Utility Week

UTILITY Week 27th March 2015

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12 | 27th March - 2nd april 2015 | UtilitY WEEK Policy & Regulation Market Operator Services Lim- ited (MOSL) has pushed ahead with the process of opening up the water market to competi- tion aer a period of significant upheaval for the programme. MOSL is the company set up by Anglian Water, Northumbrian Water and United Utilities. It has started procuring the central IT systems and the first submis- sions for contracts are expected in July. The tender process is drawing WatEr MOSL presses ahead with market opening on the rules and processes being developed by Open Water. MOSL has also sent out updated articles of association, which had to be changed to allow it to lead the procurement process. The progress will come as a relief to the industry, which has seen the market opening pro- gramme beset by changes twice since August last year. In February, Ofwat appointed a new director for market open- ing in the second major overhaul of its plans, abandoning a scheme to appoint Scotland's Wics, led by Alan Sutherland, to oversee the programme, aer it was voted down by the Scottish regulator's board. The first change came in August 2014 when the regula- tor wound down Open Water Markets Limited and brought the programme to open the water market to non-domestic compe- tition back in house. This week Bristol to separate connections units Bristol Water escapes penalty as Ofwat ends investigation into complaints from self-lay firms Bristol Water has escaped being hit with a penalty for anti-com- petitive behaviour by committing to spilt up part of its business. The water company has pledged to Ofwat that it will create "two distinct and separately staffed functions", namely retail-facing and wholesale- facing business units, to ensure self-lay organisations are not unfairly disadvantaged when it comes to con- necting new developments. The move follows complaints from self-lay organisa- tion that Bristol Water had used its dominant position to harm competition. The regulator's investigation will now be closed without a penalty being imposed. Bristol Water has proposed establishing a retail inter- face, which will respond to pre-development enquiries, and a wholesale interface, which will be responsible for the assessment of the capacity of the network, the identification of the infrastructure, and the calculation of the estimated installation cost. Alongside these structural changes, the water com- pany also committed to amend its public and internal policy documents to ensure they are clear, simple, and accessible. It will also employ network site agents, who will be responsible for the oversight and management of works in relation to any new development. A spokesperson for Bristol Water said it had "taken these complaints seriously" and the changes made "have satisfied the complainants and Ofwat". MB EnErgY CMA's verdict must be respected by all The findings of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) should be upheld by the incom- ing government or it may risk its relationship with the business community, warned lobby group the CBI. It launched its thinly veiled warning to the opposition Labour Party in its 100-day "action plan" campaign, follow- ing an exclusive report in Utility Week where shadow energy min- ister Caroline Flint said her party may ignore the CMA's findings. Flint said Labour was deter- mined to press ahead with its plans for major reform of the market regardless of the CMA's findings, due to be published aer the election. However, the CBI said the CMA should have "a strategic steer for the lifetime of the par- liament that will underline, not undermine its independence". WatEr Ofwat boss urges wastewater rethink Ofwat chief executive Cathryn Ross has urged the water sector to rethink how it deals with and treats wastewater in order to improve its resilience. Speaking at a Waterwise conference in London last week, Ross said there needed to be a change of mindset, so that wastewater was seen as a "genu- inely useful resource". She said seeing water companies view wastewater as a problem "is something that really bothers me". Ross was talking about the implications of the resilience duty the government placed on the regulator in the Water Act, which was passed last year, and how water companies, as well as other stakeholders, would ensure it was met. She told delegates water companies had tended to focus on "responding to supply and demand balancing issues on the water supply side" and had ignored the potential of waste- water to boost resilience. Ross said cleaned wastewater should be seen as a "genuinely useful resource" rather than something that needed to be disposed of. "There's a culture change that will have to come on this at some point," she said. ElEctricitY More development left to National Grid Ofgem will give system operator National Grid additional respon- sibility to plan the development of onshore and offshore grid development, according to new plans from the regulator. Ofgem concluded its consul- tation on integrated transmis- sion planning and regulation on 17 March and decided to give National Grid "extra responsibil- ities" to identify the future needs of the onshore and offshore electricity network, as well as interconnectors with neighbour- ing countries. "This will help ensure the network is planned and oper- ated in an efficient, economical and co-ordinated way," said Ofgem, adding that it would also lead to lower network charges. The decision comes alongside its measures to boost competi- tion in tendering for new net- work connections. The regulator said it would move forward with proposals to launch competitive tendering from 2016 or 2017. Connections: separation keeps everyone happy

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