Government can't force change in customer behaviour – smarter networks will deliver savings

Monday, October 3, 2011 at 12:00PM

ENA Fringe Review
Conservative Party Conference

Government can’t force change in customer behaviour – smarter networks will deliver savings  

Speaking to a packed Energy Networks Association (ENA) fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester last night, Dr Philip Lee MP described smarter networks as being as big as the internet and advocated a move to a decentralised energy future. He said:  

“It isn’t the role of Government to mollycoddle customers and give them a hug, we must provide information but it’s the individuals’ responsibility to make a change.  

“Smarter networks will encourage new entrants to the energy market and make energy more sustainable, secure and affordable. We have the technology and we must implement it.”  

Steve Johnson, CEO of Electricity North West and incoming Chairman of ENA explained that the challenge of keeping the lights on whilst matching stringent carbon reduction targets is simply not possible without smarter networks.  

“With increased renewables we need to manage demand much more and that means having different conversations with customers – we don’t just need smarter networks we need smarter customers.  

“We’ve set out proposals to make more use of the existing infrastructure that could save £1bn on the cost of improving the grid, but we must make it easier for customers to do their bit to help bring down their costs.”  

Professor Phil Taylor of Durham University said:  

“We need radical thinking and certainty for investors alongside demand reduction measures. Smarter networks provide a real opportunity to deliver a cheaper and better option for our energy future viable.  

“The ability to have more dynamic networks, with greater information, making better use of the existing infrastructure will in turn reduce the cost and risk of increased reliance on renewables.”  

ENDS  

Notes to editor  

ENA represents the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.  

For further information please contact:
Tim Field, Press and Public Affairs Executive
Energy Networks Association
E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)207 706 5157
M: +44 (0)7725 372 758 W: www.energynetworks.org