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More than 60 guest gathered at Newcastle’s Centre for Life to learn about the latest findings from the UK’s biggest smart grid project.

Delegates who attended the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) project’s regional knowledge sharing forum included the industry regulator Ofgem, UK energy suppliers and distributors, universities, community groups, local authorities and high profile regional stakeholders.

The CLNR project is trialling innovative smart grid technology on the electricity network and monitoring thousands of smart enabled homes and businesses across the North East and Yorkshire, equipped with smart meters, solar panels, heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points.

The project is producing knowledge that will help electricity network operators across the country prepare for the mass uptake of low carbon technologies, whilst continuing to provide a secure, safe and affordable supply of electricity.

Key members of the CLNR team from Northern Powergrid, British Gas, Durham University, EA Technology and National Energy Action presented the latest findings from the project, before delegates joined in roundtable discussions which highlighted important issues surrounding the future of the UK energy industry.

Hot topics included the need for customer engagement and how to educate consumers on their own energy usage. Changing UK domestic demographics and how this will affect future load and generation characteristics was also covered by the team from Durham University and NEA.

Dr Liz Sidebotham, Communications Manager for the CLNR project said: “We were absolutely delighted with the turnout for our regional stakeholder event; there is clearly a huge appetite to explore new solutions for the challenges that lie ahead for the UK electricity industry

“Looking at how domestic customers have adapted their energy usage in response to interventions and incentives like smart meters and time of use tariffs, is giving us valuable insights into consumers’ behaviour. Our demand side response trials with industrial and commercial customers are also providing some fascinating results – we believe the learning from this project will have a national impact.”

The findings from all CLNR trials are being shared with other electricity distribution network operators across the UK and on the project’s website to help the energy industry prepare for the low carbon future.

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