Utility Week

Utility Week 13th September 2019

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 13TH - 19TH SEPTEMBER 2019 | 3 This week 4 | Seven days 6 | Interview Mike Clancy, general secretary, Prospect 10 | Utility of the future New infrastructure and water effi ciency needed to stop the taps running dry 15 Policy & Regulation 15 | News Gas price 'spoofi ng' costs Engie £2.1m 16 | Analysis Westminster chaos and the spending review 17 | Analysis Customer communicating is key to infl uence behaviour 18 | Market view Preparing RIIO2 business plans 21 Finance & Investment 21 | News Zero-carbon industry hub eyes £170m fund 22 Operations & Assets 22 | High viz The world's longest offshore wind turbine blade 23 | Market view Helping cities meet demand 24 | Market view Policy needs to steer the UK towards net zero 27 Customers 27 | News Surge in complaints about Eversmart 28 | Analysis Southern Water's PR19 plans 29 | Analysis Will the disruptors be disrupted? 30 Community 31 | Disconnector 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 Keep calm and connect with customers Watching the ongoing political car crash that is Westminster, it's hard to keep track of the constitutional permutations, let alone what all this might mean for utilities. As entertaining as it is to watch the PM hurtle around the country sparking heated debates in the streets of Leeds or herding giant bulls in Aberdeenshire, like most in our industry I have been poring over complex road maps charting the various "what if " scenarios ahead now parliament is suspended and the Halloween Brexit dead- line looms ever larger. Fortunately, the utilities sector is used to coping with the unexpected – from extreme weather crises, to EU rulings that arrest capacity markets overnight. It's been there and survived. And despite the scale of this latest landmark moment, as custom- ary, companies are preparing in the only way they can. Utilities are remaining calm, stockpiling where possible and maintaining busi- ness as usual while macro forces play out around them. Of course, it's not ideal, but as one industry source con… ded recently: "There's very little point in our one sector kicking up a fuss. We're not even at the front of the queue in all this." Nevertheless, there has been some industry disappointment aŠ er last week's government spending review (see analysis, p16) fell short of expectations at this time of climate emergency, by allocating only an extra £30 million to BEIS programmes aimed at addressing the nation's huge and historic decarbonisation challenge. And as the analysis on p17 reveals, the chair of the Committee on Climate Change, Lord Deben, believes utilities have a key role to play in the journey towards net zero carbon emissions by 2050. But myriad infrastructure considerations aside, the former envi- ronment secretary – a panellist on our New Deal for Utilities Debate later this month – was also quick to point to the urgency of energy and water companies strengthening customer relationships … rst. He advised: "If you can't get your connection right with your customer, not only does that do you harm, it also means you can't do for me what I want you to do – which is to help your customer understand about climate change." Hopefully his other advice is equally as visionary, that we shouldn't read too much into the "general" spending plan from gov- ernment, particularly with the National Infrastructure Strategy and autumn Budget imminent. As usual, utilities can only watch and wait. Suzanne Heneghan, editor, suzanneheneghan@fav-house.com ANALYSIS 17 | Lord Deben on a 'New Deal for Utilities' ANALYSIS 29 | Will the disruptors be disrupted? COVER STORY 10 | Utility of the future New infrastructure and water effi ciency needed to stop the taps running dry INTERVIEW 6 | Mike Clancy, general secretary, Prospect

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