Utility Week

Utility Week 25th October

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

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GAS 26 | News Npower joins SSE and BG and hikes prices 27 | Market view time-of-use tariff from British Gas WATER 6 | Viewpoint Mark Powles Business Stream 15 | Analysis Ofwat's zero sum game 19 | News concern over water firms' gearing 22 | High viz Peacehaven treatment works opens 23 | Pipe up new ways to tackle leakage 26 | Market view making the most of weather forecasting ELECTRICITY 14 | Analysis nuclear power strikes back 16 | Market view harmonising green subsidies 28 | News loss of coal plants 'drive bill increases' 19 | Stock watch Electricite de France 19 | Investor view funding CCS 29 | Markets & trading European generation Energy 13 | News suppliers and Decc at odds over Eco 20 | Analysis financial transparency and energy firms This week Leader Ellen Bennett 4 | Seven days 6 | Opinion Mark Powles, Business Stream 8 | Interview Paul Leinster, chief executive, Environment Agency Squaring the circle of bills and investment 13 What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? That question is top of mind for politicians, regulators and utilities this autumn as they attempt to reconcile the affordability agenda with the overriding need for investment to secure sustainable, long-term energy and water supplies. There are four different answers posited by the events of this week: 1.  First, there's the view expressed by Environment Agency chief executive Paul Leinster, who spoke at last week's Utility Week Congress and is interviewed on page 8. Asked how water companies could be expected to continue to invest in sustainable solutions in the face of Ofwat's agenda to drive down bills in the next price review, he replies that innovative and often small-scale solutions such as catchment management are a better solution than grand projects. 2.  Then there's the implicit answer given by Ofwat itself in its response to Thames Water's application for a short-term bill hike to cover various costs including the preparation of land for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a hugely expensive project that the water company and most experts agree is vital to the running of the UK's capital city in the medium and even perhaps the short term. This will be funded by a complex range of measures, most of which are yet to be agreed. However, Ofwat's message is clear: if it is a question of customers paying more for infrastructure or shareholders accepting less, the customers must win. 3.  Npower joined its big six brethren British Gas and SSE this week with announcement of a 10 per cent hike in bills. This is the energy suppliers' answer to rising costs – but given its unacceptability to the public and politicians, it will not be the last word. 4.  Finally, there's the solution embodied by the Hinkley Point C deal. A fudge in every possible way, it provides some shelter to politicians who claim it doesn't represent public subsidy for nuclear; and certainty for investors. Ultimately, the customer will pay, but with EDF Energy and its Chinese backers putting up the funds upfront, that inconvenient truth won't hit wallets for ten years. And that is how the coalition government reconciles an irresistible force with an immovable object. Ellen Bennett, Editor ellen.bennett@fav-house.com Policy & Regulation 13 | News Suppliers and Decc at odds over Eco costs 13 | Politics Mathew Beech writes 14 | Analysis Nuclear power strikes back 15 | Analysis Ofwat gets tough with Thames 16 | Market view Green subsidies are a mess 19 Finance & Investment 19 | News High gearing of water firms 'concerning' 20 | Market view Energy firms must be transparent 22 Operations & Assets 22 | High viz Southern Water's Peacehaven waterworks 24 | Market view Water firms and the weather 26 Customers 26 | News Npower joins SSE and BG and hikes prices 27 | Market view Time-of-use tariffs come of age 28 Markets & Trading Utility Week's annual Utility Industry Achievement Awards will once again be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London's Mayfair. Put 9 December in your diaries for the biggest events date in the utility calendar. More than 1,200 of the great and the good of the utility industry will meet to toast the winners and share a glamorous evening of dancing and entertainment accompanied by a celebrity host. This year's categories are: Capital Project Management Award; Community Initiative of the Year; Customer Care Award; Digital Utilities Awards; Environment Award; IT Initiative of the Year; Marketing Initiative of the Year; Staff Development Award; Supply Chain Excellence Award; and Team of the Year. 9 December, Grosvenor House Hotel, London Website: http://www.utilityweekawards.co.uk/ 28 | News Loss of coal generation 'drives price increases' 30 Community 30 | Subscriber focus Danny Brackley, Thames Water 31 | Disconnector UTILITY WEEK | 25th - 31st October 2013 | 3

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