Utility Week

Utility Week 21st February 2014

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utILIty WeeK | 21st - 27th February 2014 | 31 Community Disconnector Editor: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellen.bennett@fav-house.com; Energy editor: Megan Darby, t: 01342 332087, e: megan.darby@fav-house.com; Features editor: Karma Ockenden, t: 01342 332086, e: karma.ockenden@fav-house. com; Reporter: Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@fav-house.com; Reporter: Conor McGlone, t: 01342 332083, e: conor.mcglone@fav-house.com; Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085; Business development manager: Ed Roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@fav-house.com; Sales executive: Nicky Shaw, t: 01342 332070, e: nicky.shaw@fav-house.com; Publisher: amanda barnes, e: amanda.barnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year, t: 01342 332011. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: buxton Press, Palace road, buxton, Derbyshire sK17 6ae. Published by: Faversham house Ltd, Windsor Court, Wood street, east Grinstead, West sussex rh19 1uZ Leave it out Giving energy suppliers a good kicking has proved such a winner with the public that politicians have been trying to stick the boot in on network companies too. But to be honest, it hasn't really gained much trac- tion. The general feeling seems to be they're doing a pretty good job, unlike the politicians doing the finger pointing. As reported in this column last week, before going off on paternity leave energy secre- tary Ed Davey tried to lob a few stones in the direction of energy suppliers, calling on them to be broken up because their profits are too high. The Daily Mail, however, chose a slightly different angle. "16,000 homes still have no power – and the energy secre- tary goes on paternity leave!" screamed its online edition. That's the thing about stirring up the mob – they could end up coming for you. All you need is love Another person trying to capital- ise on public hostility to the big six energy suppliers is Stephen Fitzpatrick and his fast-growing independent outfit Ovo Energy. The company has just started its first "out of home" advertising campaign (billboards, basically) to capture consumers disillu- sioned with the large players. The month-long campaign will concentrate on London. Disconnector Ovo's ad agency, Kinetic, has gone for a laudably bold approach, encouraging consum- ers to "feel loved again" by switching their energy provider. Customers who have shown "unquestioning loyalty" have been penalised by finding them- selves on the worst tariffs, it claims, and therefore people are being told they should "break up" with their current suppliers. The posters will be backed by TV adverts and social media. But will it strike a chord with consumers, wonders Disconnector? Capitalising on the ill-feeling towards your competitors is one thing, but asking to be loved merely for not being one of the bad guys might be a bit of an ask. The hard fact is that the average energy bill is around £1,400 a year, no matter how you slice it, and no company is going to be thought of fondly for pull- ing a grand out of your pocket. Unless your company's name is Apple, of course. In which case we'll all queue around the block for the privilege of having our pockets picked in return for getting to own a brushed aluminium paperweight. Big Pooh blocks Scottish sewers In its own way it made for one of the bleaker headlines Disconnector spotted last week. "Winnie the Pooh teddy among objects found in Scottish sew- ers" lamented the BBC's News Scotland website. The story ran with a photo of a large, dirty and rather forlorn-looking Pooh bear stuffed down a man- hole in South Lanarkshire. In what is clearly a sign that the independence debate is being fuelled by a growing anti- English rhetoric, the iconic bear was obviously ceremonially dispatched by some irate Scot, probably banging on about Bannockburn or something. Well, you're a fool to yourself, mate, thinks the great man (Disconnector, that is, not A A Milne). It cost Scottish Water more than £7 million last year to clear 40,000 blockages from its sewer network. For the most part the culprit was cooking oil, nappies and baby wipes thrown down the loo, but staff also had to remove old jeans, a bike and a fax machine, as well as poor Pooh. And deep-fried Mars bars. Disconnector made up that last one. Wet blanket The BBC's News Magazine ran an in-depth, and in the circumstances rather brave, piece about whether the cur- rent "wet" weather necessarily meant that hosepipe bans were a thing of the past. It con- cluded only that a drought this year was "unlikely", and in 2015 was "probably unlikely". Which means we should still be conscious of the need to conserve water. Most water companies are not advertising that fact. 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2012 Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year fhcustomerservices@ abacusemedia.com Tim Probert @TimProbert Like the name 'Knapsack' for a CCGT. Perhaps UK fossil fuel plants should greenwash with eco-ish names? Drax sounds so evil! Why not 'Yurt'? 3WhitehallPlace @3WhitehallPlace We regret to announce the Owen Paterson vs. Ed Davey climate change big fight rematch has been postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch harry huyton @Harryhuyton Shocked to learn my solar panels don't work from climate scientist & energy tech guru Lord Lawson. Will frack the garden instead Gaby Hinsliff @gabyhinsliff Heard someone use the phrase 'global weirding' recently; much better than 'global warming' to describe what's happening to weather. & now... Jeremy Tomkinson @JeremyTomkinson Interesting that @EdwardDaveyMP prefers wind to biomass utilityweek.co.uk/news/ eggborough… when Decc's own report shows it to be more expensive per MWh LiberumAtherton @LiberumAtherton #Ofgem #Ofwat get tough on coc. But looking at the WACC it is hard to conclude they are materi- ally wrong. Financing should still be available Paul Waugh @paulwaugh EdM has been accused by Tories/LDs of 'talk- ing down the economy'. How long b4they now accuse him of 'talking down the weather'? #grimforetaste David Cameron @David_Cameron I'm out and about again today, helping ensure we're fighting the floods on every front. Pro- tecting areas predicted to be hit is a key aim CCC @theCCCuk David Kennedy: if we don't do anything we'll be subject to inc risk of #floods and can expect #flooding to happen more freq Doug Parr @doug_parr Seems that cities and mayors are much more ambitious on energy efficiency & renewables than national leaders #EU2030 Top Tweets

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