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Ofgem announces £17bn investment package

Ofgem has set out investment plans for five of the six companies that run Britain’s local electricity networks.

It will see the companies spend around £17bn to renew and maintain the network and connect more small-scale renewable generation.

Together with Western Power Distribution, which had its price controls agreed early, the total spend on Britain’s local electricity network over the next eight years will be £24bn.

Ofgem has set targets for all companies to continue improving reliability, speed up new connections to the network and increase their work with vulnerable consumers.

In addition, from the start price controls in April 2015, payments for customers who experience prolonged power cuts will increase - more than doubling from £27 to £70 for those without power during severe weather.

Ofgem expects companies to realise around £900m of benefits to consumers over the period as a result of its Low Carbon Network Fund, which runs until 2015.

Chief executive Dermot Nolan said: “Today’s plans represent good value for consumers. There will be significant investment in Britain’s electricity network and reduced pressure on bills. Ofgem expects network companies to step up and take a more visible and active role in helping customers, particularly the most vulnerable.”

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