This summer we supported Western Power Distribution (WPD) with a communities consultation on the transition from Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to Distribution System Operator (DSO) including flexibility and what this all means for local energy stakeholders. The questionnaire asked communities how they wanted to be involved and what support they needed. Many of you participated in this, and thanks again for you input. Having analysed the results and reviewed your feedback, WPD has now published a report including a list of actions based around:

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

WPD is the first DNO to publish such a detailed analysis of how communities want to participate in the transition to DSO, and the findings are clear; communities want to be involved but need more support. There are some strong messages for Ofgem to include carbon reduction as an explicit licence condition for DNOs, and that a level playing field does not mean treating everyone the same. If we are to address the power imbalance between the incumbents and new entrants to our energy system we have to support less well-resourced actors more. WPD is committed to an ongoing programme of community support including new workshops in each new area where they are procuring flexibility services, and a learning approach where they continue to listen and act on feedback to improve and simplify their processes and communications around new services such as flexibility.

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