photo of truss towers

SSEN update June 2021

Dear Villagers,
Attached is a copy of the latest written correspondence from SSEN on 17 May describing future plans for West Challow’s electricity supply.
In our last email to SSEN, we outlined:
  • there was planning permission for 4 new houses in the village
  • 27 new houses had been built in the village since the installation of the existing transformer
  • the likely growth in heat pumps for home heating
  • questions regarding SSEN’s procedures for the requirement for villagers to notify SSEN with possible costs for increasing their electricity demand.
The SSEN response represents a significant change in attitude, both as regards  the urgency of installation of an additional transformer in West Challow and an improvement in the notification and costing approach for increased demand by the householder.  They now say that they will “ only charge customers for increasing their electricity supply if it goes over the capacity that their household has“.
Meantime we have pursued electricity regulator contacts  to check whether the proposed doubling of capacity would be considered a relevant increase in supply for the village.  They said it would be sufficient for the10 year planning period currently used, given the uncertainty in the electricity distribution business.
We have also been trying to get more details from Naomi about time scales for the additional transformer.  Naomi phoned us at the end of May to confirm that the plan was still to have the additional transformer installed before this winter and that the asset management team had approved their costing.  She also said that she was moving within SSEN to a new job and that a new colleague would be in touch with us soon but we are still waiting.
During this long struggle, we are very grateful to villagers for their support and their crucial information which strengthened our arguments.  We will endeavour to get regular updates on SSEN’s  progress to ensure that the lights stay on this Christmas!
Best wishes
Jean & Eoin Lees