Broader Impacts of Delays to Securing a Connection to the Electricity Distribution Network, research by Accent

Publication date
28th September 2012
Information types
Policy areas

Research by Accent in relation to the RIIO-ED1 price control framework. The pricing review will set revenue allowances for distribution network owners (DNOs) to fund their activities over the price control period commencing April 2015. Ofgem will also establish a framework of incentives intended to best protect the interests of customers by providing rewards and penalties for performance against specified targets.

A key element of Ofgem's preparatory work for ED1 is to identify appropriate behaviours by companies and associated outputs measures and incentives. This will include incentivising DNOs to deliver a timely and efficient service to customers seeking a connection to the electricity network. Although the connection service will include many constituent stages, from the initial issue of an indicative quote through to energisation of the connection, customers require an end to end service that meets their expectations. It is important to Ofgem that it has appropriate information on the broader impacts of delays in the connection process to inform its decisions in this regard. Ofgem therefore commissioned qualitative research among non domestic customers who had requested a new connection within the last 12 months. Respondents included a small number of distributed generation customers, ie those who generate electricity through, for example, solar panels or wind turbines and therefore need a two-way connection to enable them both to feed surplus power into the grid and to access the distribution grid as a demand customer.
The research was designed to provide an in depth understanding of customers' views on:

  • their overall experience of the process of seeking a connection
  • whether the timescale met their requirements
  • where there was any delay, their views on the impact of not receiving the connection(s) within an optimal time on their immediate business/activity
  • the perceived economic impact of the delay
  • the broader social impacts of the delay; these may encompass social issues impacting upon local communities or those affecting the broader generality of the GB population
  • any steps taken to mitigate any impacts by both the DNO and the customer.