National Grid in energy bill spat with regulator

NATIONAL Grid hit out at Ofgem over its plans to curb the cost of fuel bills yesterday, with the regulator’s initial £22bn proposals for upgrading Britain’s networks falling short of expectations.

Ofgem will allow bills to rise by on average £11 a year for the next eight years, with a £7 increase next year rising to £15 in 2021.

National Grid, which had been pushing for an increase of up to £20 a year to fund an investment of over £30bn, said yesterday it was clear that Ofgem’s plans “differ substantially” from its own in “several important areas”.

National Grid will spend £15bn on upgrading electricity networks and high pressure gas networks in England and Wales, including attaching new offshore wind farms to the energy grid, and £7bn on gas lines for homes and businesses.

Ofgem’s chairman Lord Mogg said Britain has “an unprecedented need” to replace ageing infrastructure and meet environmental targets.

Ofgem’s final proposals are due to be published at the end of the year.