Utility Week

UTILITY Week 8th May 2015

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UTILITY WEEK | 8TH - 14TH MAY 2015 | 25 Customers This week Green Deal needs 'radical overhaul' The EUA says the new government must find a better way to deliver the scheme's objectives The Green Deal energy efficiency scheme needs a "radical over- haul" and is a "critical issue" that the new energy minister must address, the Energy & Utili- ties Alliance (EUA) has said. The EUA's chief executive Mike Foster told Utility Week the Green Deal has "failed to live up to expectations" by placing "bar- riers" to home improvements in the form of bureaucracy and red tape and needs to be quickly replaced by the new government. The latest government statistics showed that only 12,076 households had Green Deal plans in progress at the end of March 2015, more than two years aer the scheme was launched. Foster said: "Any new govern- ment coming in at the end of this week has got to look at what the Green Deal objectives were supposed to be and ask themselves a very hard question about whether there is a better way of delivering them." The EUA wants to see any Green Deal replacement remove three key barriers to delivery. Firstly, it is call- ing for the removal of the "bureaucratic" accreditation scheme Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2030, which it says is "unnecessary" and has resulted in very few accredited gas heating engineers. Secondly, it is calling for zero per cent interest rates to encourage uptake. Finally, it is calling for targeted support to make it "very attractive" to householders to replace the 2-3 mil- lion "zombie" boilers in UK households that it currently remains cheaper to run and repair than replace. LD ENERGY Industry warned of smart meter barriers Smart Energy GB has warned the energy industry of a range of health and lifestyle factors that could prevent consumers from fully benefiting from having a smart meter. The national consumer cam- paign group for the smart meter rollout has highlighted being blind or partially sighted, poor English or Welsh language skills, being off the gas grid, and being a tenant as potential barriers to properly engaging with a smart meter. The group stated in a consul- tation assessing the issues that suppliers have a "joint responsi- bility" alongside itself to ensure consumers are able to under- stand and use smart meters and realise the benefits of them. Smart Energy GB highlighted the extent of the potential issues, using figures from the Office of National Statistics to show that 900,000 UK residents speak little or no English and more than a third rent their homes. ENERGY White label deals are 'anti-competitive' Independent energy supplier First Utility has raised con- cerns with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that white label energy deals are anti-competitive, providing the big six with an extra tariff. In a submission to the CMA investigation into the energy mar- ket, First Utility labelled white label deals as a "convenient workaround of the Retail Market Review (RMR) four tariff rules" that provides the big six with an extra acquisition route to custom- ers above the four tariffs cur- rently allowed under the RMR. It said the major suppliers' ability to cross-subsidise short- term attractive acquisition tariffs offered through white label branding with the higher Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs) offered from the core brand was "a major barrier to expansion" to smaller energy companies. GAS NGN funds scheme to fit CO detectors Northern Gas Networks (NGN) is funding a trial scheme to install 150 innovative carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, which issue an SMS notification to a nomi- nated mobile phone when CO is detected, in social housing. Weekly reports are also issued by the detectors to confirm they are fully functional and to alert owners when the batteries need replacing. So far, NGN has fitted 80 of the devices in social housing in West Yorkshire. During the trial, local councils will receive all notifications from the devices. Foster: Green Deal has not met expectations I am the customer Jeremy Nicholson "Energy-intensive industries will still need compensation" Energy has barely featured in the general election campaign. Yet for UK energy consumers, particularly industrial users operating in global markets, the stakes are high. All major parties except UKIP support the Climate Change Act and decarbonisation of the UK economy, which may give comfort to low-carbon energy investors. But according to its manifesto, Labour would legis- late to "remove the carbon from our electricity supply by 2030" – The Energy Intensive Users Group is calling on all parties to maintain and expand this support as long as it is required. We also want early repeal of the carbon floor price and support for environmentally responsible development of shale gas. Most of all, we want the market – not government – to identify the most cost-effective way of deliv- ering secure, low-carbon energy at competitive prices. Jeremy Nicholson, director, Energy Intensive Users Group a reckless commitment given the continuing difficulties in deploy- ing new nuclear and CCS. The Lib Dems would legislate for 50-100g CO2/kWh by 2030 as recommended by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), but would also like 60 per cent of electricity from renewables by then – triple the current level. All these proposals would add cost to consumers over and above the already expensive cli- mate programme, which the CCC says will have added 98 per cent to industrial electricity prices by 2030. The coalition government has recognised energy-intensive industries need compensation to offset these costs.

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