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Electricity Grid Upgrade That Will Push Up Energy Bills

An electricity pylon from below looking up at a dark blue sky
Author: Samuel Beckingham
Updated: Mar 27, 2024
3 minutes read

Governments across the globe have been making decarbonisation targets for many years, and the UK Government has goals to hit by 2035. According to National Grid’s Electricity Systems Operator (ESO), an additional £58 billion of upgrades will need to be met to meet these targets.

What The Report Says

The ESO runs the electricity network across the UK. National Grid currently owns it, but it will transfer to government ownership later in 2024. The report demonstrates preliminary findings that need to pass the necessary planning process before becoming reality.

According to the report, around 4,000 miles of undersea cables and 1,000 miles of power lines (with pylons) are needed. To help pay for this investment, anything between £20–£30 will be added to annual electricity bills.

A previous estimate of £54 billion was published for necessary work required between now and 2030. This £58 billion report is a best guess for future work required between 2030 and 2035.

Work Required

Additional infrastructure is required to help electrify the grid and bring it up to date. This will include cabling from offshore wind farms to help bring it to UK homes. In ESO’s eyes, this would be the largest project of its kind for 70 years.

Despite being able to provide an excess of 20,000 jobs, the preliminary plans have yet to pass the robust planning process. Unfortunately, not many infrastructure plans get through.

The ambitious plan is necessary to help meet decarbonisation targets, providing clean, secure energy. Without the infrastructure, the climate targets of the UK Government are potentially at risk.

“Great Britain is about to embark upon the biggest change to the electricity network since the high voltage transmission grid was established back in the 1950s.”


Upgrading the Grid

New connections and additional grid capacity are necessary as more consumers make the switch to electrifying their homes and vehicles. With more demand for electricity comes the need for capacity upgrades. Also, the renewable mix of energy generation will help shape the future of the grid.

With the need for more undersea cabling comes the need for homes to receive said power. This means either more pylons and cabling above ground or to be hidden and buried underground. While underground cables will remove the “unsightly” remarks, burying them costs four times as much. They would also require more maintenance.

Electrifying Your Home?

Whether you’ve got (or are thinking of getting) an EV or a heat pump, you can help upgrade your home by making use of solar panels. By capturing renewable energy, you can then make use of it to lower your energy bills further. With the help of a solar battery, this can provide even more savings.

Capturing solar energy in a battery allows you to reduce your reliance on the grid. It acts as a reserve that you can tap into when solar panels can’t produce energy, i.e., at night. This avoids being hit by energy fluctuations and changes in the price cap.

Find out how much you’d pay for a solar system by clicking on the button below. You’ll receive tailored quotes for your area.