Utility Week

Utility Week 24th April 2015

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UTILITY WEEK | 24TH - 30TH APRIL 2015 | 11 Policy & Regulation This week SNP backs Labour's energy price freeze Scottish Nationalists would enforce price cuts and demand a say in holding Ofgem to account The Scottish National Party (SNP) is set to back the Labour Party's plans to force energy companies to cut energy bills when wholesale prices fall. The SNP launched its mani- festo on 20 April, saying it would give Ofgem the power to control prices and force energy firms to pass on lower costs to consumers. The party's energy spokesperson, Mike Weir, told The Sunday Mail: "It's time that Westminster put consumers first and not the energy companies. "The SNP will campaign for the energy regulator to have the power to control retail prices and force energy companies to pass on cuts to consumers." In addition, the SNP called for the Scottish govern- ment to have "joint oversight" of Ofgem. This follows recommendations by the Smith Commission in Novem- ber that Ofgem should lay its annual report before the Scottish parliament and appear before its committees. The SNP said it would also help to cut energy bills by pushing for the Energy Company Obligation to be funded through general taxation rather than as a levy on customer bills. The SNP is also pushing for a transmission charging regime that supports Scotland's energy industry "rather than undermining it as the current regime does", as outlined in its business pre-manifesto. It claims the cur- rent transmission charging regime penalises the energy industry in Scotland, with generators in the north of the country paying £26/kW and in Fife £17.10/kW, whereas in Cornwall generators pay £5.80/kW and in Somerset £3.94/kW. MB ELECTRICITY Labour draws nuclear red line Labour has declared its new nuclear power ambitions a "red line" in any future coalition negotiations, saying it would not accept the Scottish National Party (SNP) view that there should be no new nuclear power plants in the UK. Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint, speaking in a Daily Politics debate on energy and climate change on Monday, said the party had made it clear that "nuclear is an important part of the energy mix going forward". She said her party ruled out conceding this issue to the SNP. WATER Bristol Water: Ofwat case not persuasive Bristol Water has launched another attack on Ofwat's mod- elling used to decide its PR14 final determination in the ongo- ing Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigation. In a document sent to the CMA, the water company criti- cises the modelling system used by the regulator for not being "sufficiently persuasive or well- evidenced" enough to overrule its business plan. This follows comments from Bristol Water regulatory director Mike King to Utility Week in Feb- ruary accusing Ofwat of using "flawed modelling". The water company was responding to comments made to the CMA by Ofwat, which was in turn responding to Bristol Water's statement of case to the competition authority. Bristol Water added: "Given the size of the gap between our modelled cost threshold and the proposed totex in our business plan, we consider that Ofwat should have been prepared to supplement its modelling with other approaches to assess- ing costs in order to properly understand the costs we had presented and test the theory of inefficiency implied by the modelling results." ELECTRICITY Ukip seeks 'level playing field' for coal Ukip wants to "ensure a level playing field for coal" by remov- ing all government subsidies for wind and solar power. In its manifesto launched on Wednesday, Ukip said it wanted to "rejuvenate" the UK coal industry, adding that it would also scrap the carbon tax because coal-fired generation will be partnered with carbon capture and storage technology. The party also said it would "halt the decline" of coal by seeking private funding to develop "new, efficient plants". Also, Ukip said it would scrap compliance with the EU's Large Combustion Plant Directive and the planned Medium Combus- tion Plant Directive. Hollyrood: Scots want 'joint oversight' of Ofgem www.meterassetmanagement.com Register online or fax your registration to +44 (0) 870 9090 712 or call +44 (0) 870 9090 711 SPECIAL RATES AVAILABLE FOR UTILITIES, COMMERCIAL SECTOR AND GROUP BOOKINGS BOOK BY 31ST MARCH AND SAVE £300 • BOOK BY 30TH APRIL AND SAVE £100 2015 Holiday Inn Regents Park Hotel, London, UK Meter Asset Management 22nd - 23rd JUNE SMi presents the 2nd annual conference on… PLUS AN INTERACTIVE FULL DAY POST-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP Wednesday 24th June, Holiday Inn Regents Park Hotel, London, UK QuarterpageAd.qxp 26/03/2015 11:28 Page 1

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