13 October 2021
Most new connections for domestic heat pumps and electric vehicle chargers will now be approved on the same day or the next day by Western Power Distribution (WPD), the distribution network operator, for the Midlands, South West and South Wales.
This follows WPD’s introduction of a new system for processing and completing domestic connections for the installation of low carbon technologies (LCTs).
The new system will mean that customer applications for LCT connections will be processed more quickly. As a result, new EV chargers or heat pumps will be approved on the same or next day in the majority of cases. The new process has been trialled in eight areas and will be extended to all areas of the network from October 18.
Previously, customer applications were assessed by WPD’s network planning team which would carry out a full network technical study. Remedial works were then completed before customers’ equipment could be approved. Under the new process, the technology is approved on the same day or next day in most cases, with remedial works scheduled to take place following connection, making it quicker and easier for households to connect their heat pump or EV charger. The change will not only ensure faster connections but also allows WPD’s network planning team to spend more time dealing with other tasks such as network reinforcement.
WPD currently receives more than 200 applications a day across its network for the connection of LCTs like heat pumps and EV chargers. WPD is projecting that, by 2030, around 500,000 LCTs like these will be installed on its network each year – that’s 2,000 installations every working day. To meet this anticipated growth in demand for LCT connections, WPD’s records team will be expanded to support this new centralised task.
WPD’s Distribution System Operator development manager, Paul Jewell, said: “This change to our internal processes means that customers will be able to get their heat pumps or EV chargers up and running faster than ever before. Not only does this mean that connecting these vital technologies is quicker and easier for the customer, but it also means that our network planning team can spend more time getting our network ready for a net zero future.
“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. We are making significant investments in developing new technology to make charging your EV vehicle easier than ever before, whether at home, in a town centre or on your motorway stop-off.”