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Ofgem Blames Gridcos For Price Rises

The Daily Telegraph

As energy prices are driven up, a scapegoat is required

Last year, Ofgem said it was “pleased” with the progress that networks were making, but what a difference a year can make. Since then, energy bills have returned to the political stage. Networks account for 23pc of the average energy bill, so Ofgem is under pressure to prove it can keep a grip on costs.

“These companies are becoming much more customer-centric, particularly those which are facing a lot of connection requests in their areas,” says [Duncan Sinclair, a partner at Baringa, the independent business and technology consultancy]. “They have been caught out by the speed of change.”

If Ofgem has its way, Britain’s largest network company will take the brunt of the pain over its customers’ service complaints. UK Power Networks owns lines across London, the South East and East of England, to deliver 27pc of the UK’s electricity to 8m homes. It stands to lose £4.62m as Ofgem’s worst offender.

Matt Rudling, UKPN’s director of customer services, broke ranks to hit out at the regulatory slap-down, telling a respected industry magazine that Ofgem’s threat was “unjustified”. “The feedback we get is that we are doing a really good job for those customers with significant improvements over the years. I don’t think it is justified,” he told Utility Week.

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