Becoming a LDSO or IDNO


This page lists and details the step-by-step process of becoming a Licensed Distribution System Operator (LDSO) or Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO). You will also learn about what qualifications are needed, the relevant costs and charges and any other information you may need to know.

What is a LDSO or IDNO?

LDSOs and IDNOs are the companies that are licensed to maintain and manage the electricity distribution networks in Great Britain.

As IDNO is not a defined term in the BSC, you will register as a Distribution System Operator (DSO) – also referred to as a Distribution Network Operator (DNO) in some instances – in Central Volume Allocation (CVA), and as a Supplier Meter Registration Agent (SMRA), Unmetered Supplies Operator (UMSO) and Licensed Distribution System Operator in Supplier Volume Allocation (SVA).

An SMRA is a sub function of an LDSO and is the provider of a Supplier Meter Registration Service. The agent is responsible for recording Supplier registrations and hold key settlement data items.

An UMSO is responsible for establishing new Unmetered Supplies and establishing appropriate Connection Agreements with UMS customers, providing summary inventories to the Meter Administrator (Half Hourly) and issuing Unmetered Supplier Certificates (Non Half Hourly).

Video on the LDSO or IDNO Market Entry Process

This video explains the process for entering the energy market as a Licensed Distribution System Operator (LDSO) or Distribution Network Operator (IDNO).

Video Published: August 2022
Video Length: 10 mins, 5 sec

Qualifications needed

In order to qualify as a LDSO or IDNO you will need to obtain the following qualifications:

The Central Volume Allocation (CVA) Qualification is needed to prove that LDSOs/DSOs have the ability to send certain communications to BSC Agents and ensure that certain communications are received.

The Supplier Volume Allocation (SVA) is needed to ensure that LDSOs/DSOs understand the obligations and activities of the BSC and maintain a certain performance level.


LDSOs or IDNOs acceding to the BSC must pay a £500 accession fee which covers the administrative costs of entering the market.

Once acceded, a flat monthly fee of £250 + VAT applies. This is known as a base monthly charge.

Participant Test Service charges

For parties wanting to test/re-test any flows you can use the PTS service to increase the level of assurance to individual companies, and to the industry as a whole.

The service can be used before competing CVA Qualification testing and operating in the live environment, and to test any impacts as a result of changes to your business software.

The PTS service is booked in half day test slots (9am-1pm/1-5pm) and is charged at £939+VAT per test slot

Steps needed to become a LDSO or IDNO

You will need to go through various steps in order to register as a LDSO or IDNO. The diagram below lists all the tasks required.

Within the individual steps there are forms that need to be completed and details about financial transactions that need to take place.

Using the Kinnect Customer Solution

You can use the Elexon Kinnect Customer Solution, where you will be directed to all the relevant steps needed to become a LDSO or IDNO. Elexon Kinnect is a self-service gateway that offers a guided and streamlined market entry process.

Steps to accession

Getting started

The first thing to do is formally register your intent to become a LDSO or IDNO. You can do this by completing an expression of interest form.

After the form has been submitted, we will arrange a meeting with you to discuss the process and go through the necessary requirements.

After the meeting you will be issued with an Elexon Kinnect login. From there you can start to go through the market entry process.


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