The four companies which run the networks are expected to invest more than £4 billion ($7.28 billion) over the period, a level required to connect more renewable energy systems and new gas import projects including pipelines and terminals.

The proposals come as part of Ofgem’s review of prices the four transmission companies – National Grid (Electricity and Gas), Scottish Power Transmission and Scottish Hydro-Electric Transmission – are allowed to charge users of their networks between 2007 and 2012 and may almost double investment in the networks over previous five-year price controls. The consultation process for the price control review will be completed at the end of this year, following the publication of Ofgem’s final proposals in December. The finalised controls will then take effect from April 2007.