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Price curb may lead to power cuts, MPs warn

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MPs have warned that power cuts could become increasingly common because electricity companies are being forced to curb their prices. Providers have been told by Ofgem to cut spending on day-to-day operations by an average of £21m a year.

But firms may slash costs by cutting investment in staff and maintenance, which will hit supply, warns the House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee. Customers would accept a modest hike in the price of power, the committee said.

“We recognise that customers are unhappy about recent increases in electricity bills, which stemmed from rises in generating costs, but we are aware that in several recent major incidents, power cuts were caused either directly or in a contributory way by maintenance problems,” said the committee’s report.

“We believe that customers would be willing to pay a little extra to reduce the incidence of such power cuts.”

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