11 Oct 2023

Human interest Utility North West

£1m win for net zero projects

Electricity North West's Victoria Turnham

Two projects which will tackle energy efficiency and decarbonisation challenges across the North West have been awarded significant funding.  

After successfully advancing through the initial stage of Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund, Electricity North West’s Net Zero Terrace and RetroMeter projects have been awarded a further £1m.  

Engineers from the North West’s power network operator will use the funds to carry out a six-month project where they will prepare and test the solutions developed. Should the testing prove successful, Electricity North West can apply for the final stage where funding could be granted for up to five years for deployment of the solution 

Victoria Turnham, Electricity North West’s head of network innovation, said: “We’re delighted Ofgem has recognised further potential in two of our projects and awarded the business significant funding to help develop them even further.  

“We operate one of the most digital electricity networks in the world and across the North West, we’re starting to see an increased uptake as more people are using technologies such as heat pumps and electric vehicles. 

“Both of the projects will provide significant benefits to our customers and we’re all looking forward to the next six months and the results we can produce.” 

Earlier this year, Electricity North West was initially awarded £427,000 to explore projects which included Net Zero Terrace and RetroMeter. Now, a further £494,502 has been awarded to Net Zero Terrace and £483,934 for RetroMeter.  

Net Zero Terrace will demonstrate how to decarbonise an entire terraced street using a smart local energy system that is integrated with the network but is also optimised and affordable to consumers and easily replicable across Great Britain. Electricity North West will deliver this project in conjunction with Buro Happold, RV Energy, Rossendale Borough Council and Northern Powergrid, in addition to new partners joining the team in this phase, Centre for Energy Equality, Kensa, UKPN, University of Salford and Urban Chain. 

And RetroMeter will examine the energy and cost savings benefits of retrofit energy efficiency measures in a residential building, such as fitting loft insulation and draft proofing. The outcomes of the scheme aim to improve access to retrofit energy efficiency measures, leading to an increase in uptake. This will reduce energy consumption and energy bills. Electricity North West will deliver this project in conjunction with Energy Systems Catapult, EnergyPro Ltd, Carbon Co-op and Manchester City Council. 

Both projects have been funded by energy network users and consumers through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a programme from the UK’s independent energy regulator Ofgem managed in partnership with Innovate UK. 

The purpose of Ofgem’s Strategic Innovation Fund is to support network innovation that will contribute to achieving Net Zero rapidly and at lowest cost; deliver real net benefits to network companies, energy users and consumers; and help the UK to become a “Silicon Valley” of energy. It aims to work with other public funders of innovation so that activities appropriately funded by energy users and consumers are co-ordinated with activities funded by the Government.  

Electricity North West’s previous innovation projects include CLASS and Smart Street which together could save customers more than a billion pounds from their energy bills if rolled out nationally. 

For more information visit www.enwl.co.uk/go-net-zero/innovation/strategic-innovation-fund/