As part of the pilot scheme, UKPN trained dozens of Octopus Energy engineers to perform fuse upgrades alongside heat pump installations on their network. This marks the first time an accredited energy supplier is allowed to perform fuse upgrades, a task traditionally performed by DNOs, in the UK.
The new process drastically reduces the effort for customers through reduced handoffs and reduces the overall time to get their Low Carbon Technology working, positively affecting millions of customers and helping to speed up the rollout of heat pumps across the UK.
The trial ran from February 2022 to February 2023 and was such a success that it is now being rolled out for electric vehicle charger fuse upgrades too.
Households often need a supply upgrade when switching to heat pumps or electric cars as they require more power being directed to their property. These upgrades have historically been managed by the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and in certain parts of the country can take up to 30 days to install.
The partners are calling on all other DNOs and suppliers to input similar processes, whereby simple supply upgrades can be delivered by accredited suppliers at the same time as the installation visits, making them quicker, easier and allowing customers to go green faster than ever before.
“By carrying out fuse upgrades at the same time as EV chargers and heat pumps, Octopus has not only saved homeowners time, but opened up a whole new world of possibilities for those who are itching to switch to green transport and heat” said John Szymik, CEO of Octopus Energy Services. “UK Power Networks has shown vision through initiating this project and worked closely with us to prove this can be done in a compliant and safe way. We would like to see more suppliers and DNOs to follow in our footsteps to make sure houses across the country have the means to decarbonise quickly and easily. This is the best way to wean ourselves off gas for good.”
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