Utility Week

Utility Week 9th May 2014

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26 | 9th - 15th May 2014 | UtILIty WEEK Customers This week Competition thriving in business sector Report finds highest ever number of companies are supplying energy to non-domestic customers Competition in the non-domestic energy sector is "on the way up", according to Energy UK. The trade association com- missioned a report by Cornwall Energy, which revealed that the number of gas and electricity suppliers in the non-domestic sector is "the most it has ever been". The study showed that by the end of October 2013, 30 companies were actively supplying electricity and gas to business customers – the highest number recorded since Cornwall Energy began its market share survey in 2005. It also revealed that at least 80 per cent of gas used by business customers and almost 20 per cent of electricity was supplied by companies outside the major domestic suppliers. Competition in the non-domestic sector has been reported as increasing in the three years to October 2013, and the report added that "competition in the electricity and gas supply markets is well established and growing". A total of 16 suppliers had a market share by volume of more than 1 per cent of the business gas market, while 11 suppliers hold more than 1 per cent by volume of the business electricity market. Energy UK chief executive Angela Knight said: "The energy industry has become even more competitive, open and transparent in recent times. "More companies than ever are claiming their stake – vying for customer business. Independent suppliers have seen a large increase in customers from the busi- ness community. These results are a clear indication that competition is working and thriving." MB EnErgy Call to switch prepay customers to smart Energy suppliers should ensure that all prepayment meter customers have a smart meter installed by the end of 2016, according to the energy secretary. Ed Davey has told the suppliers that the 4.3 million households with a prepay meter should have a smart meter installed and be offered a smart pay-as-you-go tariff, as a matter of priority. He said this would allow prepay customers to "get the benefits of smart meters sooner rather than later", such as being able to top up via mobile phone. Davey added that the move would help to reduce the £105 premium prepay customers face over direct debit custom- ers because "the new ways of topping up should mean that energy suppliers reduce their costs" and these savings should then be passed to the customer. EnErgy £7,600 of Green Deal cashbacks on offer The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) will offer Green Deal customers up to £7,600 of cashback incentives. From June, the new Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) will enable consumers to claim back money invested in improving the energy efficiency of their property. Up to £1,000 will be available for those who install two measures from an approved list, including cavity wall insulation and replacement storage heaters. A further £6,000 can be claimed back for solid wall insulation, while up to £100 can be refunded for the cost of the Green Deal assessment. The scheme also entitles people who have bought a property in the 12 months prior to application to qualify for up to £500 if they carry out energy efficiency improvements. EnErgy Renationalised sector 'more trusted' A renationalised energy sector would be more trusted than the current privatised model, according to a survey by Edelman. The PR firm's trust barometer revealed that 56 per cent of the public would trust the industry more if it returned to state control, while only 18 per cent said they trusted it more as a privatised industry. Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73 per cent) called for additional government regulation in the sector. Overall trust in the UK energy sector declined to 31 per cent, down six percentage points from 2013 levels, and lower than anywhere else globally. The poll also revealed that 65 per cent of the public wanted the industry to be a more active participant in the debate surrounding energy policy. 'Transparent' industry encourages competition Energy Ireland ® is Ireland's largest and most long-established energy conference, attended every year by all the key players in the Irish energy sector, as well as many from further afield who maintain an interest in how the energy sector in Ireland is developing. How to register... Ireland's major energy conference By email registration@energyireland.ie Online www.energyireland.ie By telephone +353 (0)1 661 3755 ® ENERGY IRELAND Conference Croke Park, Dublin • 18-19 June 2014 Electricity market integration Oil & gas prospects Stakeholder engagement European energy policy context Natural gas market outlook Doubling Ireland's renewable energy Renewable energy: beyond wind

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