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Energy Supply

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to ensure timely replacement of ageing (a) electricity and (b) gas transmission and distribution infrastructure; and if he will make a statement. (242478)

It is the responsibility of National Grid and the gas and electricity distribution network companies to maintain electricity and gas transmission infrastructure, operating under the regulatory framework provided by Government and regulated by Ofgem. Operators face financial incentives, managed by Ofgem, to reduce interruptions to supply over their network, thereby providing a strong incentive to upgrade networks as necessary. Recent price control reviews have taken account of the need for additional investment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the cost of replacing ageing (a) electricity and (b) gas transmission and distribution infrastructure in each of the next 10 years. (242851)

The Government do not provide estimates of the cost of replacing electricity and gas transmission and distribution infrastructure. This is a matter for the network owners. The amount of investment in the development and maintenance of electricity and gas networks, however, is the subject of regulation by Ofgem, operating within the regulatory framework set out by Government. Ofgem regulates this investment through its price control reviews.