Western Power Distribution (WPD) has proposed record investment and a ground-breaking network improvement plan for Nottinghamshire, which promises to reduce power cuts, help vulnerable customers and support environmental targets.
However, the company is still keen to hear from customers in the region to have their say on its plans.
WPD is responsible for the power lines, poles, transformers and substations that deliver electricity to 7.9 million homes and businesses across the Midlands, South West and South Wales, including those in West Bridgford.
With a headline pledge to become a Net Zero company by 2028, twenty-two years ahead of the UK target, WPD’s five-year plan details its roadmap to a smarter network that will grow with the region’s increasing demand for electricity.
Through extensive ‘bottom-up’ forecasting, it plans to connect a further 1.5 million electric vehicles and 600,000 heat pumps by 2028.
The company also intends to work closely to support local authorities and ensure the electricity network is capable of achieving local Net Zero ambitions as early as 2030. WPD are also committed to protecting areas of outstanding natural beauty by removing 50km of overhead lines across its distribution regions.
Importantly, it is making record levels of investment without increasing its costs to customers – pledging to keep their contribution to energy bills broadly the same throughout the years ahead.
The investment will help 113,000 customers in fuel poverty make savings of £60 million. It will also help WPD support around 688,600 vulnerable customers in the East Midlands on its local Priority Services Register, reaching out proactively to customers in known areas of high deprivation and vulnerability.
As one of the biggest local employers in the region, WPD is committing to give back to the community. WPD donated £1million in 2020 through its ‘In this Together – Community Matters Fund’ which funded local charities supporting those impacted by COVID-19. The company plans to establish an annual £1 million ‘Community Matters’ fund to support the most vulnerable in its local community until 2028.
Mark Shaw, RIIO_ED2 Business Plan Manager, comments: “We’re a proud member of the Nottinghamshirecommunity and want to hear views on how we should invest to ensure we support regional growth and a move to a lower carbon economy.
“Creating a smart network for everyone is at the heart of our ambitions. We’re also responding to a significantly changing energy landscape and the need to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“We’ll be supporting more community energy projects and ensuring capacity is available to meet growing demand for electricity.
“Our Business Plan has been designed in collaboration with over 9,500 regional stakeholders across a two-year period. We’re now keen to listen to more customers’ views and ideas on how we can best invest in an innovative energy system while continuing to make a real difference to the communities we serve.”
WPD’s customers can feed back on the Business Plan until 25th April 2021. It will be further developed over the summer before the final plan is submitted to the industry regulator Ofgem in December 2021. For further information, more detail and to have your say, please visit WPD’s online public consultation: www.westernpower.co.uk/BP2