Utility Week

Utility Week 6th February 2015

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4 | 6th - 12th February 2015 | utILIty WeeK National media Wessex campaign halves sewer blockages Wessex Water almost halved sewer blockages in Salisbury after a campaign that used "social nudging" to inform customers that wet wipes are not flushable and can cause blockages and sewer flooding. 13,000 number of sewer blockages resolved by Wes- sex Water last year £5m amount spent to resolve those blockages 55% amount by which sewer blockages in Salisbury fell in December 10% drop in the use of wet wipes after the campaign Shell resumes Arctic drilling but cuts $15bn from global investment Royal Dutch Shell is reviving plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. The Anglo-Dutch giant's chief executive, Ben van Beurden, accepted that Arctic drilling "divides society", but said the world needs new sources of oil. Greenpeace said Shell was tak- ing a "massive risk" in a "pristine" region. Shell also announced a $15 billion (£9.9 billion) cut in global spending, and profits that disap- pointed investors. BBC News, 29 January Massive New York City water leak Workers are planning to go under the Hudson River and through the rock to replace part of a massive tunnel leaking New York City's drinking water. They're blasting through shale and building a sha on each side of the Hudson River, about 60 miles north of New York City. Once they reach about 600 feet below the river next year, they will build a 2.5-mile bypass tunnel. The Daily Mail, 2 February Solar energy bond firm goes bust owing £7.5m Nearly 1,000 small investors who put £7.5 million into "secured" en- ergy bonds that promised to pay 6.5 per cent a year are unlikely to see their money aer it emerged the cash was siphoned off to an Austral- ian company that later went bust. Secured Energy Bonds were launched in November 2013, with the lure that they were an "envi- ronmentally friendly and locally sensitive way" to invest. Buyers were told the money would be used to install solar panels on schools across the UK. The Guardian, 29 January story by NUMbErs E nergy suppliers have over- charged customers by up to £2.9 billion over the past year by not cutting tariffs further and sooner, a Which? report has claimed. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said the report placed a "massive question mark" over how suppliers have been setting prices during the past two years. He said: "While the competi- tion inquiry should establish beyond doubt whether the price people are paying today is right, consumers will now look to politicians of every party to set out how they'll deliver fair and affordable energy prices in the future." Which? calculated that the failure of energy retailers to align their prices with wholesale costs had cost consumers an equivalent of £145 per house- hold on standard energy tariffs. The report said: "The recent cuts in big six standard gas tar- iffs of up to 5.1 per cent should have been greater, in the region of 8.8 per cent to 10.3 per cent." SSE hit back, claiming the report "ignores many fundamen- tal factors" behind movements in household bills and costs. Richard Westoby, SSE direc- tor of retail economics, said: "Our audited accounts show that in reality SSE made £48 profit per customer in 2013/14, far less than this report implies." Energy UK chief executive Lawrence Slade agreed. He said the Which? calculations were based on "hedging assump- tions for 2013 [which] are different from Ofgem's report based on the companies' actual accounts." LV Suppliers are not passing on price falls, says Which? "Basically, the water had nowhere to go." Thames Water says Network Rail's "lack of maintenance" of its drainage system casued the floods near Farringdon station. Thames Water director Bob Collington said the pipe was full of silt and debris, and a grill which would have allowed the water to drain away was blocked solid Seven days... £4bn thames Water has signed the largest ever water sector con- tracts totalling £4 billion-worth of work and services for the aMP6 period

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