Roger Witcomb, who led the Competition & Markets Authority’s investigation into the Great British energy market, is to lead a new independent panel to assess network operators’ investment plans.


The panel will examine the business plans put forward by network companies under the next price control mechanism, which will start from 2021.


Ofgem said the independent group would challenge companies over how consumers’ needs are being taken into account.


The regulator will also hold public hearings in 2020 at which the businesses will have to address issues raised by the panel.


Major changes ahead


Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s Executive Director for Systems and Networks, said: “Consumers deserve robust and cost effective business plans from energy network companies.


“The advice of the challenge panel will help us assess whether the plans deliver the services that customers expect from the networks in the next decade.”


Witcomb added: “I am looking forward to working with the other panel members to make sure that the companies are putting consumers at the forefront of their plans for managing the major changes in how we generate and use energy.”


Meanwhile, Ofgem said it will reduce base network company revenues in 2019/20 by £827 million compared to previous assumptions. under its Revenue=Incentives+Innovation+Outputs (RIIO) price controls.


> View Ofgem's announcement

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