Our Digitalisation Strategy

Digitalisation and the better use of data are at the heart of our plans to reach our Net Zero targets while improving the services we provide and ensuring a just transition.

overview-iconDigitalisation Strategy Summary

We've created this immersive website for you to explore the 6 pillars of our Digitalisation Strategy and associated projects. For the full version of our Digitalisation and Action plan, please click one of the documents below.

 
 

This is a time of profound change. As national, devolved and local Government drive towards Net Zero carbon emissions, society will need an electricity network that is ready and able to make this a reality. It's our job to make sure this happens.

Our networks were built at a time when mainstream electric vehicles, heat pumps and the rise in renewable energy would have been unthinkable! Our job of serving millions of customers and businesses in Wales, Scotland and England now goes well beyond simply keeping the lights on. Our role is critical to a decarbonised future and a green industrial revolution - we must invest in the people, skills and infrastructure needed to accelerate the shift to a decarbonised economy.

The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow this year as it hosts COP26 and we're immensely proud to be one of the principal partners - underlining our commitment to tackling climate change and helping the country achieve Net Zero.

We understand the ambitious goals of the governments, communities, towns and cities that we serve. We must be bold as we reimagine our network, looking not only to 2028, but beyond to a future that will see an increasing reliance on the electricity system in a way we've never seen before. Now is the time when we set the foundations for this transition.

Our plans have been shaped through extensive engagement with over 14,000 customers and stakeholders so far, creating a plan that's truly built with them at the heart.

It's also important that we're challenged on our approach to developing the plan - that's why our independent Customer Engagement Group (CEG), chaired by John Howard, is a key part of this process. The CEG are an independent panel consisting of industry experts who have provided external examination of our plans to make sure we're always considering the needs and preferences of our customers and stakeholders.

You can be confident that we can deliver on the plans we've set out and I'm proud of our track record which you can read about in this document. You'll see we're doing what we said we would in RIIO-ED1, and you can trust us to do the same in RIIO-ED2.

This will be the most ambitious plan we've ever created, reflecting the increasingly important role our networks play in enabling a better future, quicker.

Our Evolving Digitalisation Strategy

Digitalisation and the better use of data will enable us to drive the modernisation and decarbonisation of our energy system. Digitalisation will improve the services provided to our customers and stakeholders while leaving no one behind, make our operations more efficient which will save customers money on their bills, and drive better engagement and opportunities for our people, all while working towards the UK's Net Zero target.

We have already implemented our Network Asset Management System (NAMS) which provides the backbone for our asset management and field operations. We have also established our business "Centre of Excellence" and "IT Digital Hub" which will work alongside our IT and Business Change teams to implement our Digitalisation Strategy.

Following engagement with customers and stakeholders we have developed 6 key pillars which will be our key areas of focus during the RIIO-ED2 regulatory cycle. As part of the ED2 planning, around 300 development opportunities and ideas have been identified, and have been developed into a series of initiatives under each strategic pillar. These initiatives consider both enhancements to current SPEN platforms as well as new technology and opportunities.

Our Evolving Data Strategy

Improving the Mastery of Our Data is one of the 6 key pillars of our Digitalisation Strategy. Our Data Strategy establishes the framework to ensure we carefully collect, manage, share, and extract maximum value from our data. Our vision is to put data at the heart of our operation, creating a solid, insightful base for our decision-making, operations, and performance improvement as we deliver our RIIO-2 ambitions. Good quality, reliable data will enable us to respond to the challenges of Net Zero, facilitate the connection of high volumes of low carbon technologies, and integrate solutions across the wider energy system.

We have already implemented our Data Landing Page, the Energy Data Hub, which has been created to house all data that SPEN currently shares openly in the public domain. There is a particular focus on making our data open within our strategy because we recognise the important role that it will play in enabling a flexible energy market.

Our Data Strategy is broken down into 6 critical data capabilities which we will need to invest in to support the delivery of our digital and data projects. These 6 key capabilities follow the good data management principles of the Energy Data Task Force's (EDTF) Data Best Practice Guidelines which underpin our digital journey.

Our IT Cyber Resilience Plan

ScottishPower and Iberdrola recognise that the security of its people, assets and data is vital to the continued success of these business functions, therefore investment in security is an ongoing priority. As part of our plans for RIIO-2 we have created an IT Cyber Resilience Plan which will help ensure the safety of the transmission and distribution networks. The confidential plan demonstrates how ongoing IT security measures aid in both preventing and minimising the impact of incidents on essential services.

Deliverability

Delivering a significant Digitalisation and Data transformation programme will impact our workforce, business and supply chain and we recognise the need to recruit new skills, train our current workforce, implement new ways of working and generate external partnerships to meet the challenges ahead. We have developed plans to support our transition and have already established our business "Centre of Excellence" and "IT Digital Hub" which will work alongside our IT and Business Change teams. A critical part of our Digitalisation & Data Strategy is the adoption of agile ways of working and we have developed a team of agile delivery professionals within the Digital Hub to bring new agile delivery methods into our organisation.

