The SGN Consumer Engagement Group has now had a chance to consider the second version of SGN’s Business Plan which they provided at the start of October.
We’ve been really impressed with the amount of consumer and stakeholder engagement that SGN has managed to do in a very short period over the summer. Moreover this engagement has really shaped certain aspects of the plan – such as the support to be provided to vulnerable customers.
Inevitably there are elements of the plan where we think SGN still needs to do more work before it submits its final plan in December.
Probably the biggest area is on the environment and de-carbonisation which we know is of growing concern to consumers and in particular future consumers (as represented by the young people that SGN has included in its research). We recognise that SGN is doing a lot to build understanding around the potential of hydrogen but want to see more focus on reducing emissions in GD2. That means looking at what more can be done on leakage, biomethane injection and SGN’s own business carbon footprint. There are some good initiatives in the plan but we want to see what this all adds up to in terms of the impact on emissions and will then challenge SGN to ensure that they’re doing all they can in these areas.
Aside from the environment, other areas we’re continuing to press SGN on include things like their productivity assumptions (noting all the innovation projects that have been happening in GD1) and workforce diversity where we are encouraging them to talk to a wider set of stakeholders who might be able to help with this challenge.
Once we get the final plan from SGN in December we’ll have only a few weeks to get our final report to Ofgem. We’re therefore doing all we can now to prepare. It will be a busy two months for the group and I remain grateful for all the work they are putting in alongside their day jobs.