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29/05/13: Network operator switched on to investment

Electricity North West, the region’s power network operator, invested more than ever in maintaining and improving power supplies over the past year, the company’s annual accounts reveal today. Electricity North West van

Spend on key operational assets – the equipment that makes up the physical network to transport power – rose 14% from £185.7m in 2011/12 to £211.3m in 2012/13.

Profit for the year also rose under allowed revenues from the government regulator, Ofgem (the Office for Gas and Electricity Markets), which permits increases to fund further investment in the network.

Chief executive, Steve Johnson, said: “We’re now three years into a five-year £1.4bn investment programme for the North West and have just seen the biggest direct investment ever in the region’s network. Our role is to keep the lights on, and as everyone uses more electricity, we’ve got to make sure that the network has the capacity to meet demand.

“Our investment plan for the network spans tens of years, so although our profit may rise or fall from one year to the next, the overall impact is a steady increase which allows for reinvestment in the network over a much longer period.

“We’re also investing heavily in innovation to continue to meet customer demand while keeping costs down. And we’re investing in our engineers of the future too, with a new £2m training academy that began construction in March.”

Electricity North West is due to submit its investment plans for 2015 to 2023 to Ofgem in July following two years of planning and engagement with stakeholders.

For more information or to have your say on the plans, go to www.enwl.co.uk/switchedon.

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