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Consumer network access, core capacity

17 May, 2019

Consumer network access, core capacity

Jacopo Torriti

Timur Yunusov

Report   Flexibility

Helen Snodin, Jacopo Torriti and Timur Yunusov


In December 2018 Ofgem launched a Significant Code Review (SCR) looking at access and forward-looking charging arrangements. Amongst other  things it is seeking to clarify “access rights and choices for small users”.

Ofgem is considering the concept of minimum “core access” in its proposals. “Core access” (if it can be defined) is an amount of capacity that cannot readily be flexed and that provides for consumers’ basic needs. Capacity-based (or time of use energy-based) charging might mirror this concept by considering an affordable level of “core access”.

Citizens Advice is participating in the SCR and has commissioned this work to better understand the concept of core access, and understand what it means for consumers. Citizens Advice posed three key questions for this research:

  • Is it possible to determine a, or a set of, common core electricity network capacity levels for domestic consumers and micro-businesses?
  • What should the core level of access be set at?
  • How could this be implemented (technical or commercial solutions)? What are the barriers/risks to consumers, suppliers and networks?

In the same order, we address these questions through:

  • An evidence review covering experiences with capacity limits and capacity charging in other electricity markets.
  • Interrogation of smart meter data available from DNO innovation projects.
  • Commentary on the implementation options, looking at both voluntary and mandatory measures.

Publication details

Snodin, H., Torriti, J. and Yunusov, T. 2019. Opens in a new tabConsumer network access, core capacity, pdf (51 pages, 9.2 MB). A report for Citizens Advice by CAG Consultants, London.Open access

Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash