DNOs need ‘real credit’ for innovation work, says ENW boss

There is a “need to explore” ways of allowing DNOs to make returns on their innovation work, Electricity North West chief executive Peter Emery has told Network.

DNOs need ‘real credit’ for innovation work, says ENW boss

In an interview with Network, Emery said that although ENW is a “keen participant” in industry innovation funding schemes, he expects to come under increasing shareholder pressure to clarify “how can we bank the cheque for this [innovation work] for Electricity North West?

“There’s no doubt, we are doing a lot of great work and it’s being shared effectively with industry,” Emery continued. “But how do we get the real credit for that?”

Read Network‘s interview with Peter Emery in full here.

When asked if he thought DNOs should be allowed to make unregulated returns on successful innovation activities Emery confirmed, “I think it is something that we need to explore because the more successful you are… you want to do more of it. But, I am not a charity.”

Emery suggested that he would be happy to fund innovation investment directly, rather than relying on customer-funded innovation schemes, in order to allow network returns.

“That’s quite possible,” he said. “We are starting to have these conversations internally about what is the best way to fund these things. I think that government funding is working well and I think it is moving the industry forward quickly and we are very keen participants in that. But there might be other ways to bring more funding to bear and to increase the pace of innovation.”

In the midst of an Ofgem review of network innovation funding, Emery’s views may prove controversial. He told Network however that his position is unsurprising given his professional background. Prior to joining ENW in May this year, Emery worked in competitive markets including stints at Drax and Exxon Mobil.


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