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The Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has decided to implement a new Electricity Systems Restoration Standard as per a published policy paper. This will come into effect no later than 31st December 2026.
The UK Government acknowledges the nationwide dependence on a stable electricity network that powers our core infrastructures and economy. Therefore, it requires levels of safety nets to ensure that risks are reduced and avoided where possible to prevent major disruptions.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy already work closely with the industry regulator Ofgem and National Grid ESO as well as other infrastructure operators. It requires their collaborative effort to plan for a reliable, stable and safe electricity network for the UK and identify how to mitigate or avoid risks.
Although the possibility of a nationwide electricity failure is registered as a low likelihood risk, similar international events, such as the Texas electricity shortage, have shown that it is still possible and will have a high impact as categorised by the 2020 National Risk Register. Fortunately, Great Britain has never experienced a large scale failure; however, we must be prepared for the situation.
Currently, there are many tools, automation and procedures that prevent faults and failures of our systems. The new policy comes as a result of the review of our current regulatory framework and will strengthen these measures by setting a legally binding target for the recovery of supply in the events of nationwide failure.
The new policy has undergone extensive development and engagement from the industry stakeholders with the cost-benefit analysis made to balance cost with the risk and impacts. The Governments new policy was given the support of the industry parties as long as individuals will not become commercials disadvantaged due to the new standards.
National Grid ESO will require to have the capability to recover 100% of Great Britain’s demand within 5 days of a nationwide failure under the new standards. They will have to implement this regionally across the UK with 60% regional demand recovered within 24 hours of the failure. This will ensure a consistent and reduced recovery time across the country.
Upon implementation before 31st December 2026, it will be industry regulator Ofgem’s responsibility to carry out the annual monitoring to provide assurance the systems will operate as intended.
View the full policy paper published by the Government:
More information is available by speaking to Jason Thackray on 0333 9000 246 or email :