WPD plan to invest a record £6bn in ground-breaking network transformation plan to drive UK’s Net Zero aspirations
We have announced our plan to invest a record £6 billion into network improvement, environmental sustainability, and new community energy projects across the Midlands, the South West and Wales as part of our second draft RIIO-ED2 business plan.
Our ambitious plan, which reflects almost 10,000 stakeholder views, lays out a commitment to create an industry leading, smart and flexible network that will support vulnerable customers and make it easier for homeowners to adopt low carbon technologies.
With a headline pledge to becoming a Net Zero company by 2028, twenty two years ahead of the UK target, our plan details our roadmap to a smarter network that will grow with the demand for power in the region. Through extensive ‘bottom-up’ forecasting, it plans to connect a further 1.5 million electric vehicles and 600,000 heat pumps by 2028, while keeping customer bills broadly the same.
Mark Shaw, RIIO-ED2 Business Plan Manager comments: “Our Business Plan is pioneering and industry-leading. It’s been designed in collaboration with over 9,500 regional stakeholders, over a two-year period. Its supporting consultation is the largest we have ever conducted and we are still busy listening to customers’ concerns and goals.
“Having listened to our stakeholders from the first draft of our business plan, they have asked us to scale up our ambitions for 2023-2028. As a result, 60 per cent of our core commitments have increased in ambition, and we’re expecting even more valuable contributions from this next consultation phase.”
“The environment is at the heart of our plan. We’re already tackling our own carbon footprint through initiatives like replacing our entire transport fleet with electric vehicles and taking the lead on Net Zero carbon emissions, while creating a sustainable network for everyone. We’re leading on community-led renewable energy, energy flexibility and community energy projects, and on top of this, we’ve committed £80 million to the UK’s Green Recovery, as part of our pledge to unlock green jobs and green growth across our region.”
Our £6bn plan also focuses on helping 113,000 customers in fuel poverty to make savings of £60 million, avoiding short-term fixes and ensuring lasting improvements through working with community partners and harnessing innovation to unlock the benefits of a low carbon future. The plan also details how we will continue to support the 1.9 million vulnerable customers in the region, through the extension of our industry leading Priority Services Register and customer mapping programme.
As one of the biggest local employers, the planned investment will give back to the community. We spent £1million in 2020 through our ‘In this Together – Community Matters Fund’, and plans to continue with this investment until 2028, focusing on a robust Covid-recovery plan.
Our local customers and stakeholders are encouraged to feed back on the plan until 25th April 2021. The final plan will then be submitted to industry regulator Ofgem in December 2021. For further information and more detail, please visit our online public consultation here.
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