Consultation on Capacity Charging
In 2016 the Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland (UR) hosted a public consultation on the Electricity Distribution and Transmission Connection Policy. It was recognised that getting connected easily and at a fair price is important for both demand and generation customers and it is important that other network consumers only pay what is necessary for their energy. It was believed that the lack of capacity on parts of the network is presenting challenges for new customers getting access to the distribution electricity network.
In their follow-up publication, ‘Next Steps’, published in April 2017, the UR identified that the recovery of unused capacity was a key factor in facilitating access to new users. NIE Networks was requested to consider the incidence of underutilisation and to develop appropriate and proportionate measures to release capacity if it is being persistently underused.
Consequently, in August 2018 NIE Networks launched a ‘Call for Evidence’ (CfE) which was to gather stakeholder views on how this request should be addressed and specifically considered how NIE Networks may release unused capacity to facilitate better utilisation of the network and lower connection charges for new applicants and existing customers wishing to increase their demand.
In answer to our 2018 CfE, NIE Networks received three responses which provided a meaningful insight on stakeholder views and have helped influence how we have taken forward the next stage of the consultation on the Maximum Import Capacity (MIC). We have listened to and taken into account the feedback received which has led us to take additional time to undertake the further analysis required to address points raised by responders. In response to the stakeholder feedback we have specifically modified the proposed methodology for both MIC and exception charging and in particular, how we are to keep affected customers informed throughout the process.
Within this consultation document a number of specific questions are raised for respondents to consider. The response to these questions and any general points raised by respondents will be used by NIE Networks to produce a Decision Paper which will be submitted to the Utility Regulator (UR) in early 2020.
Read the consultation here.
We welcome responses from key stakeholders and would encourage continued engagement throughout this process. NIE Networks are keen to ensure that all stakeholders have the greatest possible opportunity to input into and shape the consultation.