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Networks trial new approach to engaging innovators

Eight energy networks have joined forces to ask the innovation community for their help in shaping the future.

A national cross-sector survey has been launched by the EIC on behalf of Cadent, Wales & West, Northern Gas Networks, UK Power Networks, SP Energy Networks, National Grid, Northern Powergrid, and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks.

The collaboration marks a new approach to gathering feedback ahead of the RIIO ED2 price controls. The survey will also provide new insight for transmission operators and gas distribution networks, who await Ofgem’s final determination on their business plans next month.

Innovators will be asked how they believe innovation should be funded and if there should there be a focus on collaborative innovation projects or market-ready solutions. There is also a section for feedback on the innovation themes outlined by the regulator for RIIO-2.

Denise Massey, managing director at the EIC, said: “Experience has shown multiple feedback requests are not always well received by the third parties delivering innovation into the networks. This is an extremely positive step forward that shows the networks are listening, galvanising engagement, and giving a voice to the innovation community.”

Ian Cooper, innovation lead at UK Power Networks, said: “We are currently putting our business plans together for the next 5 – 10 years and innovation will play an increasingly important role in the value we create for the customer. We’re confident that by working together across sectors and with other network companies, we will not only make this process smoother, but we will be able to gain better insights which will enhance the impact of our business plan for all stakeholders.”

Target participation is sought from innovators (SMEs), larger innovators, academia, private test facilities, industry and funding organisations.

You can take part in the survey, which runs until 27 November, here.

Denise Massey will be one of the speakers at Utility Week Live Online, where we will discuss all facets of innovation across the utilities sector. Book your free ticket for the event, between 24-26 November, here.