ENA comment on National Audit Office report

Commenting on the report published today by the National Audit Office on the performance of the electricity networks in Great Britain, an ENA Spokesperson says:

“As this report acknowledges, the public currently benefit from a world class electricity grid which is a result of significant amounts of investment being made by network companies. Network costs are down almost a fifth, power cuts are shorter and less frequent than they ever have been, and the UK has become a superpower of renewable energy.

“We want to ensure the next price control period provides the right balance between creating value for money and an environment which supports the investment and innovation required to deliver cleaner, greener energy supplies to homes and businesses. We will continue to work with the regulator which decides the business plans for network companies.”

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.
  • Key facts about Britain’s energy network companies:
    • Renewable electricity: Britain’s local electricity grids have connected the equivalent of ten Hinkley Point C power plants in the last ten years – over 30GW in total (BEIS)
    • 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. The average cost of delivering energy is just 67p each day – less than the amount the average Briton spends each day on coffee (Ofgem & The Independent)
    • Investment: The equivalent of nearly £4,000 has been invested for every household in GB grid infrastructure in the country since privatisation in 1990 - £100bn in total (Ofgem). The equivalent of another £1,600 is being invested for every household right now, under the current price control (2013-23) - £45bn in total (Ofgem)
    • 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.
    • 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.