News

Smart grids set to save millions

Smart grid technologies should save £135million on the cost of distributing electricity in London, the South East and East of England from 2015 to 2023.
From press releases - 14 October 2012 06:21 AM

Smart grid technologies should save £135million on the cost of distributing electricity in London, the South East and East of England from 2015 to 2023.

Nick Heyward, UK Power Networks’ project director for future networks, delivered the forecast as part of a talk on ‘designing for tomorrow’s next-generation networks’ at an AMT-SYBEX annual conference yesterday in Stratford-upon-Avon. The estimated savings are included in UK Power Networks’ draft business plan which will determine the level of investment needed to continue delivering reliable power supplies to its 8.1million customers.

The company which owns and runs a quarter of Britain’s electricity networks is carrying out a number of pioneering projects, supported by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund, to understand the environmental and financial benefits of smart grids, including Low Carbon London, Flexible Plug and Play and Smarter Network Storage.

Nick said: “We have built £135million of savings into our recent RIIO-ED1 business plan, based on technology-innovation. We are in the early stages of transformation but there is still much to do.

“Smart grids are needed to avoid significant investment in our networks, but also to reduce the impact on customer bills, reduce the level of disruption from road-works, ensure carbon targets can be met and help maintain the UK’s economic competitiveness.”

The journey to a ‘next-generation’ electricity distributor would take time and a wide range of solutions were needed, but innovation is producing measurable benefits, he said, and greater use of demonstration ‘smart grid’ projects were key to gaining confidence in these as real alternatives.

Customers can still comment on UK Power Networks’ draft business plan for 2015 to 2023 here.