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SPEN Preparing for Net Zero September 2022 Newsletter

Dear Stakeholder

Please find below the September 2022 edition of the SP Energy Networks ICE monthly newsletter highlighting the important work we are doing to Prepare for Net Zero.


More than 160 Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers are now available at dedicated hubs across Lanarkshire, thanks to the completion of a pioneering new project.

The charging hubs were built at locations which best suited the needs of the local community to help them make the switch to EV. A total of 167 chargers are now available across sites including train stations, libraries, community centres and country parks such as Strathclyde Country Park, Lanark Lifestyles and Getting Better Together Shotts.

‘Project PACE’ was part of the strategic collaboration between us and the Scottish Government to create over 44 EV charging hubs to help with the rising demand for low-carbon technologies and to facilitate local communities’ transition to cleaner and greener lifestyles.

Since its launch in 2019, the project, which was facilitated by Transport Scotland and local authorities in North and South Lanarkshire, has provided over 3,520MWh of energy which has enabled 13.7 million miles to be driven using green energy transport. This has helped save 2,380 tonnes of CO2 which would’ve been emitted into the atmosphere had the same journeys been made by petrol or diesel cars.

The charging points have already been used over 105,000 times and enable an additional 4,150 EVs to be on the roads, increasing the number of electric vehicles in Lanarkshire by 400% compared to the baseline in December 2019.

As well as providing the local communities withe infrastructure to help them shift to electric vehicles, the project also has economic benefits for customers, with the PACE charging hubs forecasted to save between £1.4 million and £2.9 million on electricity grid connection costs.

To mark the end of the project, we held a closing event at one of the project’s largest charging hubs in South Lanarkshire, Chatelherault Country Park. Jenny Gilruth, the Scottish Government Transport Minister, key project members and representatives from the local authorities were all in attendance to mark the occasion.

Lynda Ward, our Transformation Director, said: “The results of PACE are there for all to see and I’m proud this project delivers such a significant contribution towards the electrification of transport.

“The usage of the chargers shows the appetite and value of projects such as PACE and enables people to make greener choices more easily.

“The project is a shining example of the power of collaboration to create a greener, cleaner future for all and I’m looking forward to seeing the hubs continue to thrive in the coming years as we continue to drive forward to a net zero emissions future.”

Project PACE has also played a vital role in helping the Scottish Government phase out new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. Transport Scotland invested £5.3 million to help deliver the new public EV charge points for the ChargePlace Scotland network which has seen a 200% increase EV charging capacity across Lanarkshire.

Jenny Gilruth, Scottish Government Transport Minister, said: “I’m delighted to celebrate the success of project PACE. Our £5.3 million funding of this project underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting the uptake of electric vehicles. The investment in charge points is benefiting local communities, businesses and visitors across Lanarkshire.

“Our electricity network companies will be critical in growing Scotland’s electric vehicle charging network and the benefits that SP Energy Networks have brought to project PACE are clear.

“This project shows the importance of partnership working with both North and South Lanarkshire Councils having played a significant part in its success. I look forward to the Scottish Government continuing to work with Scotland’s electricity network companies to support the electric vehicle transition so we can realise benefits across the country.”

Councillor Jim Logue, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “By providing electric charging points at key locations across Lanarkshire, this innovative project has enabled more people to switch from petrol or diesel cars, which will bring benefits in reducing air pollution for everyone. This project, along with our investment in more electric vehicles across the council fleet, including an electric bin lorry, will help achieve our ambition to be net zero by 2030.”

Councillor Joe Fagan, Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, said: “If people are to make the change to electric vehicles, we have to ensure the infrastructure is there for them.

“Project PACE is delivering that and improving sustainable, low carbon travel opportunities across Lanarkshire. The fact it is part of the wider EV Strategic Network that will benefit the whole of Scotland is also something all the partners can be proud of.

“Having this infrastructure in place helps make cleaner, greener travel a practical option for more of the population.”

Please click here for further information on Project Pace.


We have opened a pioneering new support room so innovative it can spot potential faults on the electricity network before they happen.

