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ENA launches AI-powered platform to accelerate domestic connections for low-carbon technologies

07 May 2024


Energy Networks Association (ENA) has launched ENA Connect Direct, the single online form creating a better, faster and more accurate process for connecting domestic low-carbon technologies (LCTs) to the electricity network.

  • New online domestic LCT connection application service for installers launched
  • The platform is capable of providing instant approvals for routine applications based on AI-powered assessment
  • New platform supports energy networks' aim of minimising the time it takes to connect low-carbon technologies to the grid
  • Available for standard domestic solar panels, heat pump EV chargers and battery system applications across the UK
  • The platform makes low-carbon technology connections better, faster and more accurate

ENA Connect Direct modernises and simplifies the application process, which can be slow and reliant on manual processes. It helps the UK’s electricity network transition from a traditional one-way system to a smarter, more flexible bidirectional grid.

For some installers of domestic low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps and solar panels, ENA Connect Direct upgrades the application process. It provides a streamlined system which uses artificial intelligence to provide instant approvals for most routine applications.

For the Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), this means efficient delivery of accurate data. In turn this provides increased visibility to aid network design and operation, a major step forward in creating a smarter UK energy system.

Demand for electricity has evolved significantly in the last 60 years. Residential households with low-carbon technologies increase their peak usage to almost 15kW compared to an average usage in the 1960s of less than 1kW. As an example, that’s like going from powering ten 100-watt bulbs to multiple electric vehicles at the same time. Increased demand is a result of the greater uptake of modern electrical appliances and newer technologies such as heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points.

With the uptake of low-carbon technologies anticipated to continue at a considerable rate in the coming years, ENA Connect Direct supports installers in their aim of completing faster and compliant installations.

Dan Clarke, Head of Innovation at Energy Networks Association, said:

“It’s a great moment to launch ENA Connect Direct, to improve the system currently in place for connecting low-carbon technologies to the grid. We have designed the platform to benefit all those involved with the application process – the installers, manufacturers, distribution network operators and ultimately the customer.

“By drawing on industry expertise and working with our members, this platform should massively speed up the application process by using the latest AI led assessment technology. We hope it will allow installers to complete their projects faster, benefiting small and medium-sized businesses in the process. It will also support network operators in having a live overview of LCT installations that they need to operate a smarter and more efficient network in the years ahead.”

Press contacts for journalists

Philip Baker

Media Relations Manager

ENA Press Office


Notes to editor

The ENA Connect Direct portal is online.

About Energy Networks Association

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.

ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.

Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.

What are energy network operators?

Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 40,000 people in Great Britain.

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