Utility Week

Utility Week 27th September 2013

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

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Seven days... National media Landowner loophole could halt fracking The shale gas industry is demanding the right to frack without landowners' consent to stop opposition groups exploiting a legal loophole that threatens to paralyse drilling for years. The Times No more cash for offshore wind, says energy minister Climate change minister Greg Barker has rejected industry pleas for higher subsidies for offshore windfarms, despite warnings from the government's official adviser that financial support is being cut too severely. The Telegraph 'Blackout Britain' lauded as world leader in energy Britain has one of the world's fairest and most secure systems for supplying energy, according to a report from the World Energy Council that challenges the perception that we suffer high prices and face blackouts because of poor investment. It gave the UK a "triple A" rating. The Times STORY BY NUMBERS GREEN DEAL blues The latest Green Deal figures are a "wake up call" for ministers that the struggling initiative has failed to get off the ground, said Labour shadow climate change minister Luciana Berger. Labour pledges to freeze prices until 2017 12 plans completed and live 293 additional plans in the system since the end of July 677 total number of plans in the system, including those pending 71,210 Green Deal assessments c arried out L abour marked energy as a key battleground for the 2015 election this week, promising to freeze energy prices until 2017 and break up the vertically integrated big six if elected. In a barnstorming speech at the party conference in Brighton on Tuesday, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "The system is broken and we're going to fix it." He acknowledged the need for investment in energy infrastructure, but said: "You need to get a fair deal, and there will never be public consent for that investment unless you do." He acknowledged that energy companies "would not like it", but said: "They've been overcharging people for too long." SSE said a price freeze would "lead to unsustainable lossmaking retail businesses" and that Labour should put the costs of green policies into general taxation, taking them off energy bills. Speaking earlier in the day, shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint promised to break up the big six energy companies. She said: "The power stations will be separated from the companies that send you your bill." Flint said the reforms would be "the most radical, comprehensive reforms since energy privatisation". Flint claimed the plans would stop "secret price setting" and "back room deals", with generators being forced to sell the power they generate through "an open market, in a pool". The shadow energy secretary also unveiled Labour's plans to create an Energy Security Board. Flint said this would "identify our energy needs, secure investment for the future and keep the lights on". Ecotricity announced that its green tariff would undercut the big six suppliers' standard "brown" tariffs. From October, the green energy specialist said it would set its prices independently of major suppliers. A Freedom of Information request to Decc revealed that 6.2 million electricity and 8.1 gas customers are on "dead tariffs" not offered to prospective new customers. However, it said the "vast majority" of households were paying the same as those on live tariffs. The week when... Winter price hike rumours started Energy companies are bracing themselves for the annual publicity battle that inevitably surrounds price rise announcements. British Gas was reported to be planning an 8 per cent price rise in the coming weeks, equivalent to £100 on an annual standard dual fuel bill. Energy efficiency scheme Eco and extra costs to upgrade the network are driving up costs for suppliers. 4 | 27TH SEPTEMBER - 3rd OCTOBER 2013 | UTILITY WEEK

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