UK-based energy company Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Distribution has announced plans to invest £4.1bn ($5.6bn) in its networks and services from 2023 to 2028.
The proposed investment was announced in SSEN’s draft business plan, in which the company outlined how it would deliver improvements for customers and fast-track investment in its networks to help communities reach net-zero.
The UK and Scottish Governments have both set targets for minimising carbon emissions in order to address the climate emergency.
The UK has committed to reaching net-zero by 2050, while Scotland aims to achieve net-zero by 2045.
To achieve these targets, local electricity networks are understood to play an important role, with the electrification of heat and transport gathering pace alongside smart flexible energy solutions.
SSEN’s distribution and transmission networks supply electricity to more than 3.8 million homes and businesses across the north of the Central Belt of Scotland and Central Southern England.
The company said that in its distribution network areas alone, electric vehicle ownership is estimated to increase from 30,000 to five million by 2050, with 2.5 million heat pumps being installed during the same period.
SSEN managing director Chris Burchell said: “Co-created with our stakeholders, we have developed an ambitious and balanced business plan, which provides more, efficient investment today to meet the net-zero challenge while also keeping bills down for current bill payers and supporting those most vulnerable with the challenges of here and now.
“We will continue working with our customers and stakeholders over the coming months to further refine our proposals and help strengthen our plan to power communities to net-zero.”
In its business plan, SSEN mentioned that it intends to invest £400m ($549m) in improving customer service and digitising systems, as well as £2.2bn ($3.02bn) in asset reliability and resilience.
The company will also invest more than £1bn ($1.3bn) in network and flexible solutions to create 2GW of capacity.