What do roadworks and smart tech have in common? | Guernsey Electricity

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What do roadworks and smart tech have in common?

Roadworks can be really frustrating. But they’re a lifeline to our Digital Age here in Guernsey, and all part of the connection to a brighter, smarter future.

Have you ever felt personally affronted by seemingly never-ending roadworks recently? You’re unlikely to be alone. But without some roadworks, power outages would be more common. Plus, flickering lights, no electric heating, and no electric vehicle charging would become the norm. 

Did you know? Using your Super Economy 12 low-rate electricity times could help reduce emergency roadworks.

A network built for the 20th century

We developed much of our subterranean electricity grid during the 20th century.

For decades, our electricity cables have been working silently beneath our feet 24/7, but some are struggling with the rapid pace of technology. From the first cables laid in the 1900s, to the more major developments around the 1960s, change has always been the only constant.

And we’ve now reached another point in history where we need to upgrade Guernsey’s grid on a major scale once again.

This time to supply the needs of our Digital Era.

Cabling in St Peter Port's High Street in 1933 

The issue with technology

The trouble is that much of our network was developed half a century ago. Our community has modernised a lot since then, and any grid repair or upgrade means our team needs to get below ground. Although a lot of modern tech is thankfully geared towards energy efficiency, there’s still a huge amount of it around to power.

Take central heating for example. A 24kW boiler in one home today could have supplied several homes back in the 1950s.

And with more and more islanders installing big-ticket electricals such as electric heating, electric vehicle chargers, hot tubs and electric showers, we must support a much higher demand for electricity across our network. Almost everything we do today needs an electricity supply. But the capacity we can supply isn’t limitless, and it’s something we’ll be working on for years to help keep modern technology flowing.

Delivering the energy transition

Following States of Guernsey approval in 2023 to begin implementing the Electricity Strategy, our team is working hard to provide islanders with a reliable, uninterrupted electricity supply to see us far into the future.

See our roadworks plan

This means you’ll see us developing the grid’s infrastructure and upgrading the electricity network to meet the technological demands of the 21st century frequently, over the next few years. We’ve already made a start with upgrading substations with monitoring so we can squeeze more out of the existing cabling under the roads without causing more disruption.

You’ll see these upgrades happening wherever you see Guernsey Electricity signage around roadworks or site development.

Roadworks in Prince Albert Road May 2024

How you can help

Take advantage of the cheaper electricity available on your Super Economy 12 tariff

This helps spread out electricity demand, which in turn also reduces the chance of emergency road works.

By using smart technology in your home like WiFi-connected washing machines and dishwashers, and smart thermostats on your heating, you can take the best advantage of the evening cheap rates too. 

From the first cables laid in the early 1900s, to major upgrades in places such as Doyle Road and St Peter Port’s town high street, we’re here to provide today’s modern technology with the power it needs to help us enjoy our 21st century lifestyles.

Plus, moving as much electricity usage to between 11pm and 5am will significantly reduce your impact. 

Find out more about 11 to 5 

Stay in the know.

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