Utility Week

UTILITY Week 16th October 2015

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 16TH - 22ND OCTOBER 2015 | 3 Leader Ellen Bennett This week 4 | Seven days 6 | People & Opinion 8 Policy & Regulation 8 | News Government softens blow to onshore wind 9 | Analysis Anglian Water Business steps into Business Stream's shoes 10 | Analysis Beefing up the energy ombudsman 12 | Market view Landlords and CO detectors 13 | Market view Getting CCS back on track 14 Operations & Assets 14 | High viz MeyGen tidal energy project 16 | Analysis Utilities and the internet of things 18 | Event New ways to manage assets 21 | Market view Grid balancing with DSR 22 Finance & Investment 22 | News Eon and RWE 'can afford nuclear costs' 23 Customers 23 | News Anglian wins Scottish public sector contract 24 | Analysis Germany country profile 26 | Q&A Outgoing chair of CCW's Welsh committee on consumer advocacy 27 | Market view The new face of debt collection 28 Markets & Trading 28 | News Plant delay fuels auction fears 30 Community 31 | Disconnector Business Stream will come back stronger So the Scottish government has finally admitted what the market has known for months – that Anglian Water Business was the most competitive bidder for the highly prized Scottish public water contract, and that home player Business Stream came in second. As Mathew Beech details on page 9, this is a bruising blow for Business Stream – but a win for competition. Aer all, a so-called competitive market is nothing but empty words if the government is too scared of political blowback to follow the rules of its own tender. The Scottish government has done