An independent body should be established to lead Britain to net zero at the lowest cost to consumers, according to Ofgem.
Making the recommendation on 25 January, the regulator set out how new responsibilities for an Independent System Operator (ISO) could potentially include providing independent recommendations to government and Ofgem on new gas and electricity network investment proposals; taking a more proactive role in the balancing of supply and demand across both local and national electricity networks; and taking on wider planning responsibilities for new infrastructure, such as the design and construction of an offshore grid connecting offshore wind farms to the UK.
In December, after the government committed to consulting on reviewing the management of the energy system, it acknowledged additional responsibilities may require greater independence from National Grid.
Ofgem said it will work closely with the government as part of this review, adding that full separation – rather than greater independence – would help to ensure future decisions on how to manage the energy system are taken in the interests of consumers and keep costs as low as possible. According to its estimates, the new body could save consumers between £0.4bn to £4.8bn from 2022 to 2050.