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Electricity bills 'set for £12 cut'

Bills are to be reduced by £12 a year on average after new price controls were agreed by five of the six companies that run Britain's electricity network.

Regulator Ofgem said the cut has been driven by £2.1 billion of savings it has secured from the companies' business plans since last year.

Ofgem's proposals will see the distribution companies spend £17 billion to upgrade and maintain Britain's local electricity network.

At the same time, the distribution part of the energy bill - which accounts for 8% of an annual dual fuel bill - will be on average £12 a year lower than it is today for the eight-year period between April 2015 and 2023.

Last November, Western Power Distribution was the only company to have its prices agreed early after Ofgem judged its business plan for the eight-year period showed sufficient value for consumers.

Ofgem returned five out of the six companies' plans - UK Power Networks, Northern Power Grid, SP Energy Networks, SSE Power Distribution and Electricity North West - because they failed to deliver value for consumers.

Since then, companies have identified £700 million of savings and Ofgem has ruled out a further £1.4 billion following further analysis.

SSE said it was disappointed with a number of elements within the draft determination, including Ofgem's assumptions about the scope of further cost reductions across the industry.

It said it was already one of the most cost-efficient operators in Britain and said it would review Ofgem's assumptions on how it will be able to operate and develop its distribution networks for customers benefit.

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