Utility Week

Utility Week 6th Dec 2019

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4 | 6TH - 12TH DECEMBER 2019 | UTILITY WEEK Seven days... Search narrows for next chief of Thames Britain's biggest water company said it has narrowed the search for a new chief executive to "a very high- quality" shortlist of candidates. Thames Water is seeking a replacement for Steve Robertson, 61, who le- in May a-er less than three years in the role amid criticism from Ofwat for failing to reduce water leakage. Basil Scarsella, 64, chief execu- tive of UK Power Networks, has been tipped as a leading candidate, but Thames is expected to wait until a-er the election to make an appointment, given Labour's pledge to nationalise the water companies. The Times Energy bills to fall after regulator slashes network revenues Energy bills look set to fall next year a-er Ofgem slashed the revenues that network companies are allowed to collect by nearly £1 billion as the cost of borrowing fell. Households will likely face a windfall a-er the £965 million reduction, Ofgem said, although not all of it will be passed on to customers. The regulator said lower interest rates had pushed down what it cost companies to borrow, meaning they needed to collect less money to pay interest. The Independent Centrica strikes deal on EV charging points Centrica has struck a deal to install electric car charging points on the outskirts of London. The British Gas owner will add charging points to ten Volkswagen dealerships owned by Citygate. The sites are "the gateway to London", said Centrica executive Carl Bayliss, spanning an arc on the edge of the proposed ultra-low emissions zone from Ruislip in West London to Reading. The Mail on Sunday In the media Innogy proposes restructure for 'unsustainable' Npower N power's domestic and small business customers will be moved to Eon, and its industrial and commercial arm spun off into a separate arm. Eon's chief executive, Michael Lewis, will take over leadership of Npower, with current chief executive Paul Coffey, and chief financial officer Dirk Simons, departing. Restructuring expert Mike Hawthorne will join the board in the new role of chief restructuring officer. The plans follow the announcement of rising losses and a haemorrhaging of custom- ers in the last quarter at Npower. Eon acquired Npower as part of a wider asset swap with Innogy's parent company RWE, aˆer a proposed merger between Npower and SSE fell through. In an announcement on 29 November, Innogy described Npower as being in a "critical and unsustainable business situation". Innogy chief executive Leonhard Birnbaum said: "What became clear to the Npower board and ourselves is that Npower, with its structural set- up and scale, was not able to succeed by itself in this market. This was the driving force behind the attempt to merge with SSE's retail business and it is the reason why these changes have been announced today. "Together with Eon, we now propose to reduce the cost of serving Npower customers by combining them on to one plat- form, an option that simply was not available in the past." Eon admitted that "regret- tably it is inevitable that a trans- formation of this scale will have an impact on the workforce and it is likely these proposals will result in a significant number of job losses at Npower over the next two years". The company has yet to comment on the extent of these losses, but Utility Week understands that the 4,500 figure quoted by unions is accurate. JW "They have to show they are restructuring and are not fat cats, which is an easy hit for Labour" Baroness McIntosh, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Water Group, says the industry should capitalise on the current wave of concern about climate change by developing a new environmental and social contract with the communities that it serves. See Interview, p9 STORY BY NUMBERS Accelerating net zero Think-tank Onward's Costing the Earth report predicts the costs and hurdles of cutting emissions targets earlier. 9% Equivalent GDP cost of "practically impossible" plans by Extinction Rebellion (XR) to eradicate emissions by 2025. £200bn "Absolute minimum" annual cost of delivering XR's target. £100bn Annual cost of delivering Labour's "implausible" 2030 target. 6m Number of motorists needed to trade in petrol or diesel vehicles for an EV each year until 2025 – up from 25,000. 22.8m Number of homes that would need to replace gas boilers with low-carbon alternatives by 2025. see Analysis, p6 Eon chief executive Michael Lewis will take over leadership of Npower

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