Put simply, net zero means reducing greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, for example via energy efficiency measures and uptake of low carbon technology, and then using offsetting to balance remaining hard to remove emissions.
Demand for electricity will increase significantly as our customers move away from fossil fuels and change to cleaner, greener sources of energy to power their vehicles and heat their homes and businesses. In addition, more customers will connect their own sources of generation to our network which will have a dramatic effect on the existing electricity infrastructure.
Part of this transition involves ensuring that our network can safely and securely support the changes needed, whilst maintaining a high standard of reliability for our customers. In our industry, we refer to this as ‘Distribution System Operation’ (DSO) – supporting the move to a smart and flexible system. Our DSO teams are responsible for looking to the future and planning for the North West’s future electricity needs.
By increasing the capacity and flexibility of our network and investing in, for example, new substations and cables, we are ensuring that our network will be able to meet the predicted future extra demand.
Some of the other ways we are supporting and facilitating this transition include:
- Leading by example – just like other organisations we have a responsibility to reduce our own carbon footprint. As well as transitioning to electric vehicles and encouraging our employees to do the same, we are also making our estate as energy efficient as possible and implementing low carbon technologies. You can listen to our story of how we are doing this here
- Connecting - as the region’s electricity network operator we connect low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels, heat pumps and energy storage to the grid, and we have a team of knowledgeable people on hand who can help and advise you throughout the process
- Protecting the environment - we have committed to an environmental strategy and plan that includes 21 goals around net zero – from reducing resources we consume as a business to improving biodiversity across our network.
- Supporting community and local energy – our ‘Powering our communities fund’ supports projects that deliver carbon savings alongside community engagement, including a range of initiatives that aim to produce, distribute and consume energy at a local level. Applications for current funding our open until 19th July 2023.
- Innovating – innovation is crucial to the challenges of the transition of our energy system. Our Innovation strategy has already developed two world-leading technologies – CLASS and Smart Street, and we are currently working on two large innovation projects, QUEST and BiTraDer.
We’ll be sharing more Blogs on the above activities here throughout the coming week.
We also provide a wealth of information on ‘taking action’ on net zero, both for individuals and businesses, on our go net zero hub.
Finally, our recently launched £2 billion business plan for 2023-2028 reaffirms our own commitment to net zero, innovation and efficiency.
The UK’s net zero awareness week runs from 1st to 7th July .