Our co-created Business Plan has our customers at its heart
A net zero carbon footprint by 2028, £60 million of savings for fuel poor customers and a network ready to connect up to 1.5 million electric vehicles in the five year period – these are just some of the ambitious commitments we are making to customers across our region – while keeping bills broadly flat.
We have today outlined plans to invest £6.2 billion to lead the way in delivering a smarter, decarbonised, affordable network fit for the future. The proposals have gained strong support from customers and are part of our first submission Business Plan which goes to the energy regulator, Ofgem, for the period 2023-2028.
This follows a rigorous, two-year stakeholder engagement programme, in which more than 19,000 stakeholders shared their views and helped to co-create the plan. As the UK energy system faces the greatest period of change in its history, we want to be at the heart of the region’s low carbon transition. The plan will see us create a smarter, flexible network that is ready to deliver the power required to charge millions of electric vehicles, as well as the 600,000 heat pumps we expect to see across our region by 2028. At the same time, we will invest significantly to maintain the existing grid, delivering the lowest ever levels of power cuts, while upholding high standards of safety and customer service.
Phil Swift, WPD’s Chief Executive, commented: “We are extremely proud of the plan we have created with our stakeholders. It is highly ambitious and will revolutionise the energy network, while providing excellent value for money. It includes an extensive programme to deliver direct support to the local communities that we serve, such as £1 million Community Matters fund.
“Over the last two years, stakeholders have informed us of their needs and expectations for the future. We’re offering unrivalled levels of transparency and inviting as much scrutiny of our proposals as possible. We were the first Distribution Network Operator to issue a draft business plan in January and, in response to feedback, we increased the ambition of 60% of our commitments. In March, we published a second draft plan inviting further comments, which received huge levels of support. The message from our customers has been clear – the world we live in is changing, and WPD must be forerunners in delivering a sustainable future for generations to come. We understand and share these ambitions and have risen to the challenge. But these are not empty promises. Every single commitment has been carefully considered; we know that we can achieve them and we will report annually to provide updates on our progress.”
Our Business Plan includes 45 core commitments, covering priority areas such as customer service, vulnerable customer support, the delivery of a safe and resilient electricity network, net zero, community energy and flexibility markets.
Phil added: “Our purpose is to continue to deliver exceptional service, while supporting the environmental and social wellbeing for the communities we serve. The challenge of a net zero low carbon economy means that we are working in the most sensational and revolutionary era for the industry in decades. I, for one, am excited to see what the future holds, and this plan is just the start of our journey to net zero.”
In the Business Plan, we have also reviewed our own business carbon footprint – committing to become a net zero business by 2028.
Phil explained: “Customers have said they want us to support net zero initiatives across our region but also to look at how we can reduce our own environmental impact. We will achieve this through a range of measures, which includes follow a verified science based target of 1.5°C to limit the climate impact to of our activities, while changing the majority of our fleet to non-carbon equivalents such as electric vehicles, and achieving zero waste to landfill.”
Phil concluded: “The plan may not come into force until 2023, but for us the work has already started. We’re confident that our far-reaching yet affordable commitments will enable us to meet the challenges of a fast-changing energy future, power improvements and ensure no customer is left behind in the smart energy transition, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The plan will be delivered by us but has been created and delivered for all of our customers.”
For full details about our business plan, click here.
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