Utility Week

Utility Week 12 12 2014

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

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Page 5 of 33

National media Low oil price threatens climate change action The tumbling price of oil underlines the urgency of agreeing an inter- national global warming treaty, the minister presiding over this week's UN climate negotiations in Lima has warned. "The price of oil can create dif- ficulties in this process if we don't move quickly," said Manuel Pulgar- Vidal, the Peruvian environment minister in charge of the two-week UN conference. The meeting of delegates from more than 190 countries opened on Monday at the same time as oil prices hit a five-year low aer Opec nations decided not to cut production. Financial Times, 7 December Maldives sewage plant fire causes water shortage The Maldives, famous for its pristine beaches and scuba diving, has declared a state of emergency aer a fire at the capital's sole water sewage treatment plant led to a shortage of drinking water in the Indian Ocean archipelago. The Maldives has appealed for aid from India, Sri Lanka, the US and China. About 100,000 people in Malé, the capital, have been le without safe tap water, according to Mohamed Shareef, a government minister. The Guardian, 5 December 25% of Chinese drinking water 'substandard' Almost a quarter of purified drink- ing water tested by China's top safety watchdog was substand- ard, with many products found to contain excessive levels of bacteria, according to the official Shanghai Daily newspaper. The findings underline the chal- lenge to controlling supply chains in China. Reuters, 7 December S cottish water regula- tor Wics is set to be appointed as Ofwat's official "delivery partner" for opening the English water market to competition for non-domestic customers in 2017, Utility Week can reveal. Wics chief executive Alan Sutherland has played a key role in the market opening to date, sitting on the board of Open Water Markets Limited (OMWL), the body created to manage the programme. It was announced in August that OWML would be wound down by the end of this year and the programme taken back into Ofwat. Discussions are now progressing for a protocol that would see Wics act as Ofwat's delivery partner in four key areas: the work on codes and processes; the establish- ment of the market operator; communication and engage- ment; and maintaining the work plans. Certain other areas – the licensing framework, charg- ing, and questions of who is eligible to participate in the market – will remain under Ofwat's direct control. The protocol, which is not yet signed, will be subject to agreement by the Wics board. In an interview with Utility Week, Sutherland said: "It's entirely sensible that there be collaborative working between regulators." Interview with Alan Sutherland, p8. Scottish regulator to run Open Water programme Seven days... Energy consumers don't care A survey carried out by YouGov and commissioned by Npower has revealed UK consumers' lack of interest and trust in the energy sector. 65% of consumers are only interested in lower energy bills 2% of consum- ers know that transforming the energy sector will cost £200 million by 2020 48% of consumers trust Ofgem as an unbiased source of information 11% Trust energy com- panies as a source of information story by NUMbErs 4 | 12Th - 18Th December 2014 | UTILITY WeeK "We can only roll the dice so many times before they fall off the table and into the void of the real unknown" Water UK's director of environment Sarah Mukherjee on the need for the water sector to play a central part of the National Infrastructure planning process. £63 million Amount UK business could save by acting on the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme, which will close in December 2015, says Utilitywise. 2020 The year by which solar could be competitive without subsidy, according to the Solar Trade Association's latest report.

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