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Turning Ideas into Reality: Our Call is Now Live for Innovation Project Ideas

We’ve launched our ‘Energy Transition – Leaving no one behind’ call for ideas - an initiative which focuses on vulnerable customers and how we can improve their access to smart energy solutions.

We’re inviting customers and stakeholders to turn their ideas into reality, by sharing their solutions to help us make sure no-one is left behind by the growth of smart technologies and the transition to net zero. Successful ideas will be put into action using funding from the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA).

By making our innovation process more accessible to the public, we’re hoping to make our energy innovation programme more engaging and responsive to the needs of customers.

In the past, we’ve used NIA funding to pioneer new technologies which have supported the rollout of electric vehicles and decarbonisation of the energy network. However, this latest call for ideas is part of our commitment to prioritise communities and consumer vulnerability, as outlined in our Innovation Strategy

Our Innovation team is looking for projects that address the following questions:

  • How can we improve access to smart solutions for all our customers? Can we develop new solutions to enable the fuel poor to directly benefit from smart technologies and network flexibility opportunities?
  • Can you help us better understand how the needs of our vulnerable customers will change in the future? What new processes or systems do we need to create to be able to continue offering excellent customer service to our vulnerable customers as their needs change?
  • Can we create novel ways of supporting our vulnerable customers through the transition to net zero and how can community energy groups play a role in that?

Applications are open to individuals, groups and projects matching the Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) eligibility criteria. We would particularly welcome applications from community energy groups, and the opportunity to build on their detailed local knowledge of customer priorities.

By taking part, innovators will get the chance to work with our team of highly skilled engineers to develop innovative ideas and smart solutions. To help turn our customers’ ingenious solutions into reality, we’re inviting idea entrants to join one-to-one sessions with a WPD Innovation Engineer to help them with their idea.

Innovation timeslots are available every day until Friday 30th October, with several ideas sessions already taking place to develop the first batch of consumer ideas.

Yiango Mavrocostanti, Innovation Team Manager at WPD, comments: “We are excited about the prospect of innovating with our communities! I would urge anyone who has an idea for an innovative energy project that could help vulnerable and fuel poor consumers to come forward with their ideas. We have seen some excellent projects funded as a result of NIA funding, and your idea could be next.”

To book a slot to discuss a proposal with one of our engineers, please email wpdinnovation@westernpower.co.uk with your preferred date and a short explanation of your solution. The innovation team will be able to answer any questions on how Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) funding works and what makes a project eligible for funding.

The call for ideas is live from Monday 12th October and runs until Monday 9th November.

To submit your proposals for NIA projects, please click here.

You can view the NIA call guide for communities here.

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  • Innovation