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Utilities

It is crucial that the region's wider strategic infrastructure, such as the power utilities, has the capacity to enable planned growth.

As with our strategic transport work, the starting point is to understand the current situation, both in terms of the current capacity of the utility networks, but also in terms of the regulatory environment in which the utilities operate.

This baselining information is critical to enabling a fuller picture of the key issues that both local authorities and the business community face in terms of securing adequate infrastructure to meet both existing and future needs.

Therefore, the Strategic Alliance is conducting a review of the current operating and investment environment for utilities. We will then be in a position to identify key actions to pursue jointly with Government, the infrastructure owners/providers and the regulators.

The Heartland is also seeking to commission a long-term overview of strategic infrastructure requirements for the region.

Upgrading our Energy System

The Strategic Alliance welcomes Ofgem's Upgrading Our Energy System Plan, published in summer 2017, as a step forward in laying the foundations for innovation and regulatory change across the energy industry. We will be exploring the opportunities for change as presented in this report and how it can be applied across the Heartland area. 

The Plan discusses the development of a smart, flexible energy system that will save costs for industry providers and consumers. These changes could encourage innovative new businesses, putting the UK at the forefront of exporting new smart energy technologies to the rest of the world. 

This is particularly good news for England's Economic Heartland, as we seek to get a full picture of key issues that local authorities and the business community is facing in terms of securing timely and adequate utilities infrastructure to meet the existing and future growth agenda.

Lead officer: Melissa Goodacre: melissa.goodacre@oxfordshire.gov.uk

01296 382703 | englandseconomicheartland@buckscc.gov.uk