Utility Week

UW October Digital edition

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/1290983

Contents of this Issue


Page 4 of 43

UTILITY WEEK | OCTOBER 2020 | 5 Knowledge worth Keeping Subscribers to Utility Week can access premium content and exclusive research at the Download section of our website. http://www.utilityweek.co.uk Winter worries Welcome back Utility Week's print magazine – we hope you enjoy the new monthly format. Don't forget all the latest news and extended commentary and analysis are available for all our members at utilityweek.co.uk. Ample beams of golden September sunshine have created tempting opportuni- ties to forget about the all the ugliness of coronavirus and the stark reality of the climate crisis. As the evenings draw in and the weather worsens, its likely infec- tion rates and storms will make these headline worries much harder to push away – but then too, there are plenty of other concerns to keep utilities leaders awake through the long winter nights ahead: 1. RIIO2. Energy networks were expecting a tough price control under RIIO2, but the dra determinations have stung nonetheless. With final determinations due before the end of the year, the race is on to double check Ofgem's sums (some networks have applied liberal red pen already) and find routes to recon- ciliation with the regulator, or be forced down the undesirably tiresome and expensive route of CMA appeal. 2. The WPD sale. PPL has said it aims to secure a buyer for Western Power Distribution in the first half of next year and holds out hopes of redressing what it sees as a chronic undervaluation of the network in the process. Leaders of other networks will be quietly wishing WPD poor fortune against this ambition, however. The last thing they need right now is for a well-run network to find a keen investor willing to pay a good price with a reasonable premium on the RAB to back up Ofgem's conviction that its tough RIIO2 stance poses no threat to investor confidence. 3. Retail crashouts? Plenty of the "dead wood" has already been cleared from GB's energy retail market in the past couple of years thanks to the accumulating pressures of the market on some newer entrants. But the trials in store from the coming winter will test even the hardiest of B2C retailers. Rising unemployment, reports of increasing direct debit cancellations and increases in a range of con- sumer vulnerability issues all point towards a winter of spiralling bad debt. 4. Water CMA rulings. For the four water companies who lodged CMA appeals against their PR19 determinations, the autumn holds provisional and then final decisions from the authority. More than 60 third-party stakeholders have provided evidence for the CMA to mull over on issues from the feared impact of cuts to capital investment to the impression that customer input into business plans was ignored – both also areas of dissatisfaction for energy networks. The CMA's verdict is keenly awaited by water appellants and would-be energy appellants alike. These issues and many more will provide rich fodder for debate at Utility Week's Build Back Better Forum on 21-22 October, where some of the sector's biggest names will consider their impact on the ability of utilities to play an active role in the nation's recovery from the pandemic. Jane Gray, content director, janegray@fav-house.com Meet the Editorial Team Utility Week provides unrivalled news, insight and impact analysis, private networking and live events on key areas including policy and regulation, vulnerable customers and operational excellence. Learn how Utility Week membership can build confidence in your team's decision making - speak to our membership team today on e: jonikiforov@fav-house.com; t: 01342 332077 Content director: Jane Gray, e: janegray@fav-house.com, t: 01342 333004 Digital editor: James Wallin, e: jameswallin@fav-house.com; t: 01342 332015 Intelligence editor: Denise Chevin, e: denisechevin@ fav-house.com; t: 01342 332087 Energy editor: Tom Grimwood, e: tomgrimwood@fav-house.com; t: t: 01342 332061 Reporter: Adam John e: adamjohn@fav-house.com; t: 01342 332069 Water correspondent: Ruth Williams, e: ruthwilliams@fav-house.com, t: 01342 332069 Policy correspondent: David Blackman, e: davidblackman@fav-house.com Letter from the Editor Jane Gray BECG: Utility Week Explains: The future of stakeholder engagement https://bit.ly/2FBXXkt Aligned Assets: White paper: Easing the challenges of next-working-day switching https://bit.ly/3c033Ty Panasonic Toughbook: Whitepaper: Rugged mobile computing in action for utilities https://bit.ly/3c3OA93

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UW October Digital edition