Utility Week

Utility Week 11th October 2013

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

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Contents of this Issue


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GAS 13 | Political Agenda Tories back competition 17 | News Centrica rubbishes 'strategic reserve' 26 | News The UK should 'look again' at a gas storage subsidy 27 | Analysis Looking behind the hype at shale gas WATER 18 | Analysis Was Severn Trent hasty in walking away at £22 per share? 22 | Market view Making a success of water reuse 24 | I am the customer Steve Hobbs, CCWater ELECTRICITY 8 | Interview Richard Nourse and Stephen Lilley, Greencoat Capital 16 | Market view Obstacles to interconnectors 20 | High viz Triodos Renew ables in Avonmouth Energy 6 | Viewpoint Basil Scarsella UKPN 6 | Green light Tom Greatrex MP 14 | Analysis party conference roundup 15 | Analysis would a price freeze be legal under EU law? 21 | Pipe up educating energy managers 25 | Event The new energy consumer 15-16 October Utility Week Congress Venue: Hotel Russell, London Organised by: Faversham House Web: www.uw-congress.net/home This week Leader Ellen Bennett 4 | Seven days 6 | Opinion Basil Scarsella, UKPN 8 | Interview Richard Nourse, managing partner, Greencoat Big questions for the new water minister 13 Ex-water minister Richard Benyon sounded cheery this week as he tweeted his followers: "on [the] backbenches!" After three-and-a-half years on the frontbench, Benyon may well be relieved to leave the sector behind. He narrowly escapes being the man in charge when the water sector is opened up to non-domestic competition in 2017, and perhaps more importantly, won't be responsible for deciding the nature of abstraction and upstream reform. Those duties will now fall to his replacement, George Eustice, pending the next election (or any further reshuffles). As he moves from the backbenches to the centre stage of politics, Eustice has some big decisions to make: 1) Eustice is a member of the Select Committee on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The committee has been strong in its criticism of the Water Bill, highlighting omissions such as smart metering and abstraction reform. What will Eustice do about this now he has the power? 2) Upstream reform is on the drawing board for 2017 onwards, although the Water Bill neatly dodged the details. Eustice will be responsible for Open Water, the forum comprising government, Ofwat and water companies and charged with fleshing out the details of these controversial reforms. How far he will he want to take them? 3) Cost of living is high on the political agenda, and in a recent speech, chancellor George Osborne made reference to unspecified government plans to keep down water bills. To what extent will Eustice interfere in the forthcoming price review and how much pressure can he put on regulator Ofwat to keep bills down? 4) As David Cameron's press secretary from 2005 to 2007, Eustice is well versed in the dark arts of Fleet Street. With the national media increasingly turning their ire on water companies over perceived tax avoidance and their opaque corporate structures, will Eustice support the sector in the press or use it as a stick with which to beat water companies? 5) The water sector will be opened up to competition for business customers in 2017. Could competition for domestic customers ever follow? Eustice may well be the man to decide. Ellen Bennett, Editor ellen.bennett@fav-house.com Policy & Regulation 13 | News Giving Eco more time 'could slash costs' 13 | Politics Mathew Beech writes 14 | Analysis Party conference round-up 15 | Market view Is an energy price freeze legal? 16 | Market view Obstacles to interconnectors 17 Finance & Investment 17 | News Centrica rubbishes 'strategic reserve' 18 | Analysis Should Severn Trent have sold up? 20 Operations & Assets 20 | High viz T riodos Renewables in Avonmouth 22 | Market view Wastewater reuse 24 Customers 24 | News Thames rated lowest for customer service 25 | Event Who is the new energy consumer? 26 Markets & Trading The annual Utility Week Congress is a must-attend event for forward-thinking professionals looking to collaborate to deliver the utility business model of the future. Utility Week has gathered an unprecedented number of industry leaders to take part in the 2013 congress. The annual event brings together decision-makers in UK water, gas and electricity. Union-style debates and incisive on-stage interviews will cut through jargon, spin and fluff to get to the heart of today's issues. There will be no room for sitting on the fence at the congress, with experts arguing for and against topical motions – and the audience asked to decide. The congress is chaired by journalist and broadcaster Juliet Morris and also features a networking dinner on the evening of 15 October, enabling you to network with a who's who of the utilities industry. 26 | News 'Look again' at gas storage subsidy 27 | Analysis US shale gas to the rescue? 30 Community 30 | Subscriber focus Ross Taylor, HP 31 | Disconnector UTILITY WEEK | 11th - 17th October 2013 | 3

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