Solihull/London (27/07/2017)  UK Power Reserve is challenging the overwhelming dominance of the Big 6 in industry governance, and urges reform to level the playing field in the energy sector.

The role of the Connection and Use of System Code (CUSC) panel as an independent, representative body working in the best interests of consumers is seriously undermined by the opaque and imbalanced process to select the panel members. With its proposed modification CMP285 CUSC governance reform, UK Power Reserve is calling for a fair and transparent voting process and a truly independent panel so the industry is prepared for the flexible energy system of the future.

The CUSC panel will meet on Friday to decide whether the modification should be considered by a working group.

Currently, large incumbent players like the Big 6 can repeatedly place their candidate on the panel by registering a number of subsidiary companies as CUSC signatories to increase their overall vote share. CUSC panel members remain on their company’s payroll throughout their term.

Their insurmountable influence in the voting process meant that only a fifth of registered signatories voted in the 2015 panel elections. In the past decade, five panel members have held their seat for at least 8yrs.

This is not transparent, not fair and not representative of the views of the wider industry. Furthermore, it is a huge concern for all those who believe in a diverse and competitive market, as the CUSC panel reviews all changes to the UK’s electricity network charging regime, and ultimately decides which should be taken on by Ofgem. The odds are stacked against challenger companies by those who have the most to lose.

UK Power Reserve proposes that, by 2019:

  • each company must declare any CUSC signatories under its direct or indirect control;
  • each company, including subsidiaries, can cast a maximum of five votes;
  • 60% of CUSC signatories must vote for a CUSC panel member in order to be elected;
  • panel members cannot have consecutive terms on the CUSC panel;
  • at least three panel members must be fully independent and not employed by any CUSC signatory;
  • at least two panel members must have experience and knowledge of working in a distributed generation company.

It is crucial that the CUSC panel is – and is seen to be – composed of truly independent industry experts working for the best interests of consumers. Even the perception that the panel is gaming the rules in favour of the Big 6 could bring the industry into disrepute.

UK Power Reserve believes in a diverse, competitive market and urges reform to enhance the fairness, transparency and independence of the CUSC panel and ensure it is fit to serve the flexible energy system of the future.

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About UKPR

UK Power Reserve is a leading provider of secure, flexible, low carbon electricity and services to the UK power market. With an 823MW portfolio of decentralised thermal power generation and battery storage assets, we help keep the country’s electricity system balanced and resilient. Our fast-ramping, low-cost assets are located across England and Wales, improving competition and delivering better value to consumers.

For more information, please contact Olivia Tunnell at communications@ukpowerreserve.com or +44 (0) 7392198475

www.ukpowerreserve.com | @UKPowerReserve