Utility Week

UTILITY Week 25th September 2015

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4 | 25TH SEPTEMBER - 1ST OCTOBER 2015 | UTILITY WEEK National media Dual fuel customers moving away from the big six Independent energy suppliers' dual fuel market share has grown by half in the past year, with 660,000 custom- ers switching away from the big six, according to figures from Cornwall Energy. 13.4% Independents' market share, up from 9 per cent this time last year. 4% Dual fuel market share of the larg- est independent supplier, First Utility, after it gained 275,000 new customers in the past year. 9.4% Share of dual fuel market held collectively by the other 19 independents. 86.6% Collective share of the big six, down from 91 per cent. Energy-efficient homes link to asthma The number of Britons with asthma could almost double by 2050 because the air inside homes is becoming more polluted as they become more energy-efficient, a report warns. The trend towards airtight houses could also worsen allergies as well as breathing problems, and even exacerbate lung cancer and heart problems, according to a lead- ing expert in indoor air quality. The Guardian, 20 September Australian homes get Tesla's new battery Australia will be one of the first countries to get Tesla's vaunted Powerwall battery storage system, as several other companies scram- ble to sign up Australia's growing number of households with solar rooops. US firm Tesla said that its 7kWh home energy storage units would be available by the end of the year in Australia, ahead of previous predictions of 2016. The Guardian, 18 September Sir David Attenborough backs scheme to make clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels Sir David Attenborough has given his backing to a ten-year project to develop clean energy technology. The naturalist and TV presenter put his name to a letter arguing for countries to adopt the Global Apollo Programme (GAP) before the UN Climate Change Conference in December. The programme is designed to make renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels through public investment in research and devel- opment to the tune of $15bn a year globally. The Daily Telegraph, 16 September STORY BY NUMBERS E nergy companies will be forced to wait a further six months for the findings of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probe aer the regulator said it needed to refine its analysis. The CMA said on Monday it would delay the deadline for the investigation from 25 December to June 2016 to give itself time to take into account the industry's responses, but it expected to deliver its final remedies to the energy market by April. Currently, suppliers face the possibility of partial price regu- lation under the CMA's proposed fixes, aer the authority accused them of taking advantage of disengaged customers. But these assumptions have been consist- ently called into question, and may now have prompted the inquiry group to reconsider its analysis. "We now need to refine our analysis in the light of the many responses we have received, to design potential measures that are effective and proportionate to remedy each possible issue, and then to consult widely on those potential measures. "This is a huge programme of work and we have concluded that we could not complete it by the original statutory deadline," the CMA said. The CMA's early find- ings revealed concerns about customer engagement, the role regulation has played in shaping the market, and the level of profit made by the incumbents. But the big six have consistently questioned the calculations used by the CMA. Centrica said in its submis- sion it had "serious concerns" about the validity of the assumptions driving the provi- sional findings, branding them "inconsistent with commercial reality". "We do not believe the analy- sis of profitability and margins in the [provisional findings] is sufficiently robust to support a conclusion that excessive profits are being earned in retail mar- kets," the company said. JA CMA delays energy probe findings by six months Seven days... "There is more we need to do" Npower says it will continue to work hard to improve customer service after coming second to last in a customer service league from Which? The company narrowly beat Scottish Power, which finished last. See p26

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