Agenda item

Electricity North West: Leading the North West to Zero Carbon


The Chair welcomed Helen Norris, Stakeholder Engagement and CSR Manager, Helen Boyle, Strategic Decarbonisation Manager, and Mike Taylor, Customer Engagement Manager and Strategic Projects from Electricity North West (ENW) who gave a presentation to the meeting. A copy of the presentation is set out in the minutes.


The presentation provided the Committee with an update on Electricity North West's leading the North West to Zero Carbon Emissions plan outlining their work for the next six months.


In response to questions it was confirmed that:


  • Electricity North West's community energy fund known as 'Powering our Communities' was an annual project that would hopefully open again for bids around September/October 2019.
  • Air source heat pumps whilst expensive to install, were cheaper to run and a more efficient form of energy. Incentives were also in place to encourage the uptake of renewable heat technologies amongst householders.
  • More could be done to save electricity by reducing the use of lighting and using natural light more or using LED lights. A culture change was needed to ensure energy efficiencies were made by the end user. It was highlighted that using less equalled more capacity on the network which in turn meant that more could happen.
  • On how Electricity North West communicated with small businesses and end users to start the transition, the Committee was informed that they were looking to build a strategic dialogue with the larger stakeholders, such as the county council to discuss how they could help and support them to get the information out there and to filter the information down. More engagement at grass roots level was needed.
  • Solar will generally pay for itself within five years. Electricity North West was looking for businesses to encourage solar uptake on rooftops.
  • Headroom was created in the network from previous initiatives successfully completed by Electricity North West. Electricity North West had also forecasted the impact onto the network from the uptake of Electric Vehicles and other technologies. Further information on the possible constraints was set out in their 'Distributed Future Energy Scenarios' document.
  • By controlling the voltage on the network, the 'Smart Street' grid side energy efficiency project would help to create capacity on the network and provide a saving for the customer.
  • Work was underway to set the framework for the next price control period which was due to start on 1 April 2023, and would likely run for five years.


The Committee noted that a representative from the county council was needed to sit on Electricity North West's Sustainability Advisory Panel, to help deliver their role in the transition to low carbon.


The Committee in formulating recommendations raised the following suggestions:


  • A need to influence district councils to implement low carbon technology conditions on planning applications.
  • Explore partnership working opportunities to establish a community heat network.
  • Hold a green summit for Lancashire and possibly with Cumbria.
  • The county council to lead by example.
  • Invite appropriate representatives from the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancashire Renewables Ltd, Lancashire Energy HQ and the county council's energy team to future scheduled meetings of the Committee.
  • County Councillor Ed Nash psc to continue as rapporteur on behalf of the Committee and report back on low carbon technology and legislation.


The Committee also noted that the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change and the Environment and a Cabinet Working Group on Energy and Environment had been disestablished.


Resolved: That;


  1. The Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Environment and Planning give consideration to holding a Green Summit in Spring 2020.
  2. The Cabinet give consideration to the establishment of a Cabinet Committee on Carbon Reduction.
  3. The new Chair of Lancashire Enterprise Partnership Limited be invited to a future meeting of the External Scrutiny Committee to explain the new Lancashire Energy Strategy and activities arising from the key findings.
  4. Representatives of Lancashire Renewables Limited, Lancashire Energy HQ and the County Council's Energy Team be invited to attend a future meeting of the External Scrutiny Committee to explain the work they are undertaking in relation to low carbon technology.
  5. Working through the Lancashire Leaders, all district councils and the unitary authorities across Lancashire be encouraged to make carbon reduction a consistent factor in all planning applications and local plans; and adopt a checklist of low carbon technologies to include but not limited to solar, electric vehicle charging points (including wireless) and heat source pumps.

6.  County Councillor Ed Nash continue to function as a rapporteur and report back at the next scheduled meeting of the External Scrutiny Committee on findings relating to low carbon technology and legislation.


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