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

02 April 2019

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 us

Energy Networks Association (ENA) is the industry body representing the energy networks. Our members include every major electricity network operator in the UK. The electricity networks are at the heart of the energy transition. They directly employ more than 26,000 people in the UK, including 1,500 apprentices. They are spending and investing £33bn in our electricity grids over the coming years, to ensure safe, reliable and secure energy supplies for the millions of homes and businesses reliant on power every day.

Press contacts

You can contact ENA's press office by emailing For urgent or out-of-hours enquiries from journalists, please call 0204 599 7691.