UK Power Networks (UKPN) has launched a new online portal that enables installers to get quicker and easier decisions on whether they can connect green technologies such as electric vehicle chargers, heat pumps, solar panels and batteries.

The electricity distribution network said Smart Connect was developed in partnership with Octopus Electric Vehicles in response to feedback from customers, who said the old process was confusing and time-consuming.

UKPN said the new portal streamlines the process, removing the need for multiple paper forms and often allowing installers to receive an instant decision. It will automatically refer customers if their supply needs to be upgraded and also enables installers to track the status of multiple applications online.

Ian Cameron, head of customer service and innovation at UKPN, said: “Millions of electric vehicles will connect to our networks over the next decade, and so it is critical that we find faster, smarter ways to facilitate the connection to the network and streamline the customer journey as customers go electric.

“We worked with experts in their fields to create a new customer journey that’s more responsive to their needs and will make a tangible difference to anyone looking to upgrade to low carbon technology in their home.”

Albena Ivanova, Powerloop project manager at Octopus Electric Vehicles said: “Smart Connect is a huge step forward for the decentralisation and digitalisation of the grid. The launch of the portal will be a game changer for customers and installers alike, making the connection assessment and process fast and transparent.

“The simplified documentation required from customers along with the high level of visibility of the application progress will markedly improve the customer experience.”