Electricity network says its Smart Connect tool will help ensure electric cars and other clean technologies can be installed at pace over coming decade
UK Power Networks says it has connected nearly 1,000 electric vehicle chargers to its electricity network in the year since launching a dedicated portal designed to fast track the connection process.
Since launching last February, the electricity distribution company’s Smart Connect portal has automatically approved 983 electric car charging points, 764 household solar installs, 234 heat pumps, and 66 domestic batteries, the company announced on Thursday.
The portal, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to process data about household installations, streamlines the installation process by cutting down on paperwork and helping installers work more quickly and efficiently, according to UK Power Networks.
When an installer applies to connect a new device, Smart Connect refers customers to a UK Power Networks expert if their electricity supply needs to be upgraded to gain additional power, it said. And if no upgrades are required, the tool provides an automatic assessment and then immediately approves the application.
Ian Cameron, head of customer service and innovation at UK Power Networks, said tools like Smart Connect would ensure that clean technologies could be connected to the grid at a rapid pace. “Millions of electric cars and heat pumps will connect to our networks over the next decade,” he said. “Through tools like Smart Connect we’ll make sure – whether we’re working with installers or directly with consumers – they can all connect at pace.”
UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, serving more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the South East, and the East of England.
The company said the more than half of 1,720 new electric car charging applications on the portal had been automatically approved, making it easier for households and businesses to deploy new charge points.