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Power company guides local government on local energy opportunities

The country’s biggest electricity distribution network, UK Power Networks, is encouraging local authorities to make the most of emerging energy opportunities, with the launch of an expert guide on ‘Future Energy’ during Green Great Britain Week (October 15-19).

From Press releases - 18 October 2018 12:00 AM

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UK Power Networks has teamed up with UK100, a network of local government leaders, to send elected councillors and council finance and sustainability officers the guide which aims to show how the move to a decentralised and decarbonised energy system offers new growth and job opportunities to local communities and helps tackle climate change.

UK Power Networks which owns and maintains the overhead lines, underground cables and substations across the East of England, London and the South East, is at the forefront of the development of a smart flexible, local, electricity grid that enables new technologies like electric vehicles and supports the shift to renewable generation.

The company has provided tips and information to support local authorities to embrace new technologies, like electric vehicles, that support the transition to a low carbon economy, and understand how local energy groups can play a role in ‘Future Energy’.

Lynne McDonald, smart grid manager for UK Power Networks, said: “UK Power Networks wants to help local authorities embrace a low carbon future and plan to meet rising demand in what is an energy revolution.

“The way energy is generated, distributed and used is rapidly changing and we want to help local authorities make the most of the opportunities this creates. 

“Working alongside UK100 we are doing everything possible to explain to local authorities how they can potentially generate income and save money by adopting new technologies to make the most of local energy in their communities.”

Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: “Local leaders know their communities best and have an interest in ensuring the transition to a clean, climate-friendly energy system creates benefits for their residents and businesses.

“More and more local leaders have ambitions to see solar and wind generation power their communities, in a way that saves money and generates income for their local authority, the community and local businesses.

“Electricity generation, battery storage, the arrival of electric vehicles and savvier and smarter ways to heat and power our homes and workplaces will transform our country over the next few years, but local leaders will be crucial to making sure this happens in a way that benefits the people they represent.

“The Guide for Local Government targets all levels of knowledge, from energy officers to the elected councillors getting to grips with rapid change. There is an energy opportunity for local authorities. This guide is designed to help those making the decisions understand more about what that can mean for their community.”

The publication of the ‘Future Energy’ guide comes just a month after the network operator set out sweeping proposals[1] to procure flexibility services as an alternative to traditional network reinforcement. The company believes it’s ‘Flexibility First’ approach will deliver value for customers and offer opportunities for local authorities and communities to earn revenue by providing flexibility services.

Flexibility is a key part of UK Power Networks’ ‘Future Smart’ strategy that aims to transform its grid and drive lower costs for the 8.3 million customers it delivers electricity to across London, the South East and East.

It represents the most ambitious and transformative programme the company’s 6,000 staff have ever embarked on and places UK Power Networks at the forefront of the energy transformation sweeping through the industry.