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Standard Issue

7 May 2019

Standard Issue [ 2 mb] assesses how energy networks have performed against the Guaranteed Standards of Performance- the minimum levels of service that customers should receive from their network company- between the years 2015/16-2017/18.

We highlight how:

  • Overall performance by electricity networks against the standards is excellent, with high pass rates across both Connections and Interruptions & Customer service standards, with generally consistent performance across each year. However there were smaller pockets of poorer performance in reconnecting customers following severe and normal weather events.

  • Overall performance by gas networks was poorer. This was particularly the case for Interruptions & Customer service standards, where although there has been a slight improvement in performance over the 3 years, there is still a large degree of variation between the highest and lowest performing networks. Several networks performed poorly when reinstating supply following interruptions and reinstating customers following engineering works. Performance on Connections standards were higher, although there was a slight dip in performance across the standards each year.

  • Networks paid out just over £17.2 million in compensation to customers over the three year period, including voluntary payments. However this amount should have been higher. We estimate that consumers missed out on a total of £5.1 million in compensation.

  • £2.6 million were not paid to gas customers as they did not claim it and no mechanism for automatic compensation exists.

  • £2.5 million did not reach electricity customers because networks did not identify and compensate them within the required time period.

We propose the following recommendations to Ofgem and the networks:

For Ofgem:

  • We reiterate our call for Ofgem to introduce automatic compensation for all of the standards, and consider the use of the negative revenue adjustment across all standards to penalise those networks who do not proactively pay customers due compensation.

  • Ofgem should ensure that all compensation payments that have been misreported by gas network companies should be returned in full to consumers.

  • Ofgem should also use the evidence of network performance to consider whether the electricity standards should be updated, as is currently underway in gas.

For the networks:

  • Companies with consistently poor performance should seek to minimise the number of times they fail to meet the standards and improve their performance levels. The standards are minimum service requirements that should be delivered to all customers.

  • We continue to encourage companies to make further efforts to make their customers aware of the Guaranteed Standards and how to claim against failures to meet them.

Underlying Guaranteed Standards data 17/18 and 3 year analysis [Excel 380 kb]

Underlying Guaranteed Standards data 16/17 [Excel 340 kb]

Underlying Guaranteed Standards data 15/16 [Excel 330 kb]