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Forward Plan 2020-21

Since preparing the Forward Plan 20/21, we have all been faced with huge changes in our home and business lives as a result of coronavirus. It is clear that disruption will continue during the months ahead and, as we aren’t quite clear on the impact on our business and the energy industry just yet, we haven’t currently changed the contents of the plan. However, we will be constantly reviewing our plans taking into account changing priorities for the ESO and also our stakeholders as we work to continue operating a secure and reliable electricity system.

Fintan Slye, Director of the ESO, explains more about how we are adapting the way that we work.

COVID-19 is a national emergency requiring both an immediate and considered longer term response. Against this back drop we have today published our 2020-21 Forward Plan, in line with our licence obligation under the 2018-2021 ESO Incentives scheme.

The Forward Plan is an ambitious set of deliverables that we developed in collaboration with our stakeholders and Ofgem, before COVID-19 became our new reality. The plan forms part of our long-term strategy for achieving our ESO mission, of being able to operate the electricity system of the future, and in delivering a system that supports the net zero by 2050 ambition.

However, the last few days and weeks have brought into focus the critical role we play in society. Maintaining safe and reliable energy supplies is more important than ever. In his statement of 19 March, Ofgem’s CEO Jonathan Brearley made it clear that across the energy industry we need to change the way that we are working to recognise the impact that COVID-19 is having on our wider programmes of work.

For the ESO this means that the scope, timing and approach to delivering our Forward Plan commitments may need to change so that we can maintain our focus on operating a secure and reliable electricity system.

Our Forward Plan delivery is a key part of how Ofgem holds us to account on our performance. As we close out 2019-20 and enter a new incentive period we believe and expect that the assessment of our performance should reflect our behaviours and actions at this time of national emergency during this crisis.

Our teams are experienced at dealing with critical events and are putting all of that experience to use as we create new sustainable ways of working to operate the system. We are collaborating with colleagues in other network companies and are keen to help our customers and stakeholders through this too. The transparency of our actions and decision making is important to us and we believe all of this has a vital part to play in assessing our performance across all three role areas under the Forward Plan[1].

We are committed to working with our stakeholders to help keep the nation supplied with electricity and to meet our customer and stakeholders’ needs.

Read our Forward Plan here.

If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at [email protected].


[1] Control centre operations; Market development and transactions; System insight, planning and network development