Utility Week

Utility Week 6th March 2020

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/1217697

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 31

UTILITY WEEK | 6TH - 12TH MARCH 2020 | 3 This week 4 | Seven days 6 | Interview Dieter Helm, professor of economic policy, University of Oxford 9 Policy & Regulation 9 | News NIC calls for a fl exible electricity system 10 | Analysis PR19: Where CMA appeals can be won or lost 11 | Analysis What might the Budget hold? 12 | Opinion Six crucial steps to help make the housing stock zero carbon 13 Finance & Investment 13 | News Net Zero Teesside could be a UK fi rst decarbonised zone 15 | Opinion New forecasting models 17 | Opinion A decade of change for energy 18 Operations & Assets 18 | High viz The UK regions' fi rst double- decker electric bus 19 | Market view How data can drive sustainability 20 | Analysis The competition for workers is about to get worse 23 | Event Devolution and net zero 25 | View from the top Share big data to meet net zero 26 Customers 26 | News Why numerous complaints do not get reported 27 | Chief executive's view Matthew Vickers, Energy Ombudsman 29 | Market view Water customer satisfaction 30 Community 31 | Disconnector Leader Suzanne Heneghan Utilities once more unto the breach The prime minister's warning this week that the coronavirus outbreak is "likely to become more signi cant" across the UK will not have been missed by utilities. As providers of lifeline services and critical national infrastructure, much of the responsibility for supporting Boris Johnson's call for the country to go about its "business as usual" in "the days and weeks ahead" rests squarely with power and water companies. As we have already witnessed from the ongoing • ooding fallout across Britain, the industry's quiet public service role o en goes unnoticed until the unexpected occurs. Of course, the sector is well used to managing crises, from storms to droughts. Yet the PM's comments about Covid-19 on Monday, a er chairing his rst emergency COBRA meeting since taking oŠ ce, have upped the stakes for all businesses – particularly utilities, with legal obligations to keeping civil society operating. As the UK wrestles with its "containment" stage, and the number of Britons testing positive for the virus rises, it's becoming clear utilities – as well as the supply chains that help sustain their operations – are highly unlikely to escape some demanding staŠ ng issues. They will need to be prepared for the "more widespread transmission" of the coronavirus that is now expected by Public Health England (PHE) and the "quite challenging" cases it says this will create. Trade bodies and boardrooms across the sector will be considering their emergency plans and preparedness for the unknown impacts ahead. As "category 2" organisations and "co-operating bodies" under the Civil Contingencies Act – as well as being some of the largest employers in the country – they will be well aware of their legal commitments, along with their duty of care to their sta" . There have been some early signs around the industry this week, with four employees at Hinkley Point C reportedly self- isolating as a precaution against the virus, and EDF Energy advising all sta" to take the necessary common-sense steps. Meanwhile, as international travel becomes increasingly a" ected, concern is growing that November's COP26 climate change talks in Glasgow could be derailed through delays to pre-summit talks due to this new, very di" erent global emergency. It's another fast-moving picture with potentially huge operational and economic implications for the nation and its vital services, including utilities. And, yet again, industry must be ready with a response. Suzanne Heneghan, editor, suzanneheneghan@fav-house.com See skills and immigration feature, p20 COVER STORY 20 | Analysis Watch out, there's a poacher about INTERVIEW 6 | Dieter Helm on regulation CHIEF EXECUTIVE'S VIEW 27 | Building trust in a time of change Advanced: Be utterly predictable. Because letting people down isn't an option https://bit.ly/2wnAxKU See the Community section, page 30 JULES: Working with the FITS regime https://bit.ly/2vEZfGi HIGH VIZ 18 | The UK regions' fi rst EV double-decker

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - Utility Week 6th March 2020