SSEN leads industry-wide effort to standardise connection contracts

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), working through the Open Networks project, has led industry-wide efforts to standardise the connection contracts offered by Distribution Network Operators (DNOs). This will improve the experience of engaging with the energy system for flexibility providers, support best practice across Great Britain and unlock liquidity in local energy markets.

The transition to a smarter energy system is creating new opportunities for households and businesses that generate energy or want to provide flexibility to the system. Great Britain’s electricity networks are seeking to make it easier for the communities they serve to get involved in the energy system and it is hoped that where standardisation and cooperation are possible, there is scope for increased engagement.

In conjunction with the Electricity Network Association-led Open Networks project, SSEN worked with UK Power Networks, Western Power Distribution, Northern Power Grid, Electricity North West and Scottish Power Energy Networks to standardise the contract for those seeking to provide flexibility to the system, to make the experience of engaging, easier.

The drafting process brought Great Britain’s DNOs together with the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and independent Distribution Network Operator (iDNO) GTC. Stakeholder engagement sessions played a crucial role in shaping what support and consistency would be helpful for flexibility providers and how the common contract could be as clear and concise as possible. Following the series of workshops, stakeholder sessions and meetings the common contract has now been finalised and is available here.

Andrew Roper, SSEN’s ED2 Director said: “This is a welcome step forward and will give increased confidence to flexibility providers, and those interested in providing flexibility, to play an active role in the UK’s energy system. The cost-effective transition to net zero will require utilising flexibility in the energy system. Contract standardisation will make it easier for networks and customers to work together in achieving that common goal. 

“I am proud that SSEN took a leading role in the drafting of this contract and thank everyone that has taken the opportunity to input during this process through the numerous workshops, meetings and consultations."

The legal text was drafted by international law firm CMS and marks an important step in the transition to a smarter, flexible energy system that works for all the customers it serves. It follows the publication of SSEN’s Distribution System Operator (DSO) update (available here), and Digital Strategy (available here), which set out the steps SSEN is taking to improve and protect the customer experience as it transitions from a DNO to a DSO.