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Britain's power network gets £17b investment jolt

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Men run past an electricity pylon in Nottingham, central England, Sep 10, 2014. Electricity suppliers in Britain are to invest £17 billion (S$34.7 billion) over eight years to renew and maintain the network, the regulator said on Friday.

[LONDON] Electricity suppliers in Britain are to invest £17 billion (S$34.7 billion) over eight years to renew and maintain the network, the regulator said on Friday.

The decision, which covers five of the "big six" firms which run Britain's local electricity network, will also see them connect up to small-scale renewable power generation, such as solar panels.

Along with the sixth distributor, which had already put measures in place, the total spent on Britain's local electricity network over the next eight years will be £24 billion.

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

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Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) said the electricity distribution part of customers' bills would fall by an average of £11 over the next eight years.

The compensation paid to customers in the event of a power failure will also be increased.

"Today's plans represent good value for consumers. There will be significant investment in Britain's electricity network, and reduced pressure on bills," Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan said.

AFP

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