Utility Week

Utility Week 17th April 2015

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/495805

Contents of this Issue


Page 14 of 31

UTILITY WEEK | 17TH - 23RD APRIL 2015 | 15 Policy & Regulation The Labour Party will not back down on its plans to overhaul the energy sector, according to its election manifesto. Opposition leader Ed Mili- band has launched his party's general election promises, which feature the reforms to the energy market he announced in his party conference speech in 2013. These will prevent any price rises being implemented by the ENERGY Labour confirms overhaul with manifesto launch suppliers over a 20-month period; create a new energy regulator with the power to force suppliers to pass on falling wholesale costs; and reintroduce the energy pool. Miliband said: "Britain can be better – for you, your family and our country. But only if we change the rules by which the country is run, the ethic that drives government, the leader- ship we offer." His party has unveiled a new "budget responsibility lock", which is the promise that a Labour government would cut the deficit every year, and that every policy in the manifesto will be paid for without requir- ing any additional borrowing. Miliband added: "[Our manifesto's] very first page sets out a vow to protect our nation's finances." This week Tories pledge to act on advice of CMA Party would implement the recommendations of the Competition and Markets Authority inquiry The Conservative Party has pledged to implement the recom- mendations of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probe into the energy sector. The commitment in its manifesto, launched on Tuesday, comes aer shadow energy sec- retary Caroline Flint told Utility Week last month that Labour would reform the market, breaking up the vertically inte- grated companies, regardless of the CMA's findings. Liberal Democrat energy secretary Ed Davey has also said his party would not treat the CMA's findings as binding, but added the recommendations "need to be taken very, very seriously". The Conservative manifesto also reaffirmed prime minister David Cameron's commitment to "go all out for shale gas", made at the start of 2014, by promising to continue support for the safe development of shale gas. The party also outlined plans to support "low-cost energy efficiency measures", and aims to insulate more than 1 million homes over the next five years. This falls short of Labour's proposals to improve the energy effi- ciency of 5 million homes over the next ten years. The Tories also said there will be a "significant expan- sion" of new nuclear and gas generation in the UK, as well as "good value" green energy, if they are in government aer the election. However, the party has followed through on its aim to stop any new onshore wind developments, pledging to remove all new subsidies for the technology, and changing the law to allow local communities to have the final say on whether they receive planning permission. Despite this, the manifesto adds: "We have been the greenest government ever," echoing Cameron's commit- ment in 2010 when the coalition was formed. MB ELECTRICITY SNP would reform transmission regime The Scottish National Party said it will reform the "failed" transmis- sion charging regime to benefit the Scottish energy industry, as part of its election manifesto. The SNP claims the current transmission charging regime penalises the energy industry in Scotland, with generators in the north of the country paying £26 per kilowatt and in Fife paying £17.10/kW. This compares with Cornwall, where generators are paid £5.80/kW. But transmission operator National Grid shrugged off the criticism, telling Utility Week that the charging regime is uniformly applied based on the amount of generation relative to local demand. "In Scotland, there is currently over 11GW of generat- ing capacity, compared to a peak demand of 5.4GW," a National Grid spokesman said. "It is because of this excess of genera- tion in Scotland – compared to local demand – that generators in Scotland pay more in trans- mission charges than those in England and Wales. The negative generation tariff in Cornwall is due to there being less genera- tion than demand in the South West," the spokesman added. ENERGY Smart prepay meters by 2017, say Lib Dems The Liberal Democrats have promised to ensure the energy companies offer prepayment customers smart meters by 2017. The junior coalition partner made the pledge as part of a five-point plan that it claims will cut costs for consumers and commuters and "save families hundreds of pounds a year". The Lib Dems have also pledged to cut energy switching times to 24 hours, something the Lib Dem energy secretary Ed Davey stated in 2013 is an ambition of his. Davey is also an advocate of collective switch- ing schemes, and the Lib Dems said they plan to extend these initiatives across the UK, "saving consumers on average £200". Deputy prime minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: "We want to give power back to consumers and commuters, mak- ing sure people are not ripped off by sky-high energy bills and excessively high rail fares." ENERGY Greens attack freeze but may back Labour The Green Party has attacked Labour's proposed price freeze, saying energy efficiency is a better solution, but added that it could back a Labour government on a case-by-case basis. Speaking at the launch of the party manifesto on Tuesday, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said a significant energy effi- ciency programme is "the only way to permanently bring down energy bills, unlike Labour's energy price freeze". She added that, with polls indicating that no single party is set to gain a majority in the election on 7 May, "that gives us a real opportunity to push Labour on policies". She also restated her party's stance that it will not support a Conservative government. In its manifesto, the Green Party said it would look to intro- duce a substantial energy effi- ciency scheme that would offer measures to 9 million homes, and seek to li 2 million out of fuel poverty. It also targeted a total of 42GW to be generated via community power by 2020. Cameron: committed to going 'all out for shale'

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - Utility Week 17th April 2015