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Losses Policies

As outlined in our ‘Changes to Losses’ section, the effect of net zero on our network means that we cannot maintain the policies around losses that we have held previously. The growth of distributed generation and low carbon technologies on the distribution network means that we need a network with greater levels of digitalisation and automation. It also means that we need to create greater levels of capacity on the network, which must be achieved either through flexibility or through traditional reinforcement. The determining factor for whether we use flexibility or reinforcement will be cost. If flexibility is the most cost-efficient option, then we may have to accept that this is the right decision for our customers and our network, even if it increases losses. Our strategy on losses is therefore to proactively manage losses, minimising them where possible, but ultimately ensuring that we are able to deliver value for our customers alongside the action needed to facilitate net zero.

Within our Losses Strategy , we have created a process diagram to illustrate how we create and implement cohesive losses policies.

Data… If we are to reduce losses, we must always be improving our understanding of them. As a DNO, we have the potential to access huge amounts of data on our network. By the end of 2025, every household will have been offered a smart meter, giving potential data on a huge proportion of the UK. On our own network, we have monitoring points on high and extra high voltage but very limited real-time data for the low voltage network. However, monitoring is something that is being continuously developed. Where we cannot monitor, we can use network modelling, thereby evaluating future areas of losses as well as current ones.

Research… Using this data, we can conduct research studies internally and in collaboration with our partners to analyse and evaluate how we can create the best losses policies. A prime example is the Sohn Associates-Imperial report, which gave 26 recommendations as to how NGED and UKPN could reduce losses on their networks. You can access the report here , as well as read more about how we have addressed these recommendations in our Losses Strategy.

Create… With accurate data, modelling and informed research comes the ability to create meaningful policy. The assets that we put on our network now, will be in place for the next forty plus years, so we must have fully considered how our network will change and the effect that this will have on losses in the long-term future. Losses policies could range from mandating the replacement of particular assets, to stating that new cables must be a particular size, to changing policies around how customers connect to our network.

Train and Engage… If we are to have effective policies, then we must ensure that everyone in our business understands the need for net zero, how net zero will affect our network and what their role is in delivering an efficient network. By training and engaging with staff across the organisation, we can ensure that our policies are implemented at all levels of the business.

Please see the Losses Strategy for some examples of Research and Innovation Projects, as well as just a few examples of our policies and actions completed.