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Actions and Update – Our Commitments Completed for 2017/18

Listening to our customers and responding to their requirements is an integral part of our engagement and is at the heart of everything we do. By responding positively to stakeholder feedback we have started to transform our business, delivering on the challenges that were important to them.

We are delighted to confirm we have made significant progress on the delivery of our commitments and that these have been well received by our stakeholders.

Communication - Customer Journey

Action 1

Description

We will develop an interactive tool on our website that will provide clear guidance on our customer connections processes. This will include information on application, design, acceptance, Land Rights, delivery and metering. We will also develop a separate tool for our ICPs/IDNOs.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

New website went live on the 24th of November with the new customer journey and ICP/IDNO journey published. This allows the customer to navigate directly to their area of interest quicker and provides a more, indepth level of information. The addition of the ICP/IDNO journey makes the key steps explicit for this segment especially the key milestone and actions that are required.

Endorsement

“At Matrix Networks we found the information on the ‘Getting Connected’ page of SP Energy Networks website very useful. We’re an Independent Connections Provider, so the process of requesting a point of connection through to construction and completion needed to be clearly set out, as it is in the ‘Customer Journey’ flowchart. We also found the links to the application forms, design specification documents and connection agreements easy to navigate.”

Communication - External

Action 2

Description

We will improve the consistency and application of every aspect of the connections process across our districts, in the way we communicate throughout the lifecycle of a project. This will clearly define the method of contact, who is responsible for each stage of the project, the appropriate timescales and effectiveness of the communication. We will focus on our communication at design, delivery and our Land Rights project stages, as these are identified as our stakeholders’ priorities. For Land Rights, we will also commit to providing regular updates on the progression as agreed with the customer but no less than once a month.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

Comprehensive process created and rolled out to districts with regular updates from project management to customers including system access and updates on Land Rights.

There will be upfront conversations on capacity constraints, with cost and timescale estimates outlined for a range of areas, such as land and planning, telecommunications, transmission restrictions and key equipment that may be required.

Endorsement

“Most distribution generation connections are now subject to SoW. SP Energy Networks have previously supported my request for the SoW to be prepared and applied for in advance of the distribution works connection offer being issued. This was very helpful and reduced time scales for getting the “complete picture.”

“Areas of Responsibility” information has proved a huge success. The ability to contact, directly, the appropriate person has resulted in speedier resolutions of any issues that have arisen and enabled a growing working relationship between both companies .”

Communication - Website

Action 3

Description

Building on the success from last year’s website improvements, we will further improve the online experience by simplifying navigation of our connections area of the website and editing content based on stakeholder feedback.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

New website went live on the 24th of November with positive feedback from our online community.

This included creating separate land and planning and stakeholder information sections on the website, that provide a wide and varied range of details including policies, templates and key updates that customers can use. These and other similar changes have improved the navigation of the site and made it easier to find key information while at the same time increasing the level of detail available.

Endorsement

“Your website looks much better and is easier to navigate.”

Communication - Channels

Action 4

Description

Building on our well established stakeholder workshops, we will use alternative communication channels to deliver key messages and updates. This will include online tutorials and SPEN hosted webinars. We will test each alternative communication channel to measure success and determine its effectiveness.

We will hold these session every two months, prioritised by stakeholder feedback as follows:

  • RAdAR webinar
  • Flexible connections, online tutorial
  • DSO, webinar
  • Land Rights, online tutorial
  • Electric / battery storage webinar

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

Six video clips and the full presentation from the DG constraints workshops from our SPD and SPM areas have been published on the website. The RAdAR tutorial video have also been published. These are available to our stakeholders to view anytime to allow them access to our workshops and to refresh their knowledge at any time. This is uploaded to the website for the stakeholders to view at any point, giving access on key information on workshops if a stakeholder could not make the workshop and or if the just wish to refresh or share the information at a later date to ensure they can refresh themselves on SP Energy Networks latest thinking.

Endorsement

“SPEN information was clearly explained and helped greatly with our project.”

“The reintroduction of the Connections Stakeholder Panel has been welcomed. The revised format and Panel Members being a significant improvement.”

Partnerships Working

Action 5

Description

We will continue to work in partnership with existing groups of stakeholders to inform them of our strategy and policies. We will actively seek new partnerships to help communicate the important innovative and commercial developments within our industry. We will progress new opportunities from customers/community groups/stakeholders within our licence areas to broaden our range of partnerships. We will communicate the learning of each partnership to ensure any outcomes are shared.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

SPD - Solar Trade Association, National Farmers Union and Scottish Renewables all in advanced discussions on partnership working with the STA partnership delivering a change in policy to increase the threshold to 200kVA without need for SoW.

SPM - Ongoing partnerships with Welsh Government funded Flintshire Virtual Private Network, Energy Local Bethesda, Liverpool City Region and Liverpool City Council. New partnerships recently established with the Cheshire Energy Hub and the Cheshire West and Chester Council Heat Network Project in Chester and Ellesmere Port.

Endorsement

“I must say I found the workshop very informative and with the added bonus that your colleagues from various departments including operations are available on the day and were actively involved in engaging with us throughout. I look forward to the next meeting.”

“A special mention has to go to project managers of SPEN, they were invaluable to our project. Their communication was excellent and they went over and above what any employees should do to deliver our project in such ambitious timescales. We owe a great deal of gratitude to them.”

Project Management

Action 6

Description

We will agree key milestones at the outset of each project, and a delivery programme which reflects the project commitments of our customers and SPEN.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

Robust project management templates created for projects involving 33kV full, 33kV POC and 11kV - with web versions published.

