Western Power Distribution, which provides the infrastructure to deliver electricity to homes across Bath, is keen to hear from residents on plans to improve their network across the region.
The company has proposed record investment and a network improvement plan for Somerset, which promises to reduce power cuts, help vulnerable customers and support environmental targets.
Western Power Distribution (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 Bath.
With a headline pledge to become a Net Zero company by 2028, 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 has also committed to protecting areas of outstanding natural beauty by removing 50km of overhead lines across its distribution regions.
It is set to make 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 387,000 vulnerable customers in the South West on its local Priority Services Register, reaching out proactively to customers in known areas of high deprivation and vulnerability.
Mark Shaw, RIIO_ED2 Business Plan Manager, said: “We’re a proud member of the Somerset community 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 provide feedback on the Business Plan until 25th April.
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 and to have your say, visit WPD’s online public consultation at www.westernpower.co.uk/BP2.