SSE’s plan is good news for beleaguered consumers

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Electricity bills going down? It seems too good to be true, doesn’t it?

After years of rising energy costs, we’ve become resigned to being hit harder and harder in the wallet by the utility companies.

Meanwhile we mutter darkly about fat cats enjoying vast profits at our expense as we try to juggle household budgets.

In the end though, we are forced to accept that we simply have no choice but to take the pain and pay up.

But today we report how families in the Portsmouth area could actually see their bills being cut by 10 per cent from 2015.

And no, it’s not April 1...

It’s all because SSE’s power distribution business says it’s going to invest £486m each year in new technology that will reduce the number of power cuts and the people affected.

It sounds like a win-win situation.

Fewer people having to endure the problems that a power cut brings and everybody benefiting from lower electricity charges (16 per cent of which is to pay for distribution) which will be introduced as a result.

SSE says it will be able to look at cutting bills because fines it has to pay to industry regulator Ofgem whenever there is an outage will be reduced.

This could be by as much as 90 per cent thanks to the introduction of new technology.

The firm’s Cosham depot would play a central role, pinpointing where a fault has occurred and using circuit breakers placed along the electricity supply to minimise disruption.

Rather than having to wait for an engineer, power could be restored quickly by a system of re-routing.

Instead of a main breaker tripping and affecting 1,500-1,800 homes, within a few seconds this number could be cut to just 100-150 homes.

But nothing will happen without the say-so of Ofgem.

SSE has presented it with a 12-point plan for the future and now awaits a response.

We urge Ofgem to approve SSE’s plan – and finally give some good news to beleaguered consumers.