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Western Power Distribution pledges to approve all domestic EV charger, heat pump connections

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Western Power Distribution has announced its intention to become the first electricity distribution network operator to approve all new connections of domestic EV chargers and heat pumps.

Dubbed the ‘connectability pledge’, Western Power Distribution is vowing to say ‘yes’ to customers seeking to install any electric vehicle chargers or heat pumps, noting that there will be no network obstacles blocking its eight million customers from adopting domestic low-carbon technologies. 

Currently there are 10,759 heat pumps and 58,416 electric vehicle (EV) chargers connected to Western Power Distribution’s network. From 2023-28, it estimates it will connect 628,000 heat pumps and chargers for 1.5 million EVs.

Paul Jewel, Western Power Distribution’s System Development Manager, noted, “We want to make the move to low carbon heating and transport as simple as possible for our customers.

“By saying ‘yes’ to all domestic sized connections, we remove one consideration from the list for customers. They can choose a car or heating solution without worrying about our network.

“We might need to come and do some work at some customers’ properties but any domestic customer who is thinking of installing these low carbon technologies can proceed with confidence that our network will not be a barrier to their plans.”

The pledge is a key component of WPD’s Business Plan for the RIIO-ED2 price control period, which outlines the network operator’s commitments to invest £6.7 billion between 2023 and 2028.

“The 2050 deadline for reaching net zero is 28 years away,” added Paul. 

“Many of our assets have a 50-year lifespan, so we are already building the network that will be operational when net zero is a reality.

“We’ve been installing larger service cables to new-build properties for a few years now and we are now installing larger network cables ready to meet demand.

“All of this work will support the revolutionary changes we are all going to have to make to achieve net zero. As a network operator, we know customers rely on us being there for them and we cannot afford to get this wrong.”

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