Britain's energy mix is changing and the way our gas and electricity networks operate needs to change too. We provide essential backing to innovative projects which aim to help make the energy networks smarter, and accelerate the development of a low carbon energy sector and delivering financial benefits to consumers. The projects help develop crucial knowledge and expertise which is being shared across the industry.
As part of the RIIO price controls we introduced a Network Innovation Stimulus. The Stimulus includes two annual Network Innovation Competitions (NICs): one for electricity network companies and one for gas network companies.
The Network Innovation Competitions
Through the NICs network companies compete for funding for the research, development and demonstration of new technologies, operating and commercial arrangements. Funding is provided for those innovation projects which meet our evaluation criteria – which are available on our website. We are supported in our review and assessment of the projects by an independent expert panel for each competition.
As part of the electricity distribution price control arrangements (1 April 2010 to 31 March 2015), we established the Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund. The LCN Fund allowed up to £500m of funding to support projects sponsored by the distribution network operators (DNOs). The projects trial new technology, operating and commercial arrangements. The Electricity NIC has replaced the LCN Fund.
The objective of the NICs and the LCN Fund is to help network companies understand what they need to do to provide security of supply at value for money as Great Britain moves to a low carbon economy.
Innovation Working Group
We held a meeting of the IWG to discuss running the 2014 network innovation competitions on 19 February 2014. We will announce the dates of any future meetings on this page.
For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access detailed information on the LCN Fund, alongside the Gas NIC and Electricity NIC, please see: