Offer considers dividend controls

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The Independent Online
Offer, the electricity watchdog, will consider changes including controls on dividends as part of its review of electricty distribution prices, due for completion next month. But the regulator also suggested that the current method of price control - linking changes in bills to inflation - is likely to prove more effective in the long term.

Professor Stephen Littlechild, director general of Offer, told the House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee that he would also take into account issues such as Seeboard's recently announced pounds 30m annual package of benefits for customers and shareholders . He had been surprised at the ability of the regional electricity companies to cut costs..