With their strong track record of supporting vulnerable customers, network companies will play a key role in ensuring no-one is left behind. Households have also showed they back the innovative work being led by network companies to help deliver net zero. Across the UK, they are helping scale-up the amount of local, low-carbon energy generation on the grid and enabling new flexibility markets in which customers can be rewarded for using less or more energy at certain times of the day.
The analysis, led by respected research consultants Accent and PJM Economics, has provided fresh insights into which network services are most valued. By listening to customer needs in this way, network companies will make the best decisions about which initiatives to plan, prioritise and invest in. Customers do not contribute more to fund these activities, with network costs staying the same.
The network initiatives most valued by households:
- Supporting customers, and in particular vulnerable customers, were ranked the highest priorities.
- Fast and easy access to information including proactive advice on signing up to the Priority Services Register (PSR) and how to act in a power cut.
- Accelerating the roll-out of more flexible energy services to benefit customers, for example by enabling them to earn money by using less electricity at a certain time of the day.
- Developing initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of network company activities.
- Making it easier for customers to connect local energy generation, such as solar PV and wind power.
David Smith, Chief Executive at Energy Networks Association says:
“The results of this analysis are testament to the role of electricity network companies as the backbone of communities everywhere. Not only do these companies raise awareness and provide advice to hard-to-reach customers such as elderly or less mobile people, but they have helped to sign up more than six million customers to receive priority support during a power cut. “As the UK strives for net zero, it is clear households want networks to keep on supporting local energy markets and integrating record levels of renewable energy. To allow this to continue, there must be strong alignment between forthcoming UK Government policy on net zero and Ofgem’s RIIO price control framework.”