Utility Week

Utility Week 13th December 2013

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

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Page 20 of 33

Policy & Regulation gests suppliers have almost brought political action on themselves by blaming high bills  on government policy. "Energy companies blame government 'green taxes' for high prices – along with high fuel prices," he says. "Given that oil and gas prices are outside of the UK's influence (at the moment), the only mechanism for price movement is the proportion that is set by government." The need for political intervention However, just under half (44 per cent) don't feel political intervention is necessary. Asked why, one executive comments: "I have seen no thought-through case that such an intervention will produce better results in terms of prices and reliable energy supplies and meeting sensible environmental targets. The politicians are grandstanding rather than providing leadership." Panellists' views on the various specific intervention strategies suggested over the past few months to make bills more affordable are polarised, as the graph shows. The only one that unites opinion – against it – is Ed Miliband's pledge to freeze energy bills www.iwex.co.uk @Suslive should he win the next general election. However, there is widespread support for scrutinising the level of competition in the energy market. Seventy-two per cent of executives support the government's plan for annual energy market reviews, while nearly as many – 67 per cent – support a full Competition Commission referral. There is also widespread support for beefing up help for those who struggle to pay their bills. Eighty-three per cent of panellists say there should be more targeted assistance for the fuel poor. Of that number, 39 per cent say funding should come from the taxpayer; 17 per cent support paying for fuel poverty schemes through carbon tax revenues; 11 per cent think VAT revenue from higher energy prices would be the best funding source; and only 6 per cent believe it should come from energy customers' bills. One executive says: "All participants in the energy sector have a part to play, including distribution companies. Greater communication and direct assistance from all companies would assist reducing fuel poverty." We had a few suggestions on how best linkedin.com/SusLive IWEX is the live event for the water, wastewater and effluent treatment industries and is the place to inform and connect with powerful decision makers. It offers a unique opportunity to showcase products and services to a highly targeted and receptive audience of international visitors looking for sustainable solutions across the water lifecycle including: Water Treatment Technology ● Industrial Water & wastewater treatment ● Filtration & Separation ● Groundwater & Drainage Technology ● Water Conservation & Management ● For more information on exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities contact Rachael Lyon, Group Sales Manager on +44(0)1342 332097 email Rachael.lyon@fav-house.com or visit www.iwex.co.uk IWEX-185x125mm.indd 1 energy prices for all should be cut. One executive suggests: "Greater measures to enhance competition and [the] position of new entrants." Another thinks: "If suppliers remain in charge of retrofitting schemes, their price increase should be tagged to their performance in increasing the energy efficiency of households. Poor performance in efficiency would then be penalised." Rob Sheldon, managing director at Accent, observes: "This is a really interesting time in the energy market and there are plenty of twists and turns to come yet." Join our panel If you are an executive working in the utility industry and would like to be part of Utility Week/Accent's bimonthly poll on hot topics please contact Michele Mazza at michele. mazza@accent-mr.com. Each survey will take no more than five minutes to complete and all answers will be treated in complete confidence unless you give your permission for us to quote you. I wholeheartedly recommend the show for qualIty face-to-face tIme wIth potentIal busIness and exIstIng clIents Simon aSpinaLL, Verder UK Ltd co-Located with: 20/08/2013 14:07 UTILITY WEEK | 13th - 19th December 2013 | 19

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