Utility Week

Utility Week 10th January 2014

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

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GAS 25 | I am the customer Lewis Shand Smith 28 | Market view Gulf states mount shale fight back WATER 6 | Chief executive view Mark Powles, Business Stream 8 | Expert view Karma Ockenden 19 | Analysis Ofwat gets tough on business plans 23 | Analysis AMP6 transitional spending ELECTRICITY 14 | Analysis EMR has a sting in its tail 14 | Analysis DNOs face inquiry over storm response 18 | News Subsidy cap scuppers Eggborough 20 | High viz UKPN battles storm 21 | Pipe up Dave Roberts Energy 7 | Interview Greg Barker, Climate change minister 15 | Market view EU looks at state aid rules 23 | Market view Changes to wayleaves consents process 25 | News Energy complaints doubled in December 26 | Analysis Energy companies and charities This week Leader Ellen Bennett 4 | Seven days 6 | Opinion Mark Powles, chief executive, Business Stream 8 | Interview Greg Barker, Climate change minister New year's resolutions for the utilities sector 13 While not everyone in the utilities sector got quite the festive break they expected, it's back to work with a vengeance this week, with time, tide, and select committees waiting for no man. 2013 was a tough year on all fronts, and 2014 looks set to be no different. As utilities buckle down to the 12 months ahead, with one eye on the election and one eye on the weather, we've got some suggestions for new year's resolutions to ensure things run that little bit more smoothly: 1.  The big six chief executives would do well to resolve that there will be no more price rises before the 2015 election. With Scottish Power, Npower and SSE announcing a price cut this week, all six have now passed savings from the green levy rollback on to customers. If all the suppliers hold off from their seasonal price rises later this year, they just might be able to take the wind out of Ed Miliband's sails. Hiking up prices in the run-up to the election in anticipation of a price freeze could have the opposite effect. 2.  Canny water company bosses will be eager in their resolve to sign up to Ofwat's forthcoming guidance on risk and reward – and swallow a cut in allowed cost of capital in the process. Those that do so have the prospect of "pre-qualifying" for enhanced status, and getting on with the small matter of AMP6. 3.  Incoming Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan may well be resolving to keep himself in a job beyond next year, by saving the energy regulator from the chop. He could try to reassure sceptical politicians, media and the public that the gummy watchdog does indeed have teeth by coming out hard in the so-called "competition audit", and using this first report to call for a full CMA enquiry. 4.  Politicians of all colours would be well advised to remember who holds the purse strings as they act out their Punch and Judy show of energy policy. While the coalition fractures and Labour heckles from the sidelines, increasingly twitchy investors are eyeing rival opportunities across the globe. Politicians seem to be forgetting that their grand schemes for energy reform will not be enacted without the investment to pay for them. Ed Davey's apparently casual dismissal of the hundreds of millions of pounds of investment lined up for Eggborough's conversion to biomass is a case in point (p18). 5.  If certain national media and politicians are anything to go by, network bosses should make just one resolution: stop any future storms. Simples! Ellen Bennett, Editor ellen.bennett@fav-house.com Policy & Regulation 13 | News Council challenges government over EfW 14 | Analysis EMR has a sting in its tail 14 | Analysis DNOs face storms enquiry 16 | Market view EU to scrutinise state aid rules 18 Finance & Investment 18 | News Subsidy cap scuppers Eggborough's future 19 | Analysis Ofwat gets tough on business plans 20 Operations & Assets 20 | High viz UKPN battles the storm 22 | Analysis AMP6 transitional spending 23 | Market view New procedures for wayleave applications 25 Customers 25 | News Energy complaints doubled in December 28 Markets & Trading The 6th National Utility Week Consumer Debt Conference is a must attend for all utility companies and telecoms operators who want to their collection procedures and reduce consumer debt. At this one day event you will: get the latest updates on the Retail Market Review; find out how smart meters will improve prepay services; understand how to assess the latest technology to enable customers to manage their bills; learn how to identify vulnerable customers; explore new methods to develop an efficient payment extension; understand how investing in customer segmentation can improve collection and minimise bad debt. 26 March, Holiday Inn, Birmingham city centre Website: www.uw-debt.net 28 | Market view Gulf mounts shale fight back 30 Community 30 | Subscriber focus Simon Parsons, Scottish Water 31 | Disconnector UTILITY WEEK | 10th - 16th January 2014 | 3

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