Utility Week

UTILITY Week 23rd January 2015

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UTILITY WEEK | 23rd - 29Th JanUarY 2015 | 13 Policy & Regulation This week Tideway Tunnel legal challenges rejected high Court rejects all four appeals for a judicial review of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project The High Court has rejected all appeals for a judicial review of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. The four appeals for a judicial review were placed by the London Borough of South- wark, two iterations of the blue green campaigners – Thames Blue-Green Economy and Blue Green London Plan – and local resident David Percival. The challenges put forward by Blue Green London Plan and the London Borough of Southwark were thrown out by the judge aer they were deemed to have been submitted aer the six-week appeal window fol- lowing the awarding of the development consent order (DCO) in September last year. Southwark Council opposed the planned use of Chamber's Wharf as a construction site, claiming it would cause "unacceptable levels of disruption". The two other applications for judicial reviews, submitted by Thames Blue-Green Economy and Percival, were also rejected, on grounds of "not being arguable". The blue green campaigners want to stop the Thames Tideway Tunnel being developed so "cheaper, quicker, lower risk, and more sustainable" solutions can be imple- mented. Thames Blue-Green Economy claimed the DCO was unlawful because the government failed to comply with its legal obligations under the Environmental Impact Assessment regime with regard to public participation. A spokesperson for Thames Tideway Tunnel said: "We are pleased with the clarity provided by the court's decisions." MB WaTEr Ofwat backs Anglian over price dispute Ofwat has ruled in favour of Anglian Water's large user tariff (LUT) in a dispute with Inde- pendent Water Networks (IWN) over bulk water pricing. The dispute was over a deal for Anglian Water to supply IWN with water and wastewater services for the Priors Hall Park housing development in Corby, Northamptonshire. Both parties initially agreed to Anglian Water's LUT, but in 2008 were unable to agree the final terms and referred the matter to Ofwat for a final determination. Ofwat, in the first case to be decided by the regulator's Case- work Committee, ruled that the LUT should remain as the price for the bulk water services. The regulator said this was because the charge was "appro- priate" given the geography of the development and "broadly common" infrastructure. EnErgY MPs say no to forced cuts before election Labour leader Ed Miliband's parliamentary vote on "fast- track legislation" seeking to give Ofgem powers to force an energy tariff price cut before the May general election was defeated following a heated parliamen- tary debate on 15 January. Energy secretary Ed Davey attacked the plans, saying the increasingly competitive market was already changing the strategy of large suppliers to the benefit of consumers. He said: "Labour's proposed regulations, involving wholesale-retail price links, would produce yo-yo pricing and higher pricing, and consumers do not want either." But shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint told the House of Commons that competition "clearly isn't working" because the energy companies have not passed on the falls in wholesale energy prices to customers. Following the debate, MPs voted against Miliband's plans to push through the fast-track legislation by 305 votes to 228. gas Environmental go- ahead for Cuadrilla Shale developer Cuadrilla on 16 January received the go-ahead from the Environment Agency for plans to extract shale gas at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire. The site falls within Cuad- rilla's shale-rich Bowland explo- ration licence, of which Centrica holds a 25 per cent stake. Cuadrilla applied for environ- mental permits last summer and the Agency said the company's plans have undergone "rigor- ous assessment", including two periods of public consultation. Digging in: Tideway Tunnel seems here to stay Political Agenda Mathew Beech "The truth was merrily manipulated in the House" Eon dropped its gas price just in time for yet another gladiatorial clash in the House of Commons. Labour used one of its allot- ted opposition days, yet again, to debate energy at a time when its price campaign has been given a shot in the arm by falling wholesale energy prices. But the truth of the matter – consumers getting a lower gas bill as prices have been cut – was merrily manipulated and contorted to fit the argument from either side of the house. something that nobody wants. Davey crowed: "The exciting news is competition from smaller suppliers is now forcing the big six to act." Eon's price cut and latest consumer offer are evidence of this, he said. It is amazing the impact red, blue or yellow tinted spectacles have on what is something as simple as falling wholesale costs being passed on to consumers. But to misquote Mark Twain: "Never let the truth get in the way of a good energy debate." Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint flung out figures showing wholesale gas prices had fallen by up to 30 per cent over the past year – and said the "paltry" 3.5 per cent cut was evidence "Eon has still pocketed most of the savings". Labour says this is why new legislation needs to be fast-tracked through the Commons – to give the regulator new powers and make it force the suppliers to pass on falling wholesale prices. Unsurprisingly, the coalition quashed any chance of that happening. Energy secretary Ed Davey said forcing suppliers to do that would result in yo-yo pricing for consumers, which is

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