Utility Week

Utility Week 7th June 2019

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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UTILITY WEEK | 7TH - 13TH JUNE 2019 | 3 This week 4 | Seven days 6 | Utility Week Live The winds of change were in the air at UWL 2019 10 | Interview Mike Thompson of the CCC on why the 2050 net-zero target is the right one 11 Policy & Regulation 11 | News Ofgem consults on future of price cap 12 | Energy Summit Climate change will dominate the agenda at the UW Energy Summit 16 | Opinion Eon UK's Michael Lewis on why billions should be spent on energy effi ciency 19 Finance & Investment 19 | News 'Regulator error' costs customers £24bn 20 | Analysis Bickerstaffe's new mandate at SSE Energy Services 22 Operations & Assets 22 | High viz New power equipment for Cadbury's Bournville site 23 | Expert view How to unlock the potential of direct mail 24 | Voices Maxine Frerk: Does RIIO2 provide an answer to Labour? 25 Customers 25 | News Industry must act for vulnerable customers 26 | Event Utility leaders on how digital communications can help vulnerable customers 30 Community 31 | Disconnector GAS 26 | Event Utility leaders on how digital communications can help vulnerable customers WATER 11 | News Incumbents 'must support markets' 19 | News Pennon CEO 'not distracted' by threat of renationalisation 25 | News Business Stream appoints director ELECTRICITY 19 | News Transmission link contribution plan 19 | News Third CfD allocation round kicks off 22 | High viz Power for the chocolate factory ENERGY 11 | News Ofgem to consult on price cap removal 11 | News Government plans to extend RHI deadline 12 | Energy Summit Climate change will dominate the agenda at the UW Energy Summit 20 | Analysis Bickerstaffe's new mandate at SSE Energy Services 25 | News Households face £42m 'energy shock' DOWNLOAD: Reducing bad debt, generating effi ciency and improving the customer journey https://bit.ly/2EbKRH5 See the Community section, page 30 If you are responsible for your company's outsourced or internal customer service centre we can deliver compelling cost savings to your business, with a typical rate for an FTE of just £10 per hour. Synergy operates an established Contact Centre in a modern and thriving part of Durban, South Africa employing experienced and highly educated staff. We already successfully work with a number of UK utilities across a range of services: If you would like to see our operation for yourself we can fly you, at our cost, to South Africa. Here we will give you a full tour of our facilities, a presentation on how we work and access to our professional teams. For further information please contact steve.cripwell@synergyoutsourcingltd.co.uk / 020 7932 4171 or toby.selves@synergyoutsourcingltd.co.uk / 020 7932 4116 Double your successful meter installation rate and halve your costs with MATS - the new Universal SMETS2 Commissioning Mobile App from Cloud KB. It works with all DCC 53 Million Smart Meters by 2020? YOU MUST BE QUACKERS! AN APPSOLUTE MUST Leader Suzanne Heneghan Life after the price cap It looks like a chance may have nally come for those energy retail chiefs itching to vent their spleen about the rst six months of the price cap. This week, Ofgem in e ect issued an open invitation to indus- try to do just that, as it launched a consultation on its planned "framework" for checking the state of the energy market – the suc- cess of structural reforms (such as switching), impacts on customer outcomes and experience and whether market conditions were now driving "e ective competition". The process will help form its recom- mendation to government about the fate of the pricing regime. But a€ er half a year of the divisive policy – pegging default tari s currently at £1,254 – many suppliers operating under increasingly squeezed margins will nd it hard to pass up the chance to point out what it has also meant for their businesses. Of course, industry views vary widely. Some challenger brands have positively embraced the intervention, undercutting their big six rivals, who have congregated around the cap. Other players have had more bruising encounters as market share shi€ ed largely from the big six to medium brands. One big six company has gone to judicial review, two more cited it as a key fac- tor behind their failed merger (see Analysis, p20), and some smaller suppliers blame the cap for their nal demise. No-one said it was going to be easy for the regulator charged with implementing the controversial government policy, constantly hampered by ‹ uctuating wholesale prices. Speaking at Utility Week Live, Ofgem's Mary Starks said it had been monitoring " rst order e ects extremely closely". Yet she also stressed the temporary nature of the policy, set to end under current law by 2023, despite a swathe of consumer support for it to stay – something echoed in Utility Week's own price cap survey this year. And therein lies the challenge ahead, ultimately for BEIS and the government, who will have their work cut out reassuring the public when conditions appear right to scrap the cap. As Starks said: "We will need to think: what kind of regulatory settlement might we need to make sure people still feel prices are fair? We can't go back to the kind of public mistrust that gave us the cap in the rst place." Suzanne Heneghan, acting editor, suzanneheneghan@fav-house.com

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