Octopus Energy and the National Grid’s distribution business NGED are cutting red tape in a bid to speed installation of low carbon technologies in Britain’s homes, such as heat pumps, batteries and electric vehicle chargers.
Extra power needed by such clean tech upgrades can mean that the fuse controlling a home’s incoming power would need to be upgraded by the local distribution network operator DNO.
Empowering Octopus’ installers to accommodate such devices overcomes the problem.
The two companies have signed a new agreement, allowing Octopus Energy engineers to upgrade the fuse themselves at the same time as they are installing heat pumps, EV chargers and solar panels in their customers’ homes.
Octopus says the deal removes a step in the process that could add up to 10 weeks to the installation.
As well as running Britain’s transmission backbone, National Grid is the distribution network operator (DNO) for the Midlands, South West England and South Wales. It invests £1 billion every year in its distribution grid.
Following discussions, NG’s DNO has also pre-approved the heat pumps installed by Octopus Energy for connection across their DNO network. The power retailer claims this potentially saves up to five weeks of delays.
The improved process builds on a similar pilot conducted last year between Octopus and UK Power Networks.
Via the 2023-2028 ED2 regulatory settlement, National Grid Electricity Distribution has committed to ensure customers are able to connect to low carbon technologies quickly and easily. Under the deal, the DNO must have its network ready by 2028 to support at least 1.5 million EV chargers and 600,000 heat pumps.
Cordi O’Hara of NGED commented: “Over the last five years we’ve seen the number of EV chargers installed increase by eight times, and the number of heat pumps triple. These new changes to the fuse upgrade process are part of NG-ED’s commitment to make it even easier for customers to connect low carbon technologies.”
Alex Schoch, Octopus’ head of flexibility responded: “We have shown that by working together, DNOs and installers can bring heat pumps, EVs and solar into homes faster and cheaper, turbocharging the UK’s move to an electrified future.
“By upgrading fuses alongside clean tech installations, we are not only saving NGED resources, but also giving our customers back valuable time. It’s a win-win that highlights how critical collaboration is on our path to net zero.”