Important information: Potential delay to your meter installation

Between 19 May and 6 June, it may take longer than usual to arrange the meter installation with your gas supplier. This is because of an Ofgem initiative to replace the IT systems used across the UK gas market. It involves all gas suppliers and will ultimately make it easier for you to switch supplier and/or get a smart meter. You can find more information about Project Nexus on Ofgem’s website.

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New report highlights the contribution of utility companies to the northern region

Northern Gas Networks, Northern Powergrid, Yorkshire Water and Northumbrian Water, which together make up Infrastructure North, will launch a new report on Monday which shows they are driving forward economic regeneration through £2 billion worth of investment per year.

Over 50 MPs from the Northern region are expected to attend the launch of the report at the House of Commons on Monday 14  December.

The independent report undertaken by Edge Analytics shows that for every £1 the four companies invest, a ripple effect of 87p additional spend in the region is created. This means that over the next five years, they’ll generate additional investment of £10 billion in the north.

On reading the report, James Wharton MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, commented: “I’m very pleased to see collaboration – the key lifeblood of the Northern Powerhouse – between these companies to align plans for growth and invest in long-term solutions. I’d welcome further collaboration with other companies across the north to extend this good work.

“I commend these companies for the way they are helping to sustain economic growth in the north, and improve the health and wellbeing of their regions. I am sure you will read the report with great interest.”

Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water Chief Executive, comments: “As four of the biggest utilities in England, we’re really proud of this report which shows that we don’t just provide a service to our customers; we also pump billions of pounds into the local economy.

“Although we are beginning to see signs of economic growth, we understand that affordability is still a big issue for our customers. We are committed to keeping costs down for our customers and bills will be reduced in real terms over the next five years. A joint approach means we are also best placed to offer additional support to the more vulnerable members of our society.”

Tom Fielden, Finance Director of Northern Powergrid said: Since our last report two years ago, our four companies have made a significant economic impact.  There are now 40% more businesses in our supply chains with 33% more within the north.  1,000 more jobs have been created and our commitment to our communities has strengthened further, with 30,000 volunteering hours over the last year, 49,000 children reached through educational visits and 1m visitors to recreation sites.

“We are investing £2.16bn each year in the region to ensure customers continue to receive a high quality and reliable service. This investment is a key part of developing the northern economy as part of the Northern Powerhouse to rebalance growth across the regions in the UK.” 

Although each company in the partnership plays a different role, they all face the same future challenges. With the population set to increase by 770,000 people over the next 25 years, the partnership is securing a sustainable future by looking after the environment now and in the future; balancing the challenges of population growth, climate change and affordability and keeping the customer at the heart of everything they do.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick upon Tweed comments: “As England’s most northerly MP it is my pleasure to sponsor an event which celebrates the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.  The launch of Infrastructure North’s new report on the economic impact of the regions water, gas, and electricity companies, Northumbrian Water, Yorkshire Water, Northern Gas Networks and Northern Powergrid.  

“We have an expectation that when we turn on our taps that water will come out, turn the central heating on and our homes will become warm or flick a switch that the lights will come on, and rightly so.  But as we will hear it is time we as leaders be more mindful of how we can work with those who supply our energy and water to make sure our investments get the best outcomes for our communities.  Clearly together we can make our region even stronger.”

Follow the launch live on Twitter using the hashtag #infranorth