The LV (Low Voltage) Support Room has been set up at our Cambuslang depot on the outskirts of Glasgow and uses advanced monitoring technology to provide real-time information on supplies across its operating area. It analyses data from right across Central and Southern Scotland – covering areas like Ayrshire, Dumfries, Edinburgh and the Borders, Glasgow and Lanarkshire.

Data produced by smart meters and electricity substations highlight where a potential fault may occur on the electricity network, helping engineers find exact locations where repairs are required, sometimes before power drops and customers are even aware of an issue.

Previously, engineers have relied on customers identifying problems and calling the 105 hotline to report an outage and often it could mean digging holes in roads to locate the precise location of the fault and carry out a repair.

Thanks to the innovative setup of the LV Support Room, we are now able to enhance the way faults are located and understood, preventing unnecessary power cuts and helping keep the lights on for homes and businesses all year round.

It also supports future plans for the power network by providing a comprehensive picture of the potential impacts the predicted increase in electricity demand will bring as more and more people make the move to electric vehicles and heat pumps in the march to net zero.

There are plans for the LV Support Room to become a 24/7 operation – expanding the network coverage with the installation of additional monitoring equipment and enhanced smart meter data usage over the next five years. This will allow us to maximise the existing network and identify areas where network upgrades would have the biggest impact.

Craig Arthur, SP Distribution Director (Central & Southern Scotland) at SP Energy Networks, said: “We’re continuously innovating to provide our customers with the best service possible while leading the way towards a greener, electric future. Faults are an unavoidable part of any energy network and our LV Support Room is helping to revolutionise the way we spot and handle problems when they happen.

“It improves network performance, reduces network interruptions and reduces time off supply for our customers. And as more customers apply to connect electric vehicles and heat pumps, the cumulative demand on the electricity network increases significantly and can lead to new or larger infrastructure being required to service that demand. The LV Support Room means we now have a full picture of that demand and can use the data gathered to better inform investment decisions for the LV network – both in terms of where the investment is needed and crucially, when.

“It’s allowing us to maximise our capacity for low carbon technologies, which will help us support the UK to achieve its Net Zero ambitions.”

The modern approach to network management ensures SP Energy Networks is continuing to lead the way towards a greener offering and to prepare the network for future demands from low carbon technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps.

The LV Support Room was established as a permanent part of SP Energy Networks’ operations following a trial in Cambuslang that identified 30 ‘pre-faulting’ circuits. This saved an estimated £60,000 in equipment damage, stopped unnecessary power cuts and reduced the amount of time customers were without electricity during repairs.

The LV monitors installed on the network that send data back to the support room have been produced by engineering production firm EA Technology and provide real-time analysis of how the network is being used.

Dave A Roberts, Commercial Director at EA Technology, said: “Pre-fault identification opens up a whole new world to owners and operators of power networks, one where likely faults can be intercepted before they happen. We are seeing the monitoring of low voltage networks becoming more commonplace, partly driven by a need to understand changes in demand with the transition to decarbonised energy, but partly as ways to improve resilience at homes and businesses.

“The UK is leading the world in this technology – from small beginnings we now have over 10,000 LV circuits using this pre-fault technology today, which will increase to over 40,000 by the end of the year. EA Technology are delighted to be working with SP Energy Networks on their LV Support Room and in turn, improving the supply quality to its customers.”

We have achieved a sixth consecutive year of Planet Mark certification which recognises our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.

Planet Mark is an internationally recognised sustainability certification, awarded annually to businesses that are committed to continuously reducing their carbon emissions. Certification involves annual verification of our carbon footprint data and confirmation that our footprint is reducing year-on-year. It’s important that we continually review our progress and set realistic but ambitious targets.

This year our market-based carbon footprint was 661,614 equivalent tons of CO2 (tCO2e). This is a 6% reduction from the previous year and a total reduction of 46% since our first certification in 2016/17 – this is equivalent to 502,169 return flights from London to New York. We have also reduced our emissions per employee to 223 tCO2e, down by 23 tCO2e from the previous year, a near 10% decrease.

