As a membership organisation, we form our policy responses from our 200 business, local authority and community energy members that support our mission to transform the energy system. We have extensive experience of guiding the sector through shifts in the energy system over the last decade and influencing change at the heart of government.  Please see a summary of our current policy activity below.

A key benefit of membership is Regen representing your voice with government and key players and responding to these consultations in the best interests of the sector.

We have identified 6 policy priorities which we will address in 2021

  1. Local energy planning and investment
  2. Creating a fair regulatory framework for low carbon generation and technologies
  3. Decarbonisation of heat and energy efficiency
  4. Electricity markets for a net zero electricity system
  5. Hydrogen – costs, feasibility, applications and funding
  6. EV charging and its impacts on the electricity network

Local energy planning and investment

Aim: We need a new model for local governance of energy which allows local bodies to plan for and invest in energy policies which can deliver their ambitious climate goals.

Our delivery projects and advisory work with devolved governments, local authorities, and DNOs, have helped us identify where the barriers are to delivering low carbon energy and how such barriers can be addressed.

Actions will be focused around:

  • investment and business models for community projects
  • local planning policy development
  • local priorities in the price control process
  • network charging (including connection costs)
  • heat and energy efficiency.

Local Leadership To Transform Our Energy SystemOur recent paper, Local leadership to transform our energy system lays out the structures, investment, powers and action needed to tackle the climate emergency. We will be following up on the specific actions laid out in this paper.

 

Member input

There are several policy opportunities for influence this year, and we always welcome member input and joint campaigns.

  • Planning white paper
  • National Policy Statement review
  • RIIO2 business plans
  • Access SCR minded-to decision
  • Future Homes/Buildings Standard

Regen sits on the RIIO2 Decarbonisation and Environment Working Group and the networking charging Challenge Group, and we welcome input from members.


Creating a fair regulatory framework for low carbon generation and technologies

Aim: We need a regulatory and market framework that has net zero at its core. Ofgem and the network operators must have clearly defined statutory remits to prioritise decarbonisation. 

Through our work on network charging, our involvement in the RIIO2 working groups, and feedback from members on REGOs and access to markets, we have seen the consequences of Ofgem’s lack of statutory remit to consider decarbonisation.

Similarly, as we work on market and network structures, we see how networks are making good progress to decarbonise, but are often constrained by policy limitations.

This issue has steadily become more prominent over the last few years, and has resulted in a number of developments which could result in lasting change.

Our actions in 2021 will be focused on:

  • network charging
  • RIIO price controls
  • ESO restructuring
  • a statutory remit for Ofgem to consider decarbonisation
  • Renewable Energy Generation of Origin certs (REGOs)
  • market structures

Member input

We sit on the network charging reform Challenge Group, influencing these reforms and understanding the impact for the industry – see our recent webinar: Network Charging – a step forward for decarbonisation?

Regen sits on the RIIO2 Decarbonisation and Environment Working Group and the Smart Systems Forum where these issues can be raised further.

There are several policy opportunities for influence this year, and we always welcome member input and joint campaigns:

  • BEIS’ Strategy and Policy Statement to Ofgem
  • Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan
  • RIIO2 business plans
  • Access SCR minded-to decision

Decarbonisation of heat and energy efficiency

Aim: Tangible, ambitious action on the decarbonisation of heat and the roll out of new and retrofit energy efficiency measures.

Regen Heat Paper - Front cover

Through our delivery projects such as the Zero Energy Building Catalyst and Ready for Retrofit, our advisory work for gas and electricity DNOs, and our thought leadership paper on the Decarbonisation of Heat, we have a practical and indepth understanding of how the most challenging area of decarbonisation can be carried out.

Our actions in 2021 will be focused on:

  • ensuring the sector has long-term consistency of investment and market continuity
  • improving the funding programmes for heat and energy efficiency (inc. Green Homes Grant)
  • rebalancing environmental levies between electricity and gas bills
  • influencing and responding to the Heat and Buildings Strategy and Future Homes/Building Standard
  • providing greater research and information on hydrogen

Member input

Regen sits on the National Grid’s Future of Gas Forum and we would welcome input from members.

There are several policy opportunities for influence this year, and we always welcome member input and joint campaigns:

  • Heat and Buildings Strategy
  • Future Homes/Building Standards
  • Consultation on local authority heat network zones
  • Consult on extension and changes to ECO and WHD schemes
  • Future funding models inc green gas levy, clean heat grant, RHI etc.

Electricity markets for a net zero electricity system

Aim: Markets that function effectively in a net zero system, incentivising the right kind of assets in the right places. This should include recognising the full value of low carbon assets, transparently reporting on carbon intensity of all markets, and ensuring markets and systems are fully accessible. 

Our work on markets over the years includes our insight papers on storage and local flexibility, regular community engagement work with DNOs on their local flex offerings, engagement with BEIS and Ofgem to improve the Capacity Market and working with the ESO to improve markets for storage. This has given us a practical understanding of how markets need to change to enable net zero.

Our actions in 2021 will be focused on:

  • increased and improved data releases of market information
  • serious policy consideration and industry discussion of the methods for valuing carbon in flexibility markets
  • carbon pricing
  • considering how markets will function in a net zero system
  • ensuring markets are accessible for low carbon assets

Member input

We engage regularly with the ESO from a storage perspective and we invite ESN members to input and attend these meetings, as well as furthering discussions at our Markets and Revenues Working Group.

There are several policy opportunities for influence this year, and we always welcome member input and joint campaigns:

  • BEIS call for evidence on net zero markets
  • Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan
  • HMT Net Zero Review
  • BEIS’ Strategy and Policy Statement to Ofgem
  • ESO restructuring

Hydrogen – costs, feasibility, applications and funding

Aim: We are stepping up our research on hydrogen, following our successful research through our Distribution Future Energy Scenarios work, modelling for south west Wales and our thought leadership paper on heat. 

Over the coming months, Regen will be looking into the development of the global hydrogen market, specifically the government policies needed to make hydrogen-based energy solutions competitive, the strategy needed to provide investment in production and distribution infrastructure, and the wider role that hydrogen can play within a low carbon energy system.

Explore our recently released paper, Building the hydrogen value chain, and our previous work on hydrogen.

Member input

We welcome anyone who would like to help us develop work in this area.

Key opportunities include:

  • Hydrogen Strategy
  • Heat and Buildings Strategy

Regen also sits on the National Grid’s Future of Gas Forum and would welcome input from members.


EV charging and its impacts on the electricity network

Aim: Understanding, analysing and communicating the impacts of EV charging on the electricity network.

Our analytical work with DNOs to produce future energy scenarios, our extensive engagement with the EV industry and DNOs, and our work with local authorities has given us an in-depth understanding of the impacts of the EV network and how DNOs need to take this into account as they plan for the future.

Our paper, Harnessing the EV Revolution, set out the opportunities and challenges for the EV and energy industries and we have built on that expertise with industry engagement through our EV and Electricity System forum.

Member input

We run a regular event, the EV and Electricity System Forum, which we welcome all members to attend.

Policy opportunities for influence this year:

  • Transport Decarbonisation Strategy

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