SSEN launches consultation to support a secure, cost-effective and fair transition to decarbonised heat

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has today published a consultation on its Heat Strategy and the principles it will embed to support a secure, cost-effective and fair transition to decarbonised heat. 

The decarbonisation of heat represents one of the most significant and pressing challenges on the UK’s net zero journey. Electricity networks will have a critical role in accommodating the ambitious targets that the UK is targeting in the next decade. This includes the UK Government’s target of 600,000 heat pump installations annually from 2028 and the Scottish Government aiming for 1 million households to have zero emission heating systems by 2030. 

Currently there are just under 8,000 and 9,000 heat pumps in its north of Scotland and central southern England distribution areas. By 2050 this is forecasted to increase to over 500,000 and 1.9m respectively. This rapid change will require significant collaboration and coordination across policymakers and industry. 

SSEN is consulting on the actions and principles it will embed while supporting efforts to turn ambition into action. The Proposal explores opportunities that this transition will create, challenges that need to be overcome, and how the transition could be accelerated. The four principles the network operator is proposing embedding to secure a fair and equitable heat transition are:  

  1. Actively engaging with stakeholders
  2. Learning from projects, data and stakeholders
  3. Investing and innovating to deliver net zero
  4. Empowering communities

The Heat Strategy Proposal outlines actions it has taken that support these principles and areas where SSEN intends to do more. With 3.8m customers in the north of Scotland and central southern England, the Heat Strategy Proposal reflects on the different environments and contexts that heat decarbonisation will need to be delivered and how there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach that will work. 

Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks, SSEN said: 

“The UK and Scottish Governments have demonstrated the ambition that the climate change challenge demands, and SSEN is ready to invest in its network and smart solutions to support the transition to net zero. 

“While targets have been set, the route to how we achieve these is still being discussed. It is paramount that policy and regulatory arrangements align, enabling a “one touch” approach to avoid unnecessary cost and disruption. We are consulting on our strategy to ensure our approach to this critical transition reflects the needs and views of our stakeholders.” 

SSEN’s Heat Strategy Proposal is available online and its consultation will remain open until 30 April 2021. 

Two stakeholder engagement events have been organised to discuss SSEN’s Heat Strategy Proposal, on 9 and 18March. To register or find out more information please visit SSEN’s events page