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Eight year plan to keep electricity delivery reliable, affordable and innovative

UK Power Networks has today published plans which aim to maintain the lowest average electricity delivery prices in Britain (2015-2023), whilst further improving the reliability of power supplies.

From Press releases - 31 March 2014 12:00 AM

UK Power Networks has today published plans which aim to maintain the lowest average electricity delivery prices in Britain (2015-2023), whilst further improving the reliability of power supplies.

The company which distributes electricity to 8.1million customers across London, the South East and East Anglia is proposing to cut the average cost of electricity distribution by 9.3% in real terms in April 2015 and invest £6.6billion in its networks over the eight years to 2023.

Electricity customers pay their bills to supply companies and about 16 per cent of that bill comes to UK Power Networks to get electricity to the doorstep. The industry regulator, Ofgem, sets how much electricity distributors can invest in their networks over eight year periods.

This plan represents a significant increase in investment, but with reduced operating costs from efficiency savings.

Chief executive, Basil Scarsella, said: “In today’s tough economic climate, demands on customers are increasing and we are very conscious that whilst electricity distribution costs represent only approximately 16 per cent of the electricity bill, UK Power Networks has a key part to play in making electricity affordable. Therefore, I am pleased that our final business plan aims to maintain UK Power Networks’ average prices at the lowest of the network groups in Great Britain.”

The plan pledges to reduce the number and length of power cuts, improving on a 99.99% reliability record and maintain London’s position at the lowest level of power cuts in Britain.

Customer service will be improved with measures which include a £50million project, fully-funded by shareholders, to upgrade the company’s systems and processes.

Seventy-eight substations will be protected from the risk of flooding under the proposals. And there are plans to underground 80km of high voltage overhead power lines in the South East, plus a further 96km in East Anglia, to enhance nationally-protected landscapes.

New innovations have enabled the company to pledge £141million of smart grid savings over the eight year plan and these savings can be directly passed on to customers.

The plan has taken three years to develop and is the result of the most extensive public consultation the company has ever undertaken. It has included hundreds of interviews with customers, online consultation, expert review panels and seminars.

UK Power Networks encourages customers to view the plan in full on its website http://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/internet/en/have-your-say/business-plan/

Industry regulator, Ofgem, will publish its initial response to the five companies’ business plans in July and announce the final determinations in November.