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Energy Networks Association comments on Labour Party's research on dividends

02 April 2019

Press contacts for journalists

Peter Kocen

Senior Press and Public Affairs Manager

+44 (0)7792 220 974

peter.kocen@energynetworks.org

ENA Press Office

press@energynetworks.org

The energy network companies are delivering huge levels of investment that have led to record levels of clean energy, lower costs and fewer power cuts than ever before.

David Smith, Chief Executive of Energy Networks Association, said:

"Ofgem figures show that between 1990 and 2006 the total cost of running the GB electricity and gas networks fell 45% and since 1990 network costs to the billpayer have fallen by 17%. Energy network costs make up around 25% of the average dual-fuel energy bill.

"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.

"Around £100 billion of investment has been delivered by network companies since privatisation. In the last six years alone, network companies have invested over £22bn in gas and electricity grids across the country and provides jobs for 36,000 people.

"Turning the clock back to state-ownership would only cause massive cost and disruption and mean that the British public would miss out on the smarter, cleaner, more efficient energy system that we all agree is needed to keep our lights on, our homes warm and our carbon emissions down.”

Notes to editor

Key facts about Britain’s energy network companies

  • Renewable generation: Figures from BEIS Energy Trends March 2019 show that in 2018, 33.3% of Britain’s total electricity was generated from renewable energy sources – up from 9% in 2011. Between 2016 and 17 alone, electricity generation in the UK from renewable sources increased by almost a fifth (19%).
  • 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 – almost ten times the capacity of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant
  • Customer satisfaction: Regular satisfaction surveys conducted by Ofgem with a range of customers show consistent satisfaction of around 87% 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.

About Energy Networks Association

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the companies which operate the electricity wires, gas pipes and energy system in the UK and Ireland.

ENA helps its members meet the challenge of delivering electricity and gas to communities across the UK and Ireland safely, sustainably and reliably.

Its members include every major electricity and gas network operator in the UK and Ireland, independent operators, National Grid ESO which operates the electricity system in Great Britain and National Grid Gas which operates the gas system in Great Britain. Its affiliate membership also includes companies with an interest in energy, including Heathrow Airport and Network Rail.

What are energy network operators?

Energy network operators manage and maintain the wires, pipes and other infrastructure which delivers electricity and gas to your home, business and community. They are private companies which are regulated by Ofgem and employ around 45,000 people in the UK and Ireland. They are represented by their industry body, Energy Networks Association (that's us).

Press contacts for journalists

Peter Kocen

Senior Press and Public Affairs Manager

+44 (0)7792 220 974

peter.kocen@energynetworks.org

ENA Press Office

press@energynetworks.org