Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Ofgem calls for 10 year, £32bn energy spending programme

Around £32bn must be spent on “rewiring” Britain’s gas and electricity network in the next 10 years, the energy watchdog Ofgem said this week.

Ofgem said investment in pipes and cables would double the figure spent in the last 20 years and was necessary to secure supplies to households while enabling the move to a low carbon economy.

The regulator said Britain’s “ageing networks”, mostly built in the 1950s and 1960s, needed replacing to match increasing demand and a change in how consumers will use energy. It is anticipated that more people will charge electric car batteries overnight, for example.

New sources of generation – including large-scale wind, gas or nuclear plants or small-scale renewables and home-based microgeneration – also require smarter networks, it said.

Ofgem’s call for a step change in investment came as it revealed a new pricing model, dubbed RIIO. The new model will set pricing controls every eight years, rather than the current five-year period. It will offer incentives to efficient companies and clamp down on poor performers.

Readers' comments (1)

  • David Hirst

    The UK has a population of circa 60m, of which the working population is circa 34million. The Office of National Statistics publish the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings ("ASHE"), the 2009 version places the average (median) salary at £489/week, which is £25,428/year.
    This £32billion spend is additional to the transmission charge embedded in consumers electricity bills, and represents nearly 2 weeks average salary, for each of the 10yrs. This is a very significant spend to accomodate smarter networks, and new low load factor generation, and will cause many more electricty user financial difficulties.
    Coupled with other additional costs including the increasing renewable obligation, the future cost to end users will be significantly more expensive than today on these projections. As Engineers - are we doing enough to firstly reduce overall consumption, and secondly to use energy - including electricity, more efficiently?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.