Amber Rudd Hails Networks as Unsung Heroes of UK Energy Security

For immediate release - Monday 14 September 2015 

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Amber Rudd has praised the electricity and gas networks as the "unsung heroes" of the nation’s energy security.

Speaking yesterday in Parliament at the Utility Week Lobby, sponsored by Energy Networks Association, Rudd praised the role of the networks in delivering vital energy supplies and innovating towards the smarter networks of the future which will be necessary to meeting the UK’s energy goals.

The Secretary of State described ENA and its members as "the unsung heroes of energy security. We hear a lot about those who produce energy and those who sell energy. But the public only get a sense of how important energy networks are when, for example, extreme weather causes the network to go down in a local area.

You are responsible for critical national infrastructure which keeps our society powered and connected. We should not underestimate how difficult and complex that task is – especially as we enter a new digital age."

Rudd highlighted the remarkable innovation in networks being supported by the Network Innovation Allowance and Competitions, including large scale storage on the electricity distribution network and the injection of green gas into the gas distribution network.

ENA Chairman Basil Scarsella also addressed the Utility Week Lobby, agreeing with the Secretary of State on the need for networks to continue to innovate if the UK is to overcome the energy challenges it faces. He also highlighted the impressive performance of networks since privatisation, saying:

"We’ve seen falling costs, an improvement in reliability, increased investment, increased quality of customer service to 85 per cent customer satisfaction, improved public and employee safety, and a regulatory regime in place which is followed by the major world economies".

Recently appointed Chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee Angus MacNeil MP was able to give audience members insight into his Committee’s upcoming programme of work which will include an inquiry into Low Carbon Network Infrastructure.

The Utility Week Lobby with Energy Networks Association was held as part of a series of utility events and debates which will continue throughout the upcoming Party Conference Season.

ENDS

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