OFGEM’s Review of Standing Charges

Our response to OFGEM’s review of standing charges

We welcome OFGEM’s call for input into its review of standing charges. We feel that the Targeted Charging Review did not consider the bespoke needs and role of the Internal Drainage Board (IDB) sector within its concept and therefore its implementation has been unfair.

Here at the Middle Level Commissioners, we administer 29 smaller IDBs and 24 of which have electric powered pumping stations. We also own and operate St Germans Pumping Station, the largest land drainage pumping station in the UK. Across our portfolio of assets there are 67 electric meters and the standing charges have increased in total by 509% from £25,547 to £155,662 as a result of the Targeted Charging Review. The standing charge for St Germans Pumping Station has increased by 1282% from £3,915 to £54,140.

Paul Burrows, Chief Executive says;

“This winter is likely to prove a record breaking one for land drainage pumping here in the Fens with record volumes already having been pumped at our St Germans Pumping Station. We provide a critical public service that not only protects lives and livelihoods from flooding, but also protects key gas and electricity supply infrastructure.

The costs of pumping are substantial, and the increases we have seen to standing charges over the last 12-month have been punitively eyewatering. I urge government and OFGEM to reconsider their approach to our sector.”

Please see our full response.