Utility Week

Utility Week 24th April 2015

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4 | 24TH - 30TH APRIL 2015 | UTILITY WEEK National media Switching more than doubles in March Switching has seen a dramatic increase recently, according to government data. The rise is thought to be linked to price cuts from all the major energy suppliers. Full story, p26 417K number of households that switched energy supplier in March 50% increase in switching num- bers on the same month last year 98k number of switches to small suppliers 100k switching increase since February 900k total switches in the first quarter of 2015 BP abandoned green energy projects BP pumped billions of pounds into low-carbon technology and green energy over a number of decades but gradually retired the pro- gramme to focus almost exclusively on its fossil fuel business. At one stage the company was spending in-house around $450m (£300m) a year on research, equiva- lent of $830 million today. The Guardian, 16 April US could become an energy exporter The US could export more energy than it imports as early as 2020, according to a new report, which would have a tremendous impact on the country's economy. The report from the Energy Infor- mation Administration claims that even though oil prices have fallen sharply in the past year the US will still increase its oil and natural gas production over the next five years. The US has been a net importer of energy since the 1950s. The Independent, 15 April Mexico oil spill leaves 200,000 without water An oil spill in southeastern Mexico has le more than 200,000 people without water. The spill, near Tabasco state capital Villahermosa, was caused by oil thieves punctur- ing a pipeline and has polluted two rivers. BBC News, 15 April China targets firms polluting water China has ordered the closure of small plants in ten dirty industries and a clampdown on the tapping of underground water sources in a bid to tackle contamination. Import duties have also been lowered on components used for treatment plants. Financial Times, 16 April STORY BY NUMBERS S outh West Water's parent company, Pennon, has bought Bournemouth Water from Sembcorp Holdings for £100.3 million, the company said last week. Pennon will raise the cash for the acquisition through an equity capital raising of around 3 per cent of its market cap. The deal marks the first such takeover following the conclusion of Ofwat's PR14 price control determinations, which paved the way for greater merger and acquisition activity ahead of the start of market liberalisation in 2017. Pennon said it believed the Bournemouth business was "highly complementary" to South West Water, adding that Bournemouth was "one of the highest-performing water-only companies in the UK across a range of indicators with outstanding customer service reflected in its service incentive mechanism scores". Bourne- mouth Water has a customer base of around 400,000 and in 2014 had revenues of £49.2 million, operating profit of £15.3 million and pre-tax profit of £10.2 million. "The combined business will provide an enhanced platform for innovation and growth ahead of market liberalisa- tion and will better serve both Bournemouth and the South West, delivering tangible ben- efits to customers and share- holders," said Pennon executive director and chief executive of South West Water Chris Loughlin. The deal, including assumed debt of £86.9 million, has a total transaction value of £187 million and will add 5 per cent to SWW's regulated asset base. It deal will automatically be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority for approval. JA Pennon pays £100m for Bournemouth Water Seven days... "…is a significant commitment in efforts to combat climate change…" The chairman of Scottish Power parent company Iberdrola, Ignacio Galan, co-signed an open letter to world leaders urging "firm and concrete steps" towards an ambitious climate agreement at the Paris climate summit in December

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