Baringa Partners with the Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero (DESNZ)

Change and Transformation in the Public Sector

In September 2022, BEIS announced 6 months of support for households, businesses and public sector organisations facing soaring energy bills, to cut power bills and provide certainty through the winter energy crisis.

To deliver this urgent scheme, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero set an ambitious schedule to launch the scheme in eight weeks – a fraction of the usual time for policy design and implementation. The Department needed expert help: a combination of deep energy market economics expertise, and the ability to deliver at pace in the Government setting.

The Department engaged Baringa, as its delivery partner. Baringa brought long-standing energy market expertise alongside Government Delivery experts to work with the Department on the conception of the policy, supporting both bills through to legislation and operationalising the scheme including designing the delivery model, supplier readiness approach and advice on parts of the scheme for unlicensed suppliers.

Baringa’s approach was collaborative and flexible – essential given the highly complex and emergency nature of the scheme. Through this collaborative partnership, the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS) Regulations 2022 and the EBRS (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2022 came into force on 1 November – complex national policy, implemented from a standing start in eight weeks. The scheme provides a discount on wholesale gas and electricity from October ‘22 to March ’23 for all non-domestic customers (UK businesses, and the voluntary (charities) and public sectors (schools, hospitals)) whose gas and electricity prices have been significantly inflated in line with global market fluctuation. This support has helped safeguard jobs, prevent insolvencies, and provide breathing space for businesses to protect themselves from high energy costs in future.

We supported the analysis and drafting of the detailed EBRS policy documents such as Statutory Instruments, Regulations, Rules and Technical Guidance for Suppliers. To help shape the policy, we used our trusted relationships in industry to collect feedback from a variety of different stakeholders, hosted bilateral meetings and Q&A sessions with suppliers to understand the challenges that the proposed policy may cause, and discussed possible solutions. We identified specific enhancements to the scheme design including the addition of a minimum supply price which is estimated to have saved the Government billions of pounds over the term of the scheme.

We played a linking role between Policy and Delivery to facilitate progress, solve blockers, and ensure the policy and delivery model are aligned. Our collaborative and effective approach to facilitating workshops shaped specific elements of the delivery model. We encouraged stakeholders to bring a view of what is possible in the rules for the scheme, how risks of fraud, error and gaming can be minimised and how quickly activities like claims checks can be completed.

As a result of this trusted partnership, and Baringa’s proven ability to deliver complex outcomes quickly, Baringa and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero are continuing to work together on the new Energy Bill Discount Scheme (EBDS) which will run for 12 months from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024.

View the Baringa Partners LLP profile in the MCA Members Directory.