Utility Week

Utility Week 5th December 2014

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UtILItY WeeK | 5th - 11th December 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; Insights editor: Jane Gray, t: 01342 332087, e: jane.gray@fav-house.com; Research analyst: Vidhu Dutt, t: 01342 332026, e: vidhu.dutt@fav-house.com; Reporter: Lucinda Dann, t: 01342 332083; e: lucinda.dann@fav-house.com; Production editor: Paul Newton, e: paul. newton@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ed Roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@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: 020 8955 7045. 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 High jinks It was not too long ago that scaling the chimney of a power station was considered a news worthy event. Remember when six Greenpeace protestors climbed the 200m-high chimney of Kingsnorth in Kent in 2007? It was a media coup at the time and Eon was furi- ous. The protestors ended up in court for criminal damage (they got off). Those were simpler times. Fast-forward to 2014 and Romanian thrill-seeker Flaviu Cernescu has just posted a video online (http://bit.ly/15MCy0k) of him balancing on a beam 280m above the ground as he scamp- ers over the gaping black hole of an abandoned power plant chimney in Pitesti, Romania – without any safety equipment. He climbed the chimney with the aid of an electric cable and the old ladder hanging off the side of the structure. Cernescu said the scariest bit was not walking across the top of the chimney but the last 5m of the ascent, because the top of the ladder had rusted away. It's not the first time Cer- nescu has posted pictures of himself larking around on utility infrastructure. Back in Febru- ary he was tightrope walking across a 200m-deep reservoir drain at Lake Iovanu, Romania. Disconnector Admittedly, on that occasion he was wearing a safety line, but to make up for it he later cycled around the rim on a unicycle. Why does he do it? For fun. And for no other point than to inspire others to "follow their dreams". Until last year he was an ordinary office drone work- ing 9 to 5, but quit to pursue extreme climbing full-time. Disconnector is not sure how Cer- nescu makes a living at his new pursuit… or indeed for how long that will be an issue. But it breaks one of the great man's maxims (Disconnector's, that is, not the Romanian daredevil's): never rely on luck. Unless you're counting on bad luck, of course, because bad luck catches up with everyone eventually, so you'd better not be walking across a narrow beam 280m above a black pit when it does. Toilet humour Talking of bad luck, Disconnec- tor thinks the award for unlucki- est man of the week must go to the Dutchman who was hit by a moped in Amsterdam. Being involved in a collision with a moped is not in itself unusual, but this one was stationary at the time. It was propelled into the air when one of Amsterdam's famous pop-up toilets unexpect- edly shot out of the ground. The unnamed pedestrian was hit by the moped and taken to hospital for treatment for minor injuries. The cylindrical public toilets are a feature of central areas of Amsterdam, emerg- ing at night to offer partygoers an alternative to urinating in the streets. All very ingenious, but overcomplicated, thinks Disconnector. Too many moving parts. Cleaning up after the party 'Tis the season to be jolly, so we're told, though not neces- sarily for water companies. Sales of makeup removal, tanning and cleansing wipes, cotton pads and cotton buds soar over the festive season, as revellers prepare to look their best for Christmas parties. But as United Utilities is trying to make the public aware, an estimated 10 per cent of such products end up being flushed down the loo, where they con- geal into masses sufficient to block sewers and cause sewage to back up into people's homes unless they're detected and removed in time. It's a revolting problem and that's probably why people don't like to think about it and the media doesn't give the problem the coverage it deserves. Full marks to United for try- ing to finesse that one by dub- bing these clumps of discarded cosmetics 'beauty-bergs'. If it helps people to think before they flush, it might save some people having their Christmas well and truly ruined. 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2013 Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year fhcustomerservices@ abacusemedia.com Rich Hall @richonlyinname As you'd expect, demographics of Big Switch skewed towards well off (~94% owner occupiers). Can/will collective switching reach the poorest? EnergyBillRevolution @EnergyBillRev Children in cold homes are twice as likely to contract diseases like asthma & can be four times more likely to suffer mental health problems Jeremy Gordon @JeremyWNA Nuclear can be replaced by renewables, same as a car can be replaced by five segways and a ghetto blaster (or vice versa). Not always equiv. Labour Environment @LabourDefra 25 yrs from privatisation, water co's pay little/ no tax & 1/5 people struggle with bills. Ofgem @ofgem Compliance is not optional. When companies fail consumers, @Ofgem takes action Richard Lloyd @RichardJLloyd Good to see @ofgem planning to use bigger energy co fines announced today to help vulnerable consumers. Other regulators should follow suit. Simon Evans @drsimevans #specenergy stroke of PR genius for UK's major shale gas firm to give itself name like a dinosaur says @afneil (ie @CuadrillaUK) E.ON SE @EON_SE_en CEO Teyssen: "E.ON will tap the growth potential created by the transformation of the energy world." Alex Marshall @alexmarshall81 Everyone does realise that Eon spinning off its fossil fuel assets, doesn't mean they're closing down, right? TWITTER! Carbon Tracker @CarbonBubble "So many vectors lining up behind renewables" making them cost competitive accelerating a low carbon transition @jeremyleggett #specenergy Top Tweets

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