UK’s new homes ‘must use modernised electrical supplies’

The Renewable Energy Association and Western Power Distribution say this would enable more clean technologies to be adopted

New homes should be required to use modernised power supplies, rather than pre-WWII ‘single phase’ electrical standards.

That’s according to the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and Western Power Distribution, which say fitting new houses with a ‘three phase’ electricity supply should become standard practice for network operators and the construction industry.

They believe doing so will facilitate greater adoption of innovative, low carbon technologies such as domestic electric vehicle (EV) charging, the deployment of solar panels and renewable heat generation.

The current model in the UK is for housebuilders and network operators to run three phases within the mains cables down a street but to only connect each house to one of the phases.

This is largely because regulations push Distribution Network Operators to install the cheapest available solutions, stopping them from installing marginally higher cost three-phase connections.

A three phase system allows loads from different appliances, from washing machines and lights to sporty EVs and fast chargers, to be split across the phases – the organisations say as more technologies are added to homes, the more phases the better.

Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, CEO of the REA, said: “If we are serious about delivering on our ambitions to reduce energy bills, meet our carbon targets and deliver on our Industrial Strategy aims, we should ensure that they have adequate electrical connections.

“Three phase power supplies in new homes can facilitate a more rapid deployment of renewable heat systems, greater uptake in rooftop solar photovoltaics and greater choice in charging your EV.”

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