Ofgem consults on requests by networks for adjustments to funding

Press release
  • Ofgem will allow network companies to recover an additional £90 million including funding to tackle cyber and physical security threats
  • Ofgem proposes to refuse National Grid’s requests to recover around £263 million from consumers for replacing a pipeline and maintaining gas compressors
  • Ofgem proposes to allow National Grid around £116 million for undergrounding existing electricity cables in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Dorset.

Ofgem is consulting on requests by several energy network companies for adjustments in funding under the price controls it sets.

Network companies can apply for additional allowances to cover any extra costs for the current price controls which had not been forecast when they were set.* 

The regulator has set out its initial views on these requests and final decisions will be made in September.

Ofgem is consulting on requests to allow National Grid, Wales and West Utilities and Cadent to pass on an additional £144 million of costs for improving resilience to physical and cyber security threats, managing street works, and compensating landowners for work on gas pipelines. Ofgem has reduced the additional amount it intends to allow to £90 million.

National Grid have also requested additional funding to pass on around £263 million of costs to consumers for replacing a gas pipeline across the Humber estuary, and maintaining gas compressors.

Ofgem’s initial view is that National Grid has not demonstrated that replacing the pipeline across the Humber estuary would be in the best interests of consumers. Ofgem is therefore not persuaded that it should allow National Grid’s request to pass the £140 million replacement cost on to them.

National Grid uses gas compressors to send gas through the national gas pipeline system. Ofgem plans to reject the vast majority of the company’s request to pass on £123 million costs that it claims are needed to ensure that nine compressor sites comply with the European Industrial Emissions Directive.**  

Ofgem believes some of the works are already funded by the price control and that in other areas the investment National Grid wants to make does not relate to ensuring the compressors are compliant with the Directive.

Separately, Ofgem is consulting on National Grid’s proposal to spend around £118 million to place almost 9km of electricity cables underground in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Ofgem allows electricity network companies to make the necessary investment to reduce the visual impact of existing power lines if it is in the interests of consumers. 

Ofgem considers that the cost could be cut by over £2 million as National Grid has not justified some of the expenditure. Ofgem will make a final decision on the costs it will allow National Grid to recover this autumn. The work could then be completed April 2022.


1.  *Ofgem sets four price controls (for gas transmission, electricity transmission, gas distribution and electricity distribution). Both the transmission and gas distribution price controls run from 2013 to 2021. The electricity distribution price controls run from 2015 to 2023. National Grid Gas Transmission owns the high pressure gas mains in Great Britain. National Grid Electricity Transmission owns the high voltage electricity grid in England and Wales. Cadent, and Wales and West Utilities are owners of some of Britain’s eight gas distribution networks. More information about the price controls and energy networks. The pipeline National Grid Gas wants to replace runs across the Humber Estuary, taking gas linking the Easington gas terminal with the national high pressure gas system.

2 ** The Industrial Emissions Directive is European legislation which sets limits on emissions on gas compressors. National Grid Gas must undertake works to ensure its fleet of compressors are compliant with the requirements. In some cases National Grid has not yet decided on the best solution for ensuring that its compressors comply with the Directive. Ofgem wants to wait until this is clearer, before looking again at National Grid’s request. This is most likely to be in the next gas transmission price control from 2021. 

Further information

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