Our strategic principles are as follows:

  1. We will use Just transition principles to develop and grow our workforce for the future
  2. Grow our own core talent through multiple channels to be the modern workforce we need for our delivery plans
  3. Inclusive recruitment from the communities we serve to build a diverse workforce
  4. Attract new entrants into our industry through a wider range of channels and collaborative working
  5. Safeguard the health and wellbeing of our people and support their needs as an inclusive employer

monitoring-iconOptimised Network and Asset Management

Why we are doing it:

Digital technology will significantly increase the productivity of our field operations and support better decision making when planning the work needed on our network. It will play a key role in enabling us to navigate this transition and deliver on our commitments to enable net zero while maintaining a safe and reliable network and minimising the cost of the energy transition to the customer.

 

How we will do it:

  • Development of digital twins to enable better decision making.
  • Deployment of autonomous technologies for inspection and operation in restricted or dangerous sites.
  • Deployment of advanced field technology such as wearables (i.e. smart technology that can be worn similar to a google glass).
  • Use of connected construction technology to digitise our delivery of capital projects.
  • Automation, fault location technology and predictive analytics to increase network resilience and accelerate our response to outages.
 

peak-loads-iconDeveloping Options to Manage Peak Loads

Why we are doing it:

The rise of distributed energy resources, and the electrification of transport and heat will result in a significant expansion of load on our low voltage network. We need to manage this load increase using a combination of traditional engineering and new digital solutions to reduce costs for customers and enable the low carbon transition.

 

How we will do it:

  • Deployment of advanced digital monitoring and control equipment on our low voltage network including 14,000 monitors at 50% of our local substations.
  • Development of 10 constraint management zones in SPD and 12 in SPM enabled by data and digital.
  • New technology to enable new choices for our customers 'behind the meter' to support the low carbon transition.
  • Digitalise our inspection regime using aerial LiDAR and drone footage image processing technology.
  • Projects in this pillar will begin in 2022.
 

mastery-iconImproving the Mastery of Our Data

Why we are doing it:

Digitalising the energy system and improving access to this growing, rich data landscape will unlock stakeholder benefits and accelerate the transition to net zero. Our data is an organisational asset, capable of improving our decision making, operations and service to customers. Sharing our data with external parties will lead to better whole system solutions and new, innovative ways of working.

 

How we will do it:

  • We will introduce enhanced data governance across each of our business areas.
  • Deploy fully integrated reporting and analytics using a new big data platform.
  • Utilise enhanced data capture to maximise the value of our digital twins.
  • Implement recommendations from the Data Best Practice Guidance, enabling open data sharing with our stakeholders and customers.
 

business-models-iconSupport the Development of New Business Models and Markets

Why we are doing it:

Reaching Net Zero will require action from us to decarbonise our operations as well as facilitating and enabling environment for an ecosystem of cross-industry entities contributing to the energy transition. By adopting an open, collaborative approach, we will harness innovation to lower costs for customers, accelerate Net Zero and make progress on our journey towards becoming a Distribution System Operator.

 

How we will do it:

  • Development of flexibility markets and solutions.
  • Active participation in cross industry initiatives to identify and develop whole system solutions.
  • Building partnerships with other participants in the ecosystem such as academia, third party organisations and innovators.
  • Sharing operational and market data with our customers, stakeholders and market participants through an online data portal.

customer-service-iconUsing Digital Technologies to Deliver Enhanced Customer Service

Why we are doing it:

Digital technology can significantly improve customer service by providing more choice for our customers and by accelerating the delivery of our services. Moreover, integrated digital solutions are required to enable us to respond to the anticipated increase in customer contact as we support their decarbonisation journey. It also helps us to serve our most vulnerable customers, ensuring they are not left behind by the energy transition.

 

How we will do it:

  • We will build a single view of our customers and our interactions with them across different services.
  • Open new digital channels and develop self-service options for key customer journeys to give our customers more choice.
  • Implement a customer data portal, customer data line and building on our strong governance of our vulnerable customer data (PSR).
  • Develop a suite of digital tools capable of supporting the anticipated significant increase in the volume of connection enquiries.
  • Supplement our workforce with virtual support agents, taking care to ensure that all of our new services and channels are tailored for our vulnerable customer base.
  • Our digital customer service will be fully integrated with non-digital solutions, ensuring that the digitally disengaged are not left behind.

skills-iconInvesting in the Digital Skills of Our People

Why we are doing it:

Investing in our people will accelerate adoption of digital technology and enable our people to identify new, innovative ways of using digital technology. We will create highly skilled, future proof jobs in our local community. We will recognise the value that these skills bring to our organisation and provide exciting opportunities for our people to play their part in a modern digitalised energy system.

 

How we will do it:

  • Delivery of a cultural change programme so that our people recognise the importance of data and digital and the value it can unlock for our customers and our organisation.
  • Support our people in this transition by equipping them with the right digital skills.
  • Expand our graduate programme and recruitment policies to focus on digital talent.
  • Use digital technology such as gamification of training and knowledge-based AI assistants to enhance our learning and development programmes.

Key Focus Areas

 
 

Impacted Personas

 
 

What are we doing, and when are we doing it?

 
 

Get involved

 

Your feedback, insight and views are at the heart of all our future plans. We'd welcome your feedback on the steps we're taking to update and deliver our Digitalisation Strategy and Action Plan (DSAP). Your insight will be used to inform the development of our future plans.

Give us feedback

We would be delighted to discuss our Digitalisation Strategy and Action Plan including any projects, initiatives, timescales, and more with you, and look forward to receiving your queries. If you have any questions regarding any of our current or future projects please complete our feedback form.

Request more information
 

Footer

Hi! I'm the SP Energy Networks System Agent, can I help you?

Avatar