County Council wants cash for investment in power network maintained


Ofcom have consulted on reducing the amount distribution companies must spend

Oxfordshire County Council is urging Ofgem not to allow the companies that bring electricity to our homes to reduce their investment in – and modernisation of – the power distribution network.

In the Banbury FM area Western Power Distribution are responsible for the infrastructure.   They bring the power from the companies that generate it, along cables to our homes.   It is then sold to us by energy supply companies, to whom we pay our bills.

Ofgem – the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets – has been consulting on allowing the distribution companies to reduce the amount they spend on their infrastructure.   The County Council believes if this happens it will have a negative affect on helping people and organisations make the transition to greener energy.

Local electricity grid companies like Western Power Distribution operate in a monopoly position. Ofgem approves their business plans for every charging period.    For the period from 2023 to 2028  Ofgem released a consultation on what it is proposing which included a short-term cut in the previously proposed levels of investment.

Councillor Pete Sudbury, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “We believe it is clear that cutting already inadequate investment in grid capacity to support future electrification of heat, transport, housing and employment growth will significantly impact Oxfordshire economically, environmentally and socially.

“No long-term cost impact assessment has been completed for this important decision. We estimate that the level of cost savings for householders will be minimal, around £10 per year, while the longer-term impacts will have a greater cost, especially to those on lower incomes.”

Oxfordshire County Council declared a climate emergency in 2019.   Working with other local organisations, the county council developed the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy and Pathways to a Zero Carbon Oxfordshire reports. Both allow a target of meeting net zero for the county by 2050 or earlier.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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