Pioneering thermal efficiency measures for electricity networks

Pioneering thermal efficiency measures for electricity networks

Frontier Economics is working with National Grid Electricity Distribution to explore the impact of thermal energy efficiency on network loads. Our approach has not been trialled before and if successful, will lead to significant positive outcomes for both consumers and the DNOs.

Project PIONEER (Proportional Investment of Networks in Energy Efficiency Retrofit) aims to develop commercial models by which the DNOs can provide funding for thermal energy efficiency measures and to demonstrate through pre and post retrofit monitoring the impact these measures have on network loads. These types of scheme could help reduce the need for costly network reinforcement, saving consumers money, and helping them obtain other benefits such as lower bills.

This project is funded by energy network users and consumers through the Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). Ofgem, the UK’s independent energy regulator, is working with Innovate UK to deliver the SIF. The purpose of the SIF is to support network innovation that will contribute to achieving Net Zero rapidly and at lowest cost; deliver real net benefits to network companies, energy users and consumers; and help the UK to become a ‘Silicon Valley’ of energy. PIONEER has received initial ‘discovery’ funding to explore its potential.

This project is being delivered in partnership with the Carbon Trust, the West of England Combined Authority, Devon County Council, and the South West Net Zero Hub. It will build on the findings of project DEFENDER, where Frontier assessed how energy efficiency investments can be integrated into DNO decision-making as an alternative to traditional reinforcement. A closedown event for project DEFENDER will be held on 8th June where Frontier, National Grid and our project partners will present the findings from this work. If you would like to be on the mailing list for the invitation for this event, please contact

We are thrilled to be working on this ground-breaking project and look forward to exploring the possibility of delivering better outcomes for consumers and the DNOs.

For more information please contact or call +44 (0) 20 7031 7000.