Newsroom 01 June 2023

Giving customers the power to smart connect

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UK Power Networks

Netcall is proud to be working with UK Power Networks in supplying the platform behind Smart Connect — a customer portal that provides Low Carbon Technologies (LCT) connections.

Already seeing a 300% increase in connection requests in less than a year, high uptake will help local government in its efforts to meet clean air targets.

Processing over 9,000 connection requests every month, the Smart Connect Portal offers seamless application and approvals processes, handling Smart enquiries and two-way payments with ease. Its focus has been on providing easy customer journeys, with fast-tracked approvals and automation to enhance convenience.

The portal is a free service provided to domestic and commercial installers of low carbon technology connections, such as EV charge points, solar PV, heat pumps, batteries and vehicle to grid. The portal is a ‘home’ for all connection services, and is fully integrated with UKPN’s in-house SAP operational management system.

As Richard Farrell, Chief Innovation Officer at Netcall, explains, the system supports companies like UKPN that strive to lead in their efforts to support the UK Government’s Net Zero goals. “Our commitment extends beyond our own goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2026. We’re firmly focused on enabling digital transformation to increase automation and improve engagement and communication. Digital portals like Smart Connect ultimately make processes and interactions more efficient, which also helps cut carbon emissions for our customers and their ecosystems.”

Smart Connect Portal is also helping UK Power Networks deliver its goal of providing an excellent customer service, with 95% customer satisfaction scores reported since implementation. The Netcall Intelligent Automation Platform is also handling customer enquiries without the need for human intervention — seeing 80% of all requests automatically approved. Taking the lead time for applications down from ten days to a matter of minutes, customers are guided smoothly through the connection process, with enhanced support and information.

Alex Howard, Product Manager, Distribution System Operator at UK Power Networks says the Smart Connect system is helping streamline grid connections,

“Smart Connect provides installers and customers with a more efficient way to connect their device to our electricity network. Demonstrating the leadership to make Net Zero a reality requires us to ensure that our networks do not block the path to decarbonisation.”

For customers needing cost-effective connection solutions, UK Power Networks also offers timed and profiled connections to meet the needs of customers like fleet depots which don’t require capacity 24 hours a day.

UK Power Networks owns and runs the cables and substations which deliver electricity from the national grid to 8.5 million homes and businesses across London, the South East and East of England, serving approximately 20 million people. As the country’s biggest electricity distributor, it has invested more than £6.4 billion in its electricity networks since 2011, focusing on safety, network reliability, sustainability and affordability by caring for vulnerable customers and keeping costs low. It is a founder member of the Levelling up Coalition, sixth on the UK Inclusive Companies list as well as one of only 2% of companies worldwide to achieve Platinum Investors in People status.


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