Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Utility Regulator's row with NIE down to the wire

For rural dwellers, the occasional blackout during the winter months is something many have become accustomed to. But if NIE, the company which looks after the pylons and wire that takes the electricity to your home or business, isn't allowed to replace much of the 40-year old cable currently in place there will be many more frequent blackouts in future. That, in simple terms, is because 40-year old wire breaks more easily than new, heavier duty cable which is now the norm.

That's the crux of the disagreement between NIE and the Utility Regulator, which wants the company to keep costs to consumers down rather than spend money on new cable.

Which side of the argument you're on will depend on whether you favour reliability or price in your electricity supply.

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