Utility Week

UTILITY Week 11th July 2014

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

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utIlIty WEEK | 11th - 17th July 2014 | 31 Community Disconnector Editor: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellen.bennett@fav-house.com; News editor: Jillian Ambrose, t: 01342 332061, e: jillian.ambrose@fav-house.com; Associate news editor: Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@fav-house. com; Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085, e: paul.newton@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ed Roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@fav-house. com; Sales executive: Hayley Cronin, t: 01342 332077, e: hayley.cronin@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 Light me up Disconnector was pleased to hear last week that Eon came out full square behind a new campaign by the Home Office and charity Crimestoppers to eradicate the commercial culti- vation of cannabis. In these days when energy companies are so frequently portrayed as only interested in making a buck, it's morale-boosting to see them tak- ing the moral high ground. Barrie Millett, Eon's acting director of safety, health and environment, explained the com- pany's concern. Eon was "fully supportive of this campaign in both its aims and objectives. Keeping our customers safe is always our priority," he said. Of course it's also true that because growing cannabis takes a lot of juice to power the lights, those ne'er-do-wells involved in its commercial cultivation tend to plug their kit straight into the grid, bypassing the meter. The practice is dangerous as well as illegal, of course, as Eon is right to point out, but Disconnector is heartened that Eon's chief concern is the health and wellbeing of the nation's drug dealers. Don't keep us in the dark The turbines at Npower's Didcot A 2GW coal-fired power station in Oxfordshire turned for the last time in March last year, and in a few weeks' time three of the plant's iconic cooling towers Disconnector on the southern part of the site will be demolished. However, Npower has come in for some stick from local councils – South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils, to be precise – because it wants to raze the towers to the ground between 3am and 5am. Npower says it chose the tim- ing carefully to try to minimise disruption, but the locals aren't happy about it. Their grievance is not, as you might expect, that they're going to be woken up in the wee hours by the sound of explosions, but rather that the kids will be in bed and won't get to see them turn to dust. David Buckle, chief execu- tive of both councils, said the towers were a "landmark of huge importance" and that children and many adults who have only known Didcot with them deserve to "witness this historic occasion". It occurs to Disconnector that one of the few demographics that might be up at 4am are the county's potheads. Any of them relaxing in the garden with a reefer (are they still called that? – Ed) would be totally freaked out at suddenly seeing the three huge cooling towers descending. Maybe Eon should send out a warning letter to its customers, just to be on the safe side. Anyone for tennis? All manner of foreign objects are thrown down the nation's toilets, blocking sewers, causing misery for customers and costing water companies millions of pounds a year to clear. Fats and grease from food outlets are a prime cause, as are baby wipes. But workers at Severn Trent were surprised – not to say annoyed – when called out to clear a sewer blockage in Leicester- shire, to find the culprit was hundreds of tennis balls. A company spokeswoman said they had no idea who had tipped the balls into the drains. "If you have lots of spare tennis balls, donate them – I'm sure local schools or tennis clubs would love to have them." Hmm. Maybe they were dumped by Andy Murray on his way home. It's Google's earth A bit like trying to visualise how long a light year is, it can be dizzying trying to get your head around just how big Google has become. The following energy stats released by the company should help. Apparently a single search on Google uses the same amount of electri- city as it would to power an old-fashioned fluorescent 60W lightbulb for 17 seconds. That's not the electricity used by your computer, of course, but the power required by Google's servers processing the search. And what a lot of servers Google must have – the company accounts for 0.013 per cent of the world's entire energy demand. 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2013 Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year fhcustomerservices@ abacusemedia.com Mario Götze-cheese @richonlyinname My panini sticker album of who's been done for mis-selling is now full Think Defence @thinkdefence DEFRA, DFiD and DECC all tweeting about HMS QE. No mention from the Dept of Transport, surely a double decker bus sized mistake :) DECC @DECCgovuk With an 110MW power station on board #HMSQueenElizabeth can power all of Swindon Adam Scorer @adam_scorer Positive from @ofgem on BG mis-selling. Strong enforcement is key for confidence in regulatory regime, even if issue erodes trust in firms Rob McDowall @robmcd85 Lets hope #Ofgem have found their teeth and are going to start using them in order to secure the best deal for consumers #Watchdog Dave Watson @UnisonDave Ofgem secures £1 million payment by British Gas for mis-selling. Oh that will worry them! Craig Jones @craigvjones Final score: PAC 5-0 DECC. But DECC not bad in circs: bumpy away pitch; hostile crowd; no ref; & some very heavy tackling UrbanEnergy Research @HWUrbanEnergy Can't quite believe that one solution proposed by DECC for helping the #GreenDeal is an additional top-up loan Peter King @kingpeterking General Election next year. General disquiet with smart meter plans. Time for a general rethink? Jonathon Porritt @jonathonporritt Cameron's turn to feel the heat on #solar – with a letter coming his way from 150 busi- nesses urging him to get behind the industry REA @REAssociation Stable policies will help get #solar power to zero subsidy. Drastic cuts won't Top Tweets

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