SSEN invites stakeholders to shape its Heat Strategy and a fair transition to net zero

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is inviting stakeholders to attend on online event on Monday 9 March to discuss its Heat Strategy, which sets out the key principles and actions the network operator is taking to secure a fair transition to decarbonised heat. 

This first event marks the start of an extensive engagement programme to ensure that the proposed strategy delivers for the 3.8 million households and businesses that SSEN services in the north of Scotland and central southern England. 

In accordance with coronavirus guidelines this event will be held over Microsoft Teams, from 10.00am to 11:30am on Tuesday 9 March, and speakers will include:  

  • Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks and Innovation, SSEN
  • Matthew Aylott, Electrification of Heat Lead, Clean Heat, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Melanie MacRae, Head of the Heat Programme, Scottish Government 

To register for this free online event, please click here. 

SSEN’s Heat Strategy proposes four key principles that the network operator will embed as it works with communities to realise the UK’s decarbonisation targets. These are:  

  • Actively engaging with stakeholders
  • Learning from projects, data and stakeholders
  • Investing and innovating to deliver net zero
  • Empowering communities.

The purpose of the online event on Monday 9 March is to discuss these principles, projects and initiatives in depth, and to gather stakeholder views and feedback on the Strategy’s proposals. The key issues that will be discussed on the day are:  

  • The challenges in the heat decarbonisation transition
  • The opportunities that this will create and how these can be made accessible
  • The four principles in the Heat Strategy
  • How the transition to decarbonised heat can be supported in RIIO-ED1
  • Ensuring RIIO-ED2 is aligned with the UK’s net zero aims
  • Ensuring fairness is embedded in the transition.

Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks and Innovation for SSEN said: 

“Our stakeholders and their views will shape and form SSEN’s approach to decarbonising heat and our commitment to a fair and equitable transition for all. 

“The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has advised that in the transition to net zero, action targeted at the fuel poor could lift 75% out of fuel poverty by 2030. It’s vital that this shift is managed in a cost-effective manner, and that the opportunities created by a smarter, low-carbon energy system are shared and accessible. 

“We are at a critical juncture in the decarbonisation of heat, and the Scottish Government’s Heat in Buildings Strategy and the UK Government’s Energy White Paper set ambitious and achievable targets. Through engagement and collaboration with our stakeholders, SSEN is committed to playing its part in making the UK’s net zero ambitions a reality.” 

In order for the UK to meet its net zero targets, a range of low-carbon heat technologies will be required. As with transport and the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), extensive electrification is forecast by the CCC, with the expectation that 52% of heat demand will be met by heat pumps by 2050. The UK Government has signalled its support for heat pumps by setting an ambitious target for the UK to install 600,000 annually by 2028. 

SSEN is committed to a fair and equitable transition to decarbonised heat, and to working with the communities it serves to support a secure, fair and cost-effective transition at a pace the net zero challenge demands.