Networks to fund new technologies.

  • Published: 1st Jun 2017
  • Closed: 28th Jun 2017
  • Consultations and responses
  • 4 Associated documents
Consultation to modify network licences to curtail the recovery of Bid Preparation Costs by RIIO network licensees after 1 April 2018.

  • Published: 1st Jun 2017
  • Closed: 28th Jun 2017
  • Consultations and responses
  • 6 Associated documents
This notice explains our proposed changes to the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) Governance Document.

  • Published: 11th May 2017
  • Closed: 8th Jun 2017
  • Consultations and responses
  • 8 Associated documents
Consultation to amend network licences to introduce new requirement on the RIIO network owners to develop an electricity or gas network innovation strategy.

  • Published: 11th May 2017
  • Closed: 8th Jun 2017
  • Consultations and responses
  • 5 Associated documents
This notice explains our proposed changes to the Network Innovation Competition (NIC) Governance Document.

  • Published: 31st Mar 2017
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
Document that sets out how we would like RIIO network licensees to proceed with regards to the Network Innovation Competition Successful Delivery Reward.

  • Published: 31st Mar 2017
  • Decisions
  • 2 Associated documents
Document setting out our decisions following our review of the Low Carbon Networks Fund and the RIIO innovation mechanisms.

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