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08/04/2011: How will you use electricity in 2050?

The North West’s electricity network operator is asking residents and businesses for their views on the future of energy in the region...

This week is EU Sustainable Energy Week, and Electricity North West is taking part by launching a new plan for the North West for the next 40 years.

Launching the plan, Paul Bircham, Customer Strategy and Regulation Director for Electricity North West, said: "This is a really exciting time for us, and our customers, because the way that we use electricity is changing dramatically.

"Everyone has heard about low-carbon and carbon footprints, but what exactly does it mean for our area?” asks Paul.

"Generally it will mean using more electricity from renewable sources, with smaller-scale power generation using wind and solar energy. It also means using electric cars instead of petrol or diesel, and electric heating instead of gas – and our network needs to be able to cope with that.

 "We’re totally focused on the North west, so we want to work with local people to make sure that our network meets their specific needs.”

Electricity North West owns and maintains 13,000km of overhead lines and 43,000km of underground cables across the North West, delivering electricity to 2.4 million homes and businesses.

The company’s new plan sets out what the local electricity picture might be like in 2050, and they want to hear from residents and businesses.

"Electric cars have been on the radar for some time but we’re really only just starting to see them on the streets. As more of us take up new technology, the amount of electricity that people use and the way that we deliver that power to customers will change,” said Paul.

"We need to continue investing in the region and thinking about the wider picture. Our Strategic Direction Statement asks a range of questions that everyone will have an opinion on – we’re very keen to get our customers views.”

The distribution company is investing £1 billion over the next four years to maintain the current network to continue to provide a reliable service to customers.

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