New processes mean Western Power Distribution (WPD) can now approve most new connections for domestic electric vehicle (EV) chargers and heat pumps on the same day or the next day.
A new, streamlined system for processing and completing domestic connections for the installation of low carbon technologies (LCTs) is to be rolled out to all areas of WPD’s network from 18 October, having been trialed in eight areas already.
Alongside the quicker connections, it’s also intended that the new process will free up WPD’s network planning team to spend more time on areas like network reinforcement. Previously, the team would need to assess customer applications, carrying out a full network technical study. Remedial works would then be completed before customers’ equipment could be approved.
However, the new process means the technology can be approved on the same or next day in most cases, with remedial works scheduled to take place following connection.
Currently, WPD receives over 200 applications a day across its network for the connection of LCTs, and it is projecting that by 2030 around 500,000 LCTs will be installed on its network each year.
WPD’s DSO development manager Paul Jewell said: “Helping our customers to make the transition to a net zero lifestyle is a vital part of our plans going forward, with heat pumps and EV chargers at the heart of this.”
How to improve the connections process for EV chargers is also being looked at by Ofgem, which outlined last month how the RIIO-ED2 price control period will be used to incentivise improvements to the connection process alongside proposed changes to connections as part of the Access and Forward-Looking Charging Significant Code Review.
These changes are intended to reduce barriers to network connection by reducing EV connection charges associated with reinforcement of shared network assets, Ofgem said.