Enabling success in RIIO-ED2

We have identified three key cross-cutting enablers, which underpin the successful delivery of our plan.

Innovation

  •   Our ambition is to use innovation to reduce costs and improve the services we deliver to you.

  •   Given that goal, we look for innovative solutions that develop and build on our current operations, that are realistic for us to implement and that will deliver the greatest value for you.

  •   In the current regulatory period we have concentrated on building a smarter power grid, introducing web services, setting ourselves up to use smart meter data and addressing issues of affordability.

  • Focus for RIIO-ED2:

  •   We know that protecting the environment is high on everyone’s agenda and, in particular, we need to actively support the journey to net zero Achieving a balance between greenhouse gas emissions being produced (including carbon dioxide) and greenhouse gas emissions being taken out of the atmosphere (e.g. by planting more trees) so that, overall, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is no longer increasing . So these areas will play a significant part in our innovation activity in RIIO-ED2

  •   A successful transition to low carbon energy will require a highly reliable electricity network and we will continue the push for ever higher performance in this area

  •   Our innovation work is central to our effective transition to DSO, and we are using it to inform our thinking on what a DSO is, how it will benefit you and how to ensure the transition to net zero Achieving a balance between greenhouse gas emissions being produced (including carbon dioxide) and greenhouse gas emissions being taken out of the atmosphere (e.g. by planting more trees) so that, overall, the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is no longer increasing is socially inclusive.

  •   We also expect to see an increased focus on harnessing data to deliver cost savings and improve and broaden the services we deliver to you.

We will publish our updated innovation strategy to engage with you on your areas of interest and where you think our activity should be focused in RIIO-ED2

Digitalisation

  •   New technology is enabling us to digitalise our network and our business, making our services more flexible and accessible for our customers.

  •   We can use the increasing amount of information, brought about by digitalisationFocused digital and technology agenda that supports the integration of digital technologies to improve Northern Powergrid’s everyday business activities, to run the network differently. We will be able to identify future network needs before they would otherwise become apparent, fix things before they go wrong and target investments where they will deliver the greatest benefit

  •   We can also share greater volumes of better information with you, enabling you to participate in new markets for flexibilityFlexibility is the ability to increase or decrease the production and / or consumption of energy at a given or requested time in order to support the wider electricity network and optimise capacity available for customers. We are seeking to adopt flexibility-first strategies, where flexibility solutions are the preferred means of balancing additional demand on our network and reducing our need to spend – keeping bills low.

  • Focus for RIIO-ED2:

  •   The transition to a low-carbon economy will be driven by the development and deployment of new technologies.

  •   Once these technologies are deployed at scale, it will mean we can see in real time what is happening on the network in a way that has not really been possible before. This will be integral to our journey to DSO.

  •   Technology will also enable us to provide more open access to data that we would not previously have been able to share

  •   Intelligent automation will reduce the need for manual intervention in our business and on our network. This will empower you to be an active participant in our network and our workforce to deliver an even better service

Read our  Roadmap to digitalisation for more information.

Our people

  •   Our workforce of around 2,700 people is central to delivering our vision - to delight our customers with outstanding service.

  •   By the end of RIIO-ED1 we will have delivered on our commitment to create 1,000 new job opportunities in our region.

  •   Our successful Workforce Renewal programmeEnsuring we maintain a sufficient and capable workforce within our organisation as individuals leave the company and skills requirements evolve as part of the energy transition has so far seen 323 new recruits join us to complete comprehensive industrial and technical training.

  •   We have expanded our trainee programme to include roles in Finance, IT, Procurement and Cyber Security, taking it beyond traditional technical and engineering roles.

  •   We have designed an overarching framework to support our colleagues in the way we recruit, communicate, provide training and remunerate – our goal is to develop a workforce that mirrors the diversity of the communities we serve.

  •   Like many organisations in the industry, Northern Powergrid is proud to grow and develop talented colleagues who often move from grass roots through to managerial positions.

  • Focus for RIIO-ED2:

  •   Diversity and inclusion within our workforce will be a key feature of our plans.

  •   We will also continue to collaborate with our industry and academic partnersOrganisations with whom we collaborate on projects and operations within our regions and our sector to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in schools, to help to attract more people to our sector.

  •   The increasing digitalisationFocused digital and technology agenda that supports the integration of digital technologies to improve Northern Powergrid’s everyday business activities and smarter nature of our business and the energy system more generally means that our more traditional engineering roles are adapting, and our roles are becoming more diverse and include a growing element of technology. Given this, our training programmes will need to evolve to provide our colleagues with the skills they need to manage the energy systems of the future.

We will publish our people strategy to engage with you and gain input to our plans for RIIO-ED2