These are being piloted in Central and Fife and Lanarkshire and a training plan is being drawn up for roll out to all districts.

These templates are now being rolled out across our two licence areas.

Endorsement

“On the project management action we are pleased with the support SP Energy Networks has been providing for our project. The meetings, site visit and plans have been very helpful.”

“It has been appreciated that there seems to be a closer working relationship between the SPEN Project Managers and Land Rights Teams. Further progress between the SPEN and Client Legal Teams would see further improvements in customer satisfaction.”

Land Rights Communication

Action 7

Description

Through stakeholder feedback and the 2017 ICE Action Plan, it was identified that there is very little reference to Land Rights and the land and planning processes throughout the connections customer journey. This can lead to a lack of understanding of the requirements and responsibility of both SP Energy Networks and the customer in obtaining appropriate land rights and planning consents associated with project delivery. It was felt that the customers’ expectations were not properly managed from the outset, leading to misunderstanding and miscommunication of the Land Rights process.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

The connections offer letter was re-drafted to include standard wording around Land Rights; what they are, when they are required, the roles of both SP Energy Networks and the customer and some indicative timescales. The letter has been signed off by SP Energy Networks and is in circulation.

Furthermore, the Land Rights section of the SPEN website was developed with a new look and feel. There is now a specific section on “Land Rights for Connections Customers” inclusive of information on timescales and potential risks or delays during the Land Rights process.

Lead times and process millestones were reviewed, refined and published internally to help support staff communicate the land rights process to our customers.

An internal training programme has commenced, educating staff on Land Rights, planning processes and associated timescales. Roll out will continue during this year.

A review of access to the Land and Planning project tracker was undertaken to ensure access and utilisation by project managers to facilitate regular communication with customers.

Through attendance at the connections stakeholder panels, stronger relationships have been built with key connections stakeholders, allowing Land and Planning a forum to engage better with these groups, leading to project reviews and lessons learned sessions.

Endorsement

“As both a landowner and developer, it is particularly pleasing to note that SPEN is committed to continually reviewing its processes for securing Land Rights and improving communication channels.”

“It has been appreciated that there seems to be a closer working relationship between the SPEN Project Managers and Land Rights Teams.”

Flexible Connections

Action 8

Description

We will publish the location of our ANM zones, together with a forward looking plan for future enabled zones.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

We have published our ANM schemes on our website for both our SPD and SPM licence areas. This enables stakeholders to be able to determine the likelihood of projects of interest in constrained areas. In addition the engineers and designers in these areas can advise on the processes involved and the assistance that is available on ANM or similar schemes within these zones.

Endorsement

“The ANM Zone information for North Wales has been useful but it is also great to know I can meet with the SP Manweb engineers and get detail on my specific project that I need. This really helps me understand how the ANM being introduced will affect my project Energy Local Bethesda.”

Telecommunication - Design & Delivery

Action 9

Description

We will ensure our customers receive an approximate estimate of costs for their telecommunications solution at the design stage of their project. Once it’s accepted, we’ll provide even more details. Then at the delivery stage, we’ll make the telecommunication element of their project even clearer, with a monthly report detailing programme critical dates and programme status.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

Details of costs, timescales and technologies required are now provided to customers during project design and delivery stages. This allows customers at an early stage to be better able to determine the full cost and duration of their projects and as such determine their viability.

Endorsement

“It is welcome that this issue has been targeted for improvement. Poor information on telecoms has led us to abandon opportunities that were later proved to be feasible. Network planners do not seem confident talking about. It is welcome that this issue has been targeted for improvement. Poor information on telecoms has led us to abandon opportunities that were later proved to be feasible. Network planners do not seem confident talking about this.”

Telecommunication Solution - Trial

Action 10

Description

We will investigate if additional aspects of operational Telecommunications works can be treated as contestable. Over the next year we will conduct trials with identified partners to determine the feasibility and scope of future contestable telecommunications works.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

SPD - Grid Code Power have expressed an interest in “Contestable Telecoms” and they have a number of battery storage projects across the districts.  Meetings have been arranged between them and the ICE telecom Initiative Group.

SPM – UK Power Reserve have expressed an interest in ‘Contestable Telecoms’. Plan to progress when these customers have projects in a position to proceed.

Endorsement

“We are looking forward to working with SP Energy Networks to make this happen and have been pleased with the open response so far to our questions.”

Network Planning

Action 11

Description

We will provide greater visibility of our long term outage plan for both our licenced areas.

In our SPD licence area we will trial tailored sessions for individual generation customers to provide them with a more relevant briefing on any planned network outages that are likely to affect their existing or future connections.

In our SPM licence area, we will review and add new generation customers to our list of strategic customers that receive our SPM long term plan weekly. We will also offer individual meetings for any customer who would like to discuss our long term outage plans prior to accepting their connection offer. We have enhanced our Constraints Workshops and include planned outage information and system operation requirements.

Status

complete icon Complete

Update

SPD - Customers formally requesting outage information for their respective areas of interest are now given detailed information from the network outage teams on a biannual basis, and are informed of changes when relevant.

SPM - Customers can register to be added to the weekly email distribution list that will notify them of the planned outages on their circuit as part of the long term plan.

Endorsement

“Early visibility of planned network outages and any constraints is increasingly important to us and the SPEN owner/operator forum is a valuable tool that assists our commercial forecasting and the scheduling of planned maintenance.”