Network innovation

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, accelerate the development of a low carbon energy sector as well as deliver financial benefits to consumers. The projects help develop crucial knowledge and expertise which is being shared across the industry.

Innovation Stimulus

As part of the RIIO-T1 and RIIO-GD1 price controls we introduced a Network Innovation Stimulus. The Stimulus includes two annual Network Innovation Competitions (NICs) one for electricity transmission companies and one for gas network companies.

Through the NICs these 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 three independent expert panels.

The Low Carbon Networks (LCN) Fund

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 allows 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 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 competitions

To access detailed information on the Gas NIC, alongside the Electricity NIC and LCN Fund, please see:

Gas Network Innovation Competition
Electricity Network Innovation Competition
Low Carbon Networks Fund

Publications and updates

  • Published: 29th Nov 2013
  • Guidance
  • 1 Associated documents
This brochure describes the projects we have funded through this year's innovation competitions.