Britain’s energy watchdog proposes power price controls

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Britain’s energy watchdog has proposed price controls for electricity distribution network companies for the next five years that it said would deliver cheaper and cleaner power at no extra cost to consumers.

The controls, which will run from April 1, 2023, to 2028, require six electricity distribution network companies to focus investment on reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels, regulator Ofgem said in a statement on Wednesday.

Businesses and households across Europe have been stretched by a surge in energy prices that began as the world emerged from COVID-19 lockdowns and then surged in February as a result of the invasion of Ukraine by leading gas exporter Russia.

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“The investment set out today delivers value for consumers, safeguards security of supply and helps ensure Britain is no longer at the mercy of international energy prices or geopolitical events,” Akshay Kaul, Ofgem interim director for Infrastructure and Security of Supply Group, said.

Price controls set the amount of money that can be earned by the companies that operate Britain’s network operators over a period of time.

Ofgem said it has ensured that major investment in the network can be delivered without any increase in charges on bills, which will remain at an average of 100 pounds ($119.74) per year per customer.

SSEN Distribution, part of British power generator and network operator SSE, said on Wednesday that Ofgem has allowed it 3.59 billion pounds of baseline total expenditure for the five-year period.

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