Project duration: July 2018 – November 2018

Regen supported Western Power Distribution (WPD) to engage communities in the transition from Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to Distribution System Operator (DSO) and clarify what this means for local energy stakeholders. The consultation paper outlined the key elements of the DSO transition, the main opportunities for communities, and explained new flexibility services. The questionnaire asked communities how they want to be involved in our future electricity network and what support they need, especially around new services being procured by DNOs such as flexibility. Alongside the consultation Regen and WPD delivered 8 community engagement events in 2018.

The aim of the consultation was to:

  • support community energy organisations to develop knowledge about our changing energy system and encourage informed participation
  • find out what communities think and what their future energy plans are, and use this information to inform WPD’s ongoing engagement and capacity building support for community and local energy stakeholders
  • ensure WPD’s vision for DSO is aligned with the needs of customers and stakeholders

There were 49 responses to this consultation demonstrating significant interest from a sector that has to date found it difficult to engage in the complexity of the energy transition. The key to obtaining a strong response was providing a detailed supporting document and using Regen’s strong community energy network to encourage responses. The results and feedback were analysed by Regen and reviewed by WPD, who produced a final report including a list of actions based around:

  • Continued engagement
  • Enhanced information (including data)
  • Minimal thresholds for participation
  • Coordination with wider industry
  • Reviewing contracts


Read the consultation guidance document here.

Read the full report here.

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