Utility Week

Utility Week 8th November 2013

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

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GAS 14 | Market view Do community benefits matter? 19 | News Capacity market not conducive to new gas 25 | News Customers switching to smaller suppliers WATER 6 | Viewpoint Jerry Bryan, Albion Water 12 | News Ofwat seeks to raise more cash 15 | Market view What Ofwat is looking for in business plans 22 | High viz Dong Energy's Duddon Sands 27 | News Thames pioneers sustainable fertiliser ELECTRICITY 20 | Market view The big difference between CfDs and PPAs 21 | Investor view Stop tinkering with generation 28 | Analysis Iceland moots 1GW interconnector Energy 8 | Interview David Smith, chief executive, ENA 12 | Pol Agenda Energy still puts MPs at each other's throats 24 | Market view Smart meters are smarter than you think 25 | I am the customer Richard Lloyd, Which? This week Leader Karma Ockenden 4 | Seven days 6 | Opinion Jerry Bryan, Albion Water 8 | Interview David Smith, chief executive, ENA It'll be bad for Ofwat if water gets political 12 Policy & Regulation Having successfully set the cat among the pigeons in the energy sector with his price freeze pledge, Ed Miliband has turned his cost-of-living guns on water. Labour will scrutinise the industry to "make sure it is working properly". There is talk specifically of a "national affordability scheme", a mandatory social tariff. Predictably, David Cameron is expected this week to respond with some kind of help for the hard-pressed water customer. It is easy to see why politicians might lump water in with energy as another greedy, wage-devouring industry that has to be brought to heel. But there's an obvious, crucial, difference. Water is regulated. If there's a problem with water pricing, it's not at the companies that political fingers should be pointing, it's Ofwat. This has not entirely escaped the public's attention. Derek from Bristol commented on the MailOnline's coverage of Cameron's potential water bill intervention: "Isn't this supposed to be what Ofwat does? Has anybody ever heard of Ofwat? Can somebody list the achievements of Ofwat? What is the wage bill of Ofwat? Who is in charge of Ofwat?" Unfair perhaps. Ofwat has presided over billions of pounds-worth of investment in the water industry, and at £388 the average annual bill is good value for money for most of us. Nonetheless, the reputation of Ofwat as well as those it regulates will be at risk if water gets political. Poor timing, then, for Ofwat's IDoK-esque proposal to triple the cap on fees it charges water companies for price reviews (because PR14 is costing a lot). That may slip under the political and media radar, though; water companies are unlikely to kick off given the 29 November deadline for responses "including formal acceptances by companies" is just three days before business plans are due in. The other thing about political intervention in water is it rides roughshod over Ofwat's PR14 objective to put the customer in control. Business plans are supposed to have been drawn up explicitly to reflect customer priorities and willingness to pay. It will be a shame if years of hard work and progressive regulatory policy from Ofwat fall casualty to political point-scoring. If politicians really want to help the water-poor, they should open the public purse, not pile extra costs on other customers. Karma Ockenden, Features editor karma.ockenden@fav-house.com 12 | News Ofwat seeks to triple cap on additional fees 12 | Politics Mathew Beech writes 13 | Market view The Euro target debate 14 | Market view Do community benefits work? 19 Finance & Investment 19 | News Capacity market not conducive to new gas 20 | Market view CfDs and PPAs 22 Operations & Assets 22 | High viz Dong Energy's Duddon Sands 24 | Market view Smart meters are smarter than many people know 25 Customers 25 | News Customers switching to smaller suppliers 26 | Market view Complaints can be your best friend 27 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: www.utilityweekawards.co.uk 27 | News Thames Water pioneers sustainable fertiliser 28 | Analysis Icelandic interconnector 30 Community 30 | Subscriber focus Martin Osborne, Mouchel 31 | Disconnector UTILITY WEEK | 8th - 14th November 2013 | 3

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