Reform of network access and forward-looking charges

Current and future trends in the energy system will transform how we use the electricity networks. Smart technologies and new, innovative business models offer opportunities to adjust demand and supply at times and places where network capacity is limited. It is increasingly important that network capacity is allocated and used in a way which reduces the potential costs to consumers as a whole.

Here you can find information and outputs from our work and engagement relating to our review of network charging arrangements and forward looking charges.


We want to ensure electricity networks are used efficiently and flexibly, reflecting users’ needs and allowing consumers to benefit from new technologies and services while avoiding unnecessary costs on energy bills in general.

Review scope

Our Strategy for regulating the future energy system and Plan for a Smart, flexible energy system (which is joint with government) describe how providing users with better signals about the costs and benefits they incur on the network at a particular time and place is a priority area to address.

In November 2017, we published a working paper launching the process we plan to use to address the key regulatory gaps, working with industry. 

In December 2018, we launched a Significant Code Review (SCR) of network access and forward-looking charge arrangements. The SCR includes:

  • a review of the definition and choice of access rights for transmission and distribution users
  • a wide-ranging review of distribution network charges (Distribution Use of System (DUoS) charges)
  • a review of the distribution connection charging boundary
  • a focused review of transmission network charges (Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charges).

Outside of the SCR, the Electricity System Operator and network companies are progressing:

  • a review of aspects of allocation of access rights, including improved queue management and the scope for trading
  • a review of balancing services charges. This is being taken forward by the Electricity System Operator through a Balancing Services Charges Task Force.

Timelines for the SCR

Given the number of issues and their importance, we will progress work as quickly as possible, consistent with running a robust process. Our aim is to:

  • Publish working papers and other discussion materials – summer 2019 and end of 2019
  • Consult on our Minded-to-Decision and draft Impact Assessment – mid-2020
  • Publish decision and final Impact Assessment – early 2021

We are targeting to implement any changes in 2023. Where possible, we may seek to implement any “quick wins” identified in advance of these dates.

Your views

We are committed to undertaking the SCR in a transparent and open manner. We also need industry input to support the development of different options.

We have set up a Challenge Group to provide ongoing wider stakeholder input into our review. If you would like to find out more information about the Challenge Group then please email us at

The Charging Futures Forum will continue to be a means of engaging with, and updating, a wider range of our stakeholders on reforms to electricity network charges. If you want to find out more about the Forum or would like to become a member then please contact

As our work progresses, we will continue to provide opportunities for stakeholders to discuss the potential options with us and feed in to our work. We will publish information about this here, alongside outputs from this work.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 6th Sep 2019
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 11 Associated documents
Access Significant Code Review working paper outlining our initial thinking on key options for access and forward-looking charging reform.

  • Published: 21st May 2019
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter provides an update on Future Charging and Access reforms.

  • Published: 5th Feb 2019
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 22 Associated documents
See our Call for Evidence on potential consumer impacts that may arise following electricity settlement reform and network access and forward-looking charging reform.

  • Published: 18th Dec 2018
  • Decisions
  • 5 Associated documents
We have published our decision on the scope and form of review of Access and Forward-Looking Charging arrangements. As part of this we have decided to launch a Significant Code Review.

  • Published: 18th Dec 2018
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter highlights to generation developers the potential for future changes to electricity network access and charging arrangements.

  • Published: 23rd Jul 2018
  • Closed: 18th Sep 2018
  • Consultations and responses, Reports and plans
  • 6 Associated documents
We are seeking views on our proposals to get more out of our electricity networks through reforming access and forward-looking charging arrangements.

  • Published: 6th Nov 2017
  • Reports and plans
  • 1 Associated documents
Reform of electricity network access and forward-looking charges