Regen and the Energy Networks Association have produced a guide to help communities and distribution network operators to collaborate to seize the opportunities offered by smart technologies to develop more effective ways of using our existing network. How can distribution network operators (DNOs) positively engage local communities in innovation and how can communities get themselves into the best position to grasp the opportunity to benefit the local area? The guide draws together seven case studies of innovation trials and information gathered at two ENA and Regen ‘Engaging Communities in Network Innovation’ event workshops with 178 participants in Manchester and Oxford in October 2016.
Currently electricity networks in some areas are constrained because they weren’t designed for two way flows. We have two options, we could generate more electricity and pay hundreds of millions to upgrade the network (via customer bills), or we could use the network we have more efficiently and find flexible smart solutions to balance the supply of electricity and our increasing demand. Ofgem estimates the latter option could save consumers in the UK between £3-8 billion on energy bills by 2030.