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Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme - SmartestEnergy case study

From wind to solar to combined heat and power, many energy generators may need to make a mandatory system change to their assets by September 2022. The Accelerated Loss of Mains Change Programme (ALoMCP) is a funding scheme that helps generators to make this change.

James Graham, VP Sales at SmartestEnergy explains what they are doing to alert customers to the programme. 

What is loss of mains change all about and what does it mean for your generator customers?

As an asset-light supplier, we don’t own any generation projects. We purchase power (or off-take) from independent projects across Great Britain. Many of these generators will need to make this system change as a legal requirement by September 2022, because of updates in the distribution code.

This action is an important step on the road to net zero. The system changes are being implemented to create a more resilient grid that is protected from asset ‘tripping’. The more resilient our UK power grid networks are, the more renewable energy we can bring online.

Right now, generators have the opportunity to apply for funding to implement required relay upgrades and replacements. Get a head start by applying to the ALoMCP now.

Who needs to make the change?

Any generators that installed non-domestic generation assets with more than 11kW capacity before 1 February 2018 may have to make the alterations. 

The range of individuals and businesses that we need to make aware of the ALoMCP is vast: from farmers and leisure centres to factories and schools.

What is SmartestEnergy doing to support its customers?

Many of our customers are generators, but even if we only had a handful of customers that this affected, we’d still be eager to spread the word because it’s the right thing to do.

As an off-taker, we’re in regular contact with our customers so we feel we can make a big difference to customer awareness on this important topic.

This is especially important in light of the funding our customers can apply for – we wouldn’t want them to miss out.

The first thing we did was write a short explanatory blog. This helped us to have a baseline explanation of the ALoMCP that we could refer customers to.

We’ve also taken part in industry wide collaboration as we make plans and learn more about the programme. SmartestEnergy is part of Northern Powergrid’s ALoMCP quarterly Working Group where we get to hear directly from the installers and the maintenance team that support our customers.

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This also helps us to hear from generators directly and get an update on the latest news about the programme and the funding windows. Last month we presented to other suppliers at a webinar hosted by Energy UK to help encourage them to raise awareness to their customers too.

Where 2020 was all about learning and planning, in 2021 we’ll be doing more to raise awareness to our customers. We’ll be pushing out more ALoMCP awareness content on our social channels, sharing emails and newsletters with customers and reminding them about the scheme in our regular webinars. Critically – this is all about incorporating it into business-as-usual conversations, so the message gets through to customers.

We’ve agreed as a team to support it. That internal agreement was a key first step as the ALoMCP touches marketing, regulatory and technical teams, so we all got on board to agree the best way to support our customers.

What does the funding cover and is it easy to apply?

The funding application process itself is very straightforward via the ALoMCP registration portal, and there are many companies that can help make the changes if neededand there are many companies that can help.

Right now, generators can apply for funding from £1,500 to over £4k per relay depending on the changes needed to be compliant.

Why is raising awareness about this important to SmartestEnergy?

For us it is all about building relationships, sharing knowledge and facilitating the transition to net zero. We’d encourage all suppliers to get involved in the ALoMCP.

You can find more information about ALoMCP on the ENA’s website, or for more information about the regulatory change, please contact your relevant Distribution Network Operator.