The energy watchdog Ofgem waded into the controversy around household energy bills today by forcing Britain’s local electricity network operators to do more to lower costs for consumers.
The regulator announced it has rejected the business plans of five of the six electricity distributors and told them they should be able to do “more for less… most companies could go further in cutting their costs”.
The operators take power from National Grid’s “motorway” network of high-voltage pylons across the country and deliver it to households through their local “A-road” network. In total, local and national distribution charges make up about 19 per cent of the average electricity bill.
Western Power Distribution, which serves 8 million customers in south Wales, the Midlands and the South-west, was the only operator whose plan for the period from April 2015 to March 2023 was approved.
This includes about £7bn of expenditure, of which £3bn is for investment in its network and should see household energy bills fall on average by £11.30.
The other five companies are due to resubmit their plans in March.