Ofgem delivers renewable energy and social programmes on behalf of government. Our expertise lies in designing, setting up and delivering large scale programmes in the sustainable energy sector. These programmes are in fields as diverse as renewable heat, renewable electricity, energy efficiency and fuel poverty.
We work with energy companies, consumer groups and other stakeholders, including the UK’s elected representatives, to make sure policy targets are met in the most economical and consumer conscious way possible.
We’re also working with a growing number of delivery partners across government, adding value to their operations by sharing our expertise.
We take allegations of fraud very seriously. To find out how to report suspected fraud within an environmental or social scheme, or to learn more about our role in preventing fraud, please see our Counter Fraud section.
The schemes we administer
Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI)
The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive encourages the use of renewable heat.
The scheme is funded by HM Treasury and provides quarterly payments over seven years to homeowners who install eligible domestic renewable heat technologies. Only the owner of an eligible installation can apply for the scheme.
We’re responsible for administering this scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Department for the Economy administers a separate domestic scheme in Northern Ireland.
Feed-in Tariff (FIT)
The Feed-in Tariff scheme encourages uptake of small-scale renewable low carbon electricity generation technologies.
The scheme requires FIT licensees (electricity suppliers) to make fixed tariff payments for electricity generated and exported to the network by accredited installations. The cost of the scheme is shared across all electricity suppliers.
Additional benefits are also available for community and school installations.
We administer this scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, ensuring compliance from electricity suppliers and reporting to the Secretary of State.
Renewables Obligation (RO)
The Renewables Obligation is one of the main support schemes for large-scale renewable electricity generation in the UK. It puts an obligation on licensed electricity suppliers to source a proportion of their supply from renewables.
Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) are issued to accredited generators for the renewable electricity they generate. These are then used by electricity suppliers to demonstrate they have met their obligation. If suppliers do not have sufficient ROCs to meet their obligations they must instead pay into a ‘buy-out’ fund. Once the compliance period has closed, this fund is redistributed to compliant suppliers.
We administer this scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Utility Regulator in Northern Ireland (UREGNI) through an Agency Services Agreement.
Our role is to accredit generating stations, issue certificates, ensure compliance by electricity suppliers and report annually.
Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO)
The Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) scheme aims to promote and increase the contribution of renewable energy sources to electricity production across the EU. It provides a common platform for the trade of renewable electricity between member states.
REGOs are certificates which demonstrate electricity has been generated from renewable sources. Their primary purpose is to allow suppliers to meet the Fuel Mix Disclosure condition in their supply license. This requires suppliers to let their customers, and potential customers, know where their electricity is generated from.
We administer this scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and also on behalf of UREGNI through an Agency Services Agreement.
Climate Change Levy (CCL) exemption
The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is a tax on UK business energy use, charged at the time of supply. Electricity generated from certain renewable sources before 1 August 2015 was exempt from the CCL.
We administer a certification scheme on behalf of HM Revenue and Customs, which provides evidence for the operation of this tax exemption.
Energy Company Obligation (ECO)
The Energy Company Obligation requires larger suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures such as loft and wall insulation to domestic premises in Great Britain.
Suppliers’ obligations depend on their market share, and delivery of the obligation is market driven. Suppliers are not tied to their own customer base to meet their overall targets.
We administer this scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and reports to the Secretary of State on a monthly basis.
We provide guidance to energy suppliers and those in the supply chain to help them deliver measures that comply with the requirements of the obligation.
Warm Home Discount (WHD)
The Warm Home Discount obligates energy suppliers over a certain size to provide support to vulnerable customers in Great Britain.
Most support is provided through annual electricity rebates of £140 to customers in or at risk of fuel poverty. This can include low income pensioners and families with young children. Other support is provided through a mixture of initiatives such as free energy advice and help with clearing energy debts.
We administer the scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, ensuring energy suppliers meet their obligations and reporting annual outcomes to the Secretary of State.
Offtaker of Last Resort (OLR)
The Offtaker of Last Resort (OLR) is a scheme that enables eligible renewable generators to enter into a Backstop Power Purchase Agreement (BPPA) with a licensed supplier when they cannot get a standard Purchase Power Agreement through normal commercial avenues. Eligible renewable generators will need to hold either a Contract for Difference or an Investment Contract.
We administers the scheme on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Our role is to assess generators’ eligibility, run OLR auctions and to share the costs of the scheme fairly across all electricity suppliers.
Our data shows details of our performance against our three key indicators:
- How quickly we respond to stakeholders.
- How long payments and processing take.
- The availability of our IT systems for scheme participants.
Scheme performance indicators
Every year E-Serve commits to upholding specific service levels for the GB Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI, Feed-In-Tariffs, Renewables Obligation, Energy Company Obligation and Warm Home Discount schemes. These are documented within the key performance indicators section of the Ofgem Forward Work Programme. Meeting or exceeding these indicators is important to us as we want to provide the best possible service to our customers.
Scheme applications and queues
We track and report on the number of applications we receive and process in a month, as well as the overall length of the queue for the GB Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI, Feed-In-Tariffs, Renewables Obligation, Energy Company Obligation and Warm Home Discount schemes. This helps to show the volume of applications that we are dealing with. It also shows things such as where there have been spikes in applications, which may impact how quickly we are able to process them.
Customer satisfaction scores
In May 2016, we launched a survey to measure our customers’ satisfaction after they applied to the GB Domestic and Non-Domestic RHI, Feed-In-Tariffs and Renewables Obligation schemes. We surveyed scheme applicants to get feedback on their application experience in order to help us understand how we could improve the experience for future applicants. We then rolled out surveys to cover more areas where we interact with scheme participants and, from April 2017, the overall score encompassed these areas.
From the feedback we received, we were able to identify and address issues raised by participants and make changes to our processes, where possible. Subsequent feedback now tends to raise issues we are already aware of but cannot address, due to legislative barriers or the requirement for significant investment.
In the last year, we have seen scheme closures and, in order to avoid survey fatigue, a decreasing volume of participants to survey. Due to this, our satisfaction scores are heavily reliant on Domestic RHI participants, which does not give a truly representative view of E-Serve. On the other schemes, there has been a reduction in the number of responses we receive, leading to significant fluctuation in the scores. This cannot be viewed as significant due to the potential for a large margin of error, which limits the conclusions and statistical significance that can be drawn from the results.
Given this, the decision has been made to cease all customer satisfaction surveys as it is no longer a reliable picture of customer opinion.