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Energy bills up £11 a year to pay for network upgrades

Household energy bills could rise £7 this year and £15 by 2021 to help pay for upgrades to the UK's gas and high voltage electricity networks, says energy regulator Ofgem.

About £15bn of the proposed £22bn investment will go towards the upgrade and renewal of the high voltage electricity network in England and Wales and the UK's gas networks.

Bills will increase by £11 on average each year for the next eight years.

But the work could create 7,000 jobs.

The upgrades, implemented by National Grid which runs the networks, could include new sub-sea electricity cables linking England and Wales with Scotland.

Approximately £7bn will be spent on ensuring the low pressure gas networks, which deliver gas to home to businesses, are reliable and safe, says the regulator.

The proposals would also enable the gas distribution companies to connect around 80,000 "poor fuel households" to the gas network and pay for carbon monoxide awareness programmes.

Ofgem chairman, Lord Mogg said: "As Ofgem's Project Discovery set out, Britain faces an unprecedented need to invest to replace ageing infrastructure, meet environmental targets and deliver secure supplies.

"This needs to be carried out at a time of global financial uncertainty, which makes attracting investment difficult but possible."

Ofgem's proposals will be published for consultation this month with final proposals due by December 2012.

 

Source BBC -http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16979484