Western Power Distribution (WPD) has announced plans to invest £6 billion in projects aimed at reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2028.
The investment will be made in network improvement, environmental sustainability and new community energy projects across the Midlands, South West and Wales as set out in its second draft RIIO-ED2 business plan.
WPD’s ambitious plan lays out a commitment to create an “industry leading, smart and flexible network” that will support vulnerable customers and make it easier for householders to adopt low carbon technologies.
It also intends to connect a further 1.5 million electric vehicles (EVs) and 600,000 heat pumps by 2028, “while keeping customer bills broadly the same”.
In addition, the £6 billion plan focuses on helping 113,000 customers in fuel poverty to make savings of £60 million.
Mark Shaw, RIIO-ED2 Business Plan Manager said: “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.
“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.”
WPD is encouraging customers and stakeholders to provide feedback on its plan until 25th February 2021, following which the final plan will be submitted to Ofgem in December 2021.