electric charging Prius plug-in hybrid close up

A new smart portal has fast-tracked connection of more than 10,000 electric car chargers to the electricity network in its first year, according to UK Power Networks.

It claims Smart Connect has slashed notification time for installers from 10 days to just a few seconds across London, the South East and East of England.

Launched in February 2021, Smart Connect has automatically approved 73% of more than 19,000 applications, allowing installers to install immediately they get the go-ahead.

As well as processing EV charger applications, new functionality allows installers to submit applications for other low carbon technologies including heat pumps, batteries and solar panels. To date some 5,000 household solar installations, over 900 electric heat pumps and 265 domestic batteries have been approved through Smart Connect

Neil Madgwick, head of service delivery at UK Power Networks said: “Millions of electric cars and heat pumps will connect to local electricity networks over the next decade. We want to make sure they can do that quickly and easily. Through tools like Smart Connect we’ll make it possible – whether we’re working with installers or directly with consumers – for them all to connect at pace which will help the UK’s journey to Net Zero. It’s been amazing to see how much people have used our new portal already and proves we’re on the right track in finding ways to make the process smooth and speedy.”

Jodie McPherson, technical sales and compliance at East Green Energy said: “The introduction of Smart Connect has revolutionised the way DNO applications are able to be submitted and brought a much more efficient way of working into our industry. It was more than tripling the amount of applications possible.

“After a new update, it then became possible to add multiple devices into one application, which meant you were able to do all applications on one form – increasing efficiency and reducing workload even further!

“I also cannot express how brilliant the team who have worked on Smart Connect have been and I have been honoured to have been part of the launch and update this process with them.”