We have reached September 2022 and the tumultuous months of the pandemic seem to have faded away only to be replaced by a summer of upheaval. Rail strikes, air travel disruption, a new Government and, of course, a myriad of challenges facing everyone through the energy crisis.
From Birmingham to Buenos Aires, the energy industry has been the focal point of discussion for politicians, economists and journalists as global energy supplies grow scarce and domestic energy bills grow pricier. I am glad to see the Government has stepped in and capped energy bills for households, hopefully tempering fears of widespread fuel poverty this winter amid a spiralling cost of living situation.
I am also delighted that this support has been extended to businesses, providing some reassurance for customers who need to continue operations in uncertain times. I participate in a multi-sector leadership forum and the price of energy is the number one concern heading towards winter.
During the current energy crisis, delivering cost-effective DTS services for the benefit of the whole energy market remains our top priority. We demonstrated this commitment in 2021 by keeping the costs of our regulated service low and balanced against inflationary pressures. As cost to serve increases across all supply chains, we will continue to ensure that we build system resilience whilst minimising inflationary cost pressures on our customers.
Our commercial business intensifies our ability to support customers in generating high value returns on investment in their systems. Streamlining processes, increasing efficiency and widening the range of data use cases directly feeds into the energy market’s ability to help customers, low-income and well-off, weather the energy price crisis. Last month, we released EMPRIS 2.0 – an update to our flagship energy market monitoring data platform – to users at BEIS and Ofgem.
The new version of EMPRIS provides market analysts with simplified, user-friendly tools to query millions of rows of data within our AWS-based data lake. This innovation project will improve the speed and range of capability that BEIS and Ofgem require to monitor the market and offers users instant access to new data-driven insights. It is yet another example of our efforts to expand data transparency.
We have also worked with greentech customer Trust Power on the consumer-facing app, Loop, to help households reduce energy usage and carbon emissions, as well as eco-groups and local authorities who want to know more about energy efficiency opportunities for their communities.
While we act to support colleagues internally, ElectraLink has also become more tangibly involved in a wider industry effort to make the energy market more appealing and accommodating for a diverse workforce. Our Director of Diversity and Engagement, Amelia Heatley, joined colleagues from Ofgem, Energy UK, KPMG and others to co-found a new taskforce, Tackling Inclusion and Diversity in Energy (TIDE).
The taskforce aims to improve equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) across the energy industry through collaboration with existing groups. I am exceptionally proud that a member of ElectraLink’s senior team has been involved with such an important taskforce since its inception, and ElectraLink plans to build any TIDE-disseminated progress and actions into our own EDI work.
I truly believe more needs to be done to prove the energy market is a sustainable, career-positive, welcoming environment. With the green revolution in Europe requiring over half a million researchers, professionals and engineers in the next decade, more skilled people need to be attracted to and retained within energy organisations.
Sticking with the green theme, our participation in the UK’s decarbonisation has continued as we find new ways to embed data into net zero programmes. In addition to achieving net zero status in Q1 this year, ElectraLink succeeded in a recent BEIS competition to deliver a view of how future energy assets should be registered and made available. From here, ElectraLink will run a feasibility study to investigate a potential low carbon technology asset register, whereafter we will bid for the second phase of the competition to deliver the register which will introduce benefits for the wider energy system.
This success demonstrates how our experience of solving industry challenges, coupled with the delivery of data systems, continues to deliver value in tech and utilities while we stand firm on our commitment to provide reliable data services for the UK energy market.
Maintaining our focus on service delivery while supporting employees and staying the net zero course is key for businesses like ElectraLink during these challenging economic times, and I am grateful to all those putting tremendous effort into finding solutions to the current energy crisis.
Words by Dan Hopkinson, CEO