If you have a great idea or innovative product that you think may be of interest to the energy networks it is worth getting in touch with us.
ENA hosts an innovation portal, the Smarter Networks Portal (SNP), which facilitates learning and collaboration in the industry.
The SNP provides a place for third party innovators to propose or pitch new and innovative ideas for energy networks to consider.
We have an established process for network innovation, shown below. More details can be found in the Energy Network Innovation Process (ENIP) document.
There are two main types of funding available to support innovation on energy networks:
- The Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) is a set allowance each energy network receives as part of its price control allowed revenue. The NIA provides funding to energy networks for smaller technical, commercial, or operational projects directly related to the licensees’ network.
- The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), to support the transition to net zero. This fund supports large-scale transformational research and development projects. The fund is expected to make £450 million available over the course of RIIO-2.
Networks recognise that clear protection of intellectual property (IP) is important for innovators. Our members work with innovators to maintain protection of IP through our contracts with you.
Demonstrating the value of innovation
The energy networks are regulated businesses, as a result of this we have a number of reporting obligations to our regulators regarding the innovation funding we have used. The networks that you work with will be able to provide details of the information required to meet these reporting obligations.
How do networks decide whether to take an idea forward?
Idea generation (innovators)
Pre- Screening (networks) and Decision gate
Proposal will be assessed against funding mechanism eligibility criteria. Feedback decision will be provided to innovator to inform status of the idea submission.
Ideas taken forward will be registered on the Smarter Networks Portal following the appropriate application process.
Project delivery (underway)
Relevant energy network will conduct appropriate stage gate or phase review in line with internal governance and reporting will be performed.
Close down and dissemination
Energy networks will follow their internal governance process to carry out reviews. Reporting and dissemination of project conclusions will be carried out.
Successful innovations rolled out if commercially viable.