Northern Ireland’s electricity network to get £3bn upgrade

NIE Networks is to invest over £3bn in Northern Ireland’s electricity network over the next 10 years in order to facilitate climate change targets.

It also plans to create more than 1,000 jobs between now and 2032 in an attempt to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

NIE Networks said the investment would help its 910,000 customers connect to low-carbon technologies like electric cars, solar panels and heat pumps.

But it will mean an additional cost to customers of about £10 to £20 a year.

NIE Networks owns the network of lines, poles and substations that takes electricity from power stations to homes and businesses.

It does not generate electricity, nor does it sell power to consumers.

‘Invest now to avoid higher costs’

Its managing director Derek Hynes said a “significant step change” was needed in the level of investment to “facilitate the scale of decarbonisation” required as a result of new climate change law.

“We believe that we will need to create 1,000 new jobs, including 400 apprenticeships in NIE Networks and up to 500 new jobs in our contractors and support partners, between now and 2030,” he said.

Mr Hynes added that it was important to be “transparent with our customers” about an increase in network charges of about £10 to £20 per year, but that it was “critical we invest now to avoid higher costs in the future”.

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