London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — January 7, 2013 – Shortly before Christmas Britain’ regulator Ofgem announced that up to £24.2billion would be made available to upgrade the country’s gas and electricity networks.
Of this, £4.5billion will only be made available over the course of the new price control period, which runs from April 1, 2013 to 2021, if companies are able to justify this expenditure. The cost of running and maintaining Britain’s energy networks up to 2021 brings the total package to £38.2billion.
The proposals earmark up to £15.5billion to upgrade the high voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales and high pressure gas transmission network across Britain, both operated by National Grid. This investment will help connect new sources of energy generation and ensure the continued reliable transportation of gas and electricity to homes and businesses. Major projects include the building of a sub-sea link to connect Scotland with England and Wales.
Funding is also included to mitigate the visual impact of new and existing infrastructure. There will be £500million initially available for transmission companies in relation to existing infrastructure in areas of natural beauty. For new infrastructure, approximately £470million will be available to enable under grounding.
The proposals also include £8.7billion to help ensure Britain’s low pressure gas networks, which deliver gas to homes and businesses, remain safe and reliable. There will also be funding to enable the connection of around 80,000 fuel poor households to the gas grid.
“Ofgem’s new and innovative price control delivers a sound regulatory environment that protects consumers by attracting the energy infrastructure investment that Britain needs at a fair price. This provides a framework of strong incentives and penalties to stimulate the innovative and efficient operations of Britain’s energy companies,” commented Ofgem chairman, Lord Mogg.
This increased investment, including the proposals of the Scottish transmission companies and companies’ operating costs, is estimated to add an average £12 to annual household energy bills.