Forward Work Programme 2019-21

Publication date
30th November 2018
Closing date
15th February 2019
Policy area

This consultation document sets out Ofgem’s draft Forward Work Programme for the extended period of 2019-21. It also sets out how we intend to simplify our regulatory approach, with the aim of reducing burdens for industry, and how we will operate in an efficient and effective way.

Given the complexity, pace of change and uncertainty facing the energy sector, it is important that as the GB energy regulator, we provide a clear statement of intent and forward vision, so that industry and consumers understand the actions we plan to carry out and the outcomes we seek to deliver during the period 2019-21.

Our draft Forward Work Programme also responds to priorities set out by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in his speech on the future of the energy sector on 15 November 2018.

We welcome your views on how we can help ensure that all consumers receive fair, competitive services from the energy market.

Please respond to this draft Forward Work Programme consultation by noon on Friday, 15 February 2019, by emailing your response to Unless you ask us not to, we will publish responses on our website. We will publish our final Forward Work Programme 2019-21 before the start of the new financial year.

Horizon scanning and our future insights series

The energy sector is undergoing fundamental change. We have a dedicated horizon scanning function within Ofgem that helps us to understand the longer-term drivers of change. We use this insight to inform our Forward Work Programme and to make sure our priorities reflect the longer term challenges we face.

What is horizon scanning?

Horizon scanning is a systematic examination of information to identify emerging threats, risks, issues and opportunities. It’s a strategic tool that can help us to understand energy sector developments better and to use this understanding to inform our work.  It doesn’t predict the future, but it does help us to be more informed about high-impact, high-uncertainty areas – and think about a wider range of possible futures.

It also helps us to achieve our Forward Work Programme priorities once they have been set. For instance, horizon scanning helps us to: 

  • identify consumers who are at risk of being left behind by retail market developments;
  • spot market and system developments that we may want to support;
  • continue to carry out our statutory and core functions as the energy system changes;
  • inform the future role of networks; and identify stakeholders whom we should work with and learn from.

Informing our future priorities

Our Office for Research and Economics has recently refreshed our horizon scanning work. In 2019–21 we will continue to explore some of the key high-impact, high-uncertainty developments in the energy sector through our Future Insights Series - a series of discussion papers which aim to stimulate beneficial discussions about the energy sector. We expect to work closely with stakeholders as we develop our future insights series publications.

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact Ofgem’s Research Hub at