GDNs get £17m funding to boost fuel-poor connections


The gas distribution networks (GDNs) will be given an additional £17.6 million expenditure allowance to deliver 18 per cent more fuel-poor connections during the current price control.

Ofgem said it will allow the companies the additional expenditure, but as the scheme is self-financing, insisted this will have a neutral impact on wider customer bills.

GDNs will now connect more than 90,000 fuel-poor customers to the gas grid by 2021 during RIIO-GD1, the regulator said.

The changes to the fuel-poor network extension scheme follow a 13-month review by the regulator, which included a request that the GDNs resubmit their business plans for fuel-poor, and identify ways of increasing the number of households that could be connected.

The scheme helps fuel poor and vulnerable households to switch to natural gas by helping towards the cost of connecting to the gas network, where this is the best solution for the eligible household.

The companies collectively identified 13,753 eligible households on top of the 77,450 target connections identified in their original business plans at the outset of the current price control.

Ofgem senior partner Maxine Frerk said the regulator wants network companies to continue to work more closely with suppliers and fuel poverty groups on improvements works, such as new boilers, radiators and internal pipework, to “ensure consumers get the full benefit from the new connections provided by the scheme”.


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BDC 318 : Jul 2024