The growing demands of connecting people and businesses digitally is having an impact on electricity that according to a report from the Financial Times, public housing developments in Ealing and two other west London boroughs may have to be delayed due to lack of electricity to build and power those homes.
In a series of letters sent by the Great London Authority (GLA) to housing developers, it said that three west London borough, Ealing, Hillingdon and Hounslow may have issues with having “sufficient electrical capacity for a new connection” until 2035 due to demands on the electricity grid in west London.
“Data centers use large quantities of electricity, the equivalent of towns or small cities, to power servers and ensure resilience in service, the GLA said.
An Ealing Council spokesperson told housing professionals website Inside Housing: “We are deeply concerned by this news and we are currently reviewing how the recently announced electricity capacity constraints will impact our substantial housing development programme. In the middle of an affordable housing crisis in Ealing and across London, it is vital that we are able to continue building new and genuinely affordable homes to let.”
Neighbouring borough Hillingdon issued an official statement.
Councillor Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s cabinet member for Residents’ Services, said: “This is a somewhat scaremongering story which has blown the reality of the situation out of proportion. We’re not aware of any housing schemes planned for the borough being affected. There is also evidence that power capacity has been reserved for developments that may never take place and this latent capacity should be made available to schemes that will be delivered.”
Councillor Lavery added: “We understand the GLA is working hard to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, in the meanwhile we have every confidence we’ll be delivering on our housing promises.”