Energy networks comment on Ofgem price control announcement

Responding to the latest announcement from Ofgem on the RIIO-2 price control for energy network companies in Great Britain, David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, says:

“These proposals, if implemented, will have damaging impacts on the energy networks’ ability to deliver the government’s plans for clean growth and the wider economy, undermining efforts to build a smarter, more efficient energy system for the public. Costs are down, power cuts are at record lows and the amount of renewable energy connected to the grid is at an all-time high. Ofgem needs to build on this track record.

“The approach needs to evolve in response to experience and the lessons learnt under the RIIO-1 price control. Central to this is ensuring that Britain’s energy networks are able to continue to attract significant levels of investment over the next decade and beyond, at lowest cost to the consumer.”

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 Notes to editors

  • Energy Networks Association represents the companies that are responsible for operating the ‘wires and pipes’ of Britain’s gas and electricity network infrastructure, serving over 30 million customers across the country.
  • Energy network companies in Great Britain are regulated under the RIIO price control system. The RIIO-2 price control will follow on directly from the RIIO-1 price control. It will begin in 2021 for gas distribution networks and electricity and gas transmission networks, and in 2023 for electricity distribution networks.
  • The Ofgem RIIO-2 Sector Specific Methodology Decision, which sets the framework for decisions made by the regulator under the RIIO-2 price control, will be available on the Ofgem website from 0700 on Friday 24th May.
  • Key facts about Britain’s energy network companies:
    • Local electricity generation: Over 30GW of largely renewable electricity generation is now connected to Britain’s local electricity grids, generating a quarter of Britain’s electricity.
    • Customer satisfaction: Regular satisfaction surveys conducted by Ofgem with a range of customers show consistent satisfaction of more than 80% in the services provided by network companies, putting networks above any energy supply company, higher than many high-street retailers and amongst the very best performers in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index.
    • Value for money: Network companies are responsible for operating and maintaining 1 million km of electricity cables and 272,000km of gas pipelines across the UK at a cost of around 35p per day.
    • Vulnerable customers: Distribution networks now provide extra support and care to over six million vulnerable customers on their Priority Services Registers. So far in RIIO-GD1, gas distribution networks have helped 64,100 households with their fuel bills under the Fuel Poor Extension Scheme
    • Safety: Safety has improved considerably since privatisation. Total Recordable Incident Rate for electricity network staff shows a tenfold improvement since 1990.
    • Reliability: An average customer would have a power cut less than every two years which will last for 35 minutes. Gas network customers experience an unplanned interruption to their supply once every 140 years.
    • Jobs: Directly employing 36,000 people, the energy networks have a vital role in supporting UK plc.
  • For more information, please contact:
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    Ed Gill

    UK & European Head of Press and Public Affairs

    Energy Networks Association

    T: +44 (0) 20 7706 5157

    M: +44 (0) 7725 372 758                                       

    W: www.energynetworks.org