SSEN investigates fairer ways of suppling “Core Capacity” to customers

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has today published a report, Core Capacity, which investigates fairer ways of charging energy customers as the way we use and consume our electricity changes, with the uptake of smart meters, electric vehicles and electric heating.

SSEN is committed to ensuring an equitable transition to a low-carbon economy for all households, businesses and communities and has commissioned this research into new forms of pricing structures. The report explores how we can ensure all customers are treated and billed fairly in the face of a low-carbon economy through innovative new charging structures that look more like the way you pay for your broadband connection.

The research has been informed by SSEN’s five-year project, Solent Achieving Value from Efficiency (SAVE), which was funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks Fund. SAVE recruited 4,000 households to trial and establish to what extent energy efficiency measures can be used as a cost effective, predictable and sustainable tool for managing peak and overall demand as an alternative to network reinforcement. SAVE generated valuable data about residential energy use which provides insight into household peak capacity requirements and can be used to inform the conversation on commercial and regulatory developments.

Nigel Bessant, Head of Network Trading at SSEN said:

"As we transition to a low-carbon economy the amount of electricity we use will increase dramatically. In managing the electricity network, we need to understand how to support customers’ use away from ‘peak’ times, to help keep costs down.

"Our research published today examines which activities are time sensitive, such as cooking the evening meal, compared to doing the hoovering, which customers may be happy to defer. Our goal is to ensure that people’s need for core capacity in their energy services are met equitably."

The full text of SSEN’s report, Core Capacity, can be viewed here. More information about the SAVE project can be found here. SSEN’s report is the sister to Consumer Network Access, Core Capacity, being published by Citizens Advice today.