In line with our public commitment to meeting the trajectory required for a 1.5°C future, as validated by the Science-Based Targets initiative, we will reduce our total carbon emissions by 67% by 2034/35 relative to our 2018/19 baseline. This is consistent with Planet Mark’s recommended target of a 5% yearly reduction in emissions, and additionally directly meets half of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Guy Jefferson, our Chief Operating Officer, said: “Achieving Planet Mark accreditation for a sixth consecutive year is recognition of the passion and commitment our whole team demonstrates when it comes to decarbonisation and helping to deliver Net Zero.

“Working with Planet Mark helps us to ensure that our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and their guidance has been invaluable as we set ourselves credible Net Zero targets that align with the Science Based Targets Initiative’s global Net Zero Standard.

“We will continue to seek innovative new ways to decarbonise both our network infrastructure and the full scope of our business operations, and I am certain that the annual Planet Mark certification process will help us to ensure we stay focused on the right areas.”

Steve Malkin, Founder and CEO at Planet Mark, said: “SP Energy Networks has demonstrated incredible commitment to reducing its carbon emissions by retaining Business Certification for six years. It has tracked its business carbon emissions and impressively reduced its direct footprint by almost half.

“Dealing with such vast infrastructure is always going to be a challenge, but SP Energy Networks has embraced the opportunity to deliver real progress on its carbon emissions. It’s fantastic to see an organisation go beyond its reduction target and strive for continuous improvement and progress, support regional and national ambitions driving towards Net Zero, and deliver pioneering projects which will play a vital role in the energy system transition.”

YouTube star and TV presenter, Adam Beales, has shared his top tips to help keep children safe while exploring the great outdoors.

Known to his three million subscribers on YouTube as Adam B, he’s fronting a series of safety videos for us to highlight potential electrical dangers children can encounter when playing outside or camping.

Adam will share vital safety advice to keep youngsters safe while out and about including tips on setting up camp safely and what to consider before playing ball games with friends. The videos will also outline the benefits of our PowerWise website, an interactive online resource to help the next generation learn how to stay safe near electricity in a fun and engaging way.

Adam said: “I’ve been lucky enough to go on so many different adventures during my time working at Blue Peter and filming content for my YouTube channel, but I know how important it is to do these things safely. “When the sun is shining, we all enjoy having fun with friends and exploring but it can be easy to get distracted and forget about the electrical dangers around you.

“That’s why SP Energy Networks’ work to ensure people fully understand how to stay safe is so important. If you’re on a camping adventure, flying a kite or fishing somewhere new it’s really important to stay safe. Following simple tips can save you and your loved ones from getting hurt – so that’s my mission to kids across the country.”

The safety videos will be posted over the coming days on our social media channels and website. Adam’s top tips are:

Make sure everyone you’re with understands the danger from overhead lines. They are dangerous!
Avoid setting up a tent under, or close to, an overhead powerline
Don’t light fires underneath overhead powerlines
Things like kite strings and fishing rods, can conduct electricity – don’t use any of these near or under overhead powerlines. A useful trick is to always ‘Look up!’ for any overhead powerlines when you’re out and about to avoid a massively dangerous situation!
Stay out of abandoned buildings and don’t climb pylons, wooden electricity poles or trees near electricity wires. You could get electrocuted!
If your kite, balloon or football does touch or get caught in an overhead powerline, never attempt to get it back. Leave it to the experts!
If something does go wrong, call the 105 emergency helpline. This will get you help as soon as possible. If anyone is injured, call 999 right away.
The safety campaign is aimed at ensuring families stay safe and stay ‘PowerWise’ while enjoying outdoor activities.

Guy Jefferson, Chief Operating Officer at SP Energy Networks, said: “Our new video series with Adam B highlights simple tips to follow to stay safe when families are near overhead powerlines to help prevent any potential accidents”.

“Setting up camp, flying kites and fishing near overhead or underground electricity lines comes with serious risks, so keeping safety advice front of mind is really important. Sadly, every summer there are injuries in the UK and in the worst cases even fatalities if safety precautions aren’t followed.”

Kind regards,

Stakeholder & Community Engagement Team

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