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HomeRenewablesdrainage authoritySoaring standing charges hit UK’s largest pumping station

Soaring standing charges hit UK’s largest pumping station

Drainage authority, the Middle Level Commissioners, overseeing 29 Internal Drainage Boards (IDBs) and the UK’s largest pumping station, St Germans Pumping Station, has expressed concerns over a significant surge in standing charges.

Due to the targeted charging review, the authority has seen standing charges rise by 509%, totalling £155,662 across 67 electric meters.

St Germans Pumping Station alone witnessed a 1,282% increase, soaring from £3,915 to £54,140, according to the authority.

Paul Burrows, Chief Executive of the Middle Level Commissioners, emphasised these pumping stations’ critical role in protecting lives, livelihoods and crucial gas and electricity supply infrastructure from flooding.

Paul Burrows said: “This winter is likely to prove a record breaking one for land drainage pumping here in the Fens with record volumes already having been pumped at our St Germans Pumping Station.

“We provide a critical public service that not only protects lives and livelihoods from flooding but also protects key gas and electricity supply infrastructure.

“The costs of pumping are substantial, and the increases we have seen in standing charges over the last 12 months have been punitively eyewatering. I urge the government and Ofgem to reconsider their approach to our sector.”

A few days ago, the Middle Level Commissioners reported that during the period from October to December 2023, they pumped 80,812 megalitres of water at St Germans Pumping Station.

This volume is equivalent to filling 32,325 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The scale of the operation continued into the first ten days of January 2024, with an additional 30,453 megalitres pumped at St Germans.

According to the authority, the December 2023 pumping volume surpassed the entire output for the 2021/22 year.

An Ofgem spokesperson told Energy Live News: “We know that standing charges have provoked a huge amount of debate in recent months, with different balances to be struck, which is why we opened a call for input, and more than 40,000 people have responded to share their views.

“We know that with wider cost of living pressures, people are concerned about their bills so we will now use these responses to inform how we approach this complex issue and set out next steps in due course.”

Energy Live News
Energy Live News
This article first appeared on Energy Live News, an award winning news service. Their mission is to give you balanced news, analysis, commentary of energy from their dedicated team of quality journalists and production staff.
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