The Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) project, worth GBP54m, is currently testing a number of innovative solutions to ensure UK’s electricity networks are fit for the future.

It will also test whether the electricity networks are ready for the mass uptake of low carbon technologies, such as solar PV, heat pumps and electric vehicles.

The UK government has set a target to cut carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint and establish a low carbon economy.

CLNR project communications manager Dr Liz Sidebotham said the CLNR project will prepare UK for the widespread uptake of low carbon technologies by carrying out ground-breaking trials with thousands of customers and testing innovative new technology on the electricity network.

"Within the first stage of the project we’ve been actively studying thousands of residential, commercial and industrial electricity customers to better understand how much electricity people use, when they use it and for what purpose, and whether financial or other incentives can encourage them to shift their usage away from periods of peak demand," Sidebotham added.

The CLNR project is led by Northern Powergrid and its partners British Gas, EA Technology and Durham University.

It will study electricity consumption patterns, customer flexibility and trial new smart grid technology across electricity networks in the North East and Yorkshire regions throughout 2013.