UK Power Networks has launched a new online portal that is making it quicker and easier for installers to connect clean technologies to homes and businesses.
Smart Connect will give many technology companies an instant decision on whether they can connect domestic electric vehicle charge points, heat pumps, battery storage or solar PV, to the local electricity network. It removes the need for multiple paper forms and streamlines the process.
Launched after close collaboration with project partner Octopus Electric Vehicles, the new platform is a result of listening to customer feedback that the old process for domestic vehicle-to-grid projects was confusing and time-consuming.
UK Power Networks is forecasting up to 700,000 electric heat pumps and 4.5m electric vehicles connected to its networks covering London, the East and South East by 2030, meaning new products are needed to ensure a seamless customer service as volumes increase.
The service is designed to make life easier for specialist installers of low carbon technologies, and help domestic customers ensure their electricity supply is ready to connect them. The new portal will automatically refer customers if their electricity supply needs to be upgraded to manage the additional power. Installers will also be able to see the current status of multiple applications at the click of a button.
Ian Cameron, head of customer service and innovation at UK Power Networks said: “Millions of electric vehicles will connect to our networks over the next decade, and so it is critical that we find faster, smarter ways to facilitate the connection to the network and streamline the customer journey as customers go electric.
“We worked with experts in their fields to create a new customer journey that’s more responsive to their needs and will make a tangible difference to anyone looking to upgrade to low carbon technology in their home.”
Albena Ivanova, Powerloop project manager at Octopus Electric Vehicles said: “Smart Connect is a huge step forward for the decentralisation and digitalisation of the grid. The launch of the portal will be a game changer for customers and installers alike, making the connection assessment and process fast and transparent. The simplified documentation required from customers along with the high level of visibility of the application progress will markedly improve the customer experience.”