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What does Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review (TCR) mean for consumers?

In today’s swiftly changing energy environment, keeping up with regulatory shifts is vital for energy suppliers and users alike. A notable example is Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review (TCR), which seeks to revamp how network fees are imposed in the UK electricity sector. Let’s explore the details of the TCR, its implications, and how it will affect energy consumers nationwide.

What is the TCR?

The Targeted Charging Review (TCR) is a program initiated by Ofgem, the energy regulator in the UK, aimed at reorganising how network fees are distributed and imposed on electricity transmission and distribution network users. These fees encompass expenses related to maintaining and enhancing the infrastructure essential for delivering electricity reliably to consumers.

What is Changing?

One of the main alterations introduced by the TCR pertains to the restructuring of residual charges. Residual charges represent the fees imposed on consumers to cover the overall expenses associated with maintaining the electricity networks, ensuring system reliability and stability. With the TCR, Ofgem suggests a change in how these charges are computed and assigned.


Traditionally, residual charges have primarily been determined by energy consumption, meaning that consumers pay more with higher electricity usage. However, with the TCR, there is a shift towards increasing the proportion of fixed charges, which do not rely on actual energy usage but rather on a consumer’s capacity or connection to the grid. This adjustment aims to distribute the costs of maintaining the networks more equitably among all users, regardless of their energy consumption levels. This entails:

  • Distribution Use of System (DUoS) Charges

    From April 2022, a portion of these charges will be levied as a fixed fee, rather than solely based on unit rates.

  • Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) Charges

    Similar to DUoS, a fixed standing charge element was introduced in April 2023.

  • Balancing Services Use of System (BSUoS) Charges

    As of April 2023, these charges will no longer be paid by generators, but passed on to the end user through a fixed fee.

These modifications will result in varied impacts on various customer groups. Generally, standing charges are expected to rise in the foreseeable future, especially affecting businesses that typically adjust their consumption patterns according to market trends. However, these immediate costs are implemented with the long-term expectation of electricity commodity prices decreasing.


To ascertain the updated costs for each business, Ofgem has introduced specific categories based on their meter setup and usage levels.

TCR - Businesses dont have ASCs

For Businesses That Don't Have ASCs

For Businesses With ASCs

(Tables from Octopus Energy Website)

How Will the TCR Affect Customers?

The implementation of the TCR is expected to have several implications for energy customers:
  • Impact On Bills

    Customers may see changes in their electricity bills due to the shift from consumption-based charges to fixed charges. While some consumers may experience a reduction in their variable charges, others, particularly those with low energy consumption levels, might face higher fixed charges.

  • Incentives for Efficiency

    With a greater emphasis on fixed charges, energy users may be incentivised to focus more on efficiency measures to manage their overall electricity costs. This could include investing in energy-saving technologies or adjusting consumption patterns to minimise capacity requirements.

  • Equity and Fairness

    The TCR aims to ensure a fairer distribution of network costs by aligning charges more closely with the actual benefits derived from grid services. However, there may be concerns regarding the potential impact on vulnerable or low-income consumers who may struggle to afford higher fixed charges.

  • Transition to a Low-Carbon Future

    By modernising the charging framework, the TCR supports the transition to a low-carbon energy system by encouraging investment in renewable energy and grid technologies. Fair and transparent network charges are essential for facilitating the integration of renewable generation and enabling a more sustainable energy future.

In summary, Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review (TCR) constitutes a significant regulatory initiative aimed at restructuring how network charges are implemented in the UK electricity market. By transitioning towards fixed charges and aligning costs more closely with the benefits derived from grid services, the TCR aims to ensure a more equitable and efficient distribution of network costs. While these adjustments may pose challenges for energy customers, they also lay the groundwork for a more robust and sustainable energy system in the future. As the energy landscape evolves, staying informed and adjusting to regulatory shifts will be crucial for both energy providers and consumers.


For a more in-depth analysis of the TCR and how it might affect your business specifically, contact RES Consulting today!

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