Electricity North West has set out a draft plan to invest almost £2 billion in the region’s power network before 2028.
It is seeking feedback on the plans to increase its investment by 44% to £1.97 billion between 2023 and 2028 as it aims to reduce the number and duration of power cuts by 20%.
In addition, it intends to go even further in protecting the network from storms and floods and continue increasing the capacity of the network so it can accommodate the predicted rise in demand from lower carbon technologies like electric vehicles (EVs) and heating.
It has also committed to provide additional support for vulnerable customers “to ensure nobody is left behind” by the region’s shift to becoming a net zero carbon economy.
Investment in the 57,000km of underground and overhead cables it takes to power the north west is paid for out of energy bills of the region’s 2.4 million homes and businesses.
The network operator said a majority of its customers are willing to pay more for their energy to achieve its proposals.
Peter Emery, Chief Executive of Electricity North West added: “The challenge of delivering stretching environmental ambitions on net zero while keeping bills low and making sure we don’t leave anybody behind is tough.
“Our research has shown that 80% of customers are willing to pay an additional £9.80 to achieve our ambitious proposals – but that means 20% are not. We have worked hard to find a solution through innovation and efficiencies where we can deliver that high level of investment for just £2.14 extra a year on the average household bill.
“The result of that work would be to facilitate a greener, fairer, more prosperous and more connected future for our region – but before we finalise our plan we want to get the views of our customers and stakeholders We would encourage anybody to read through our plan and let us know what they think so we can refine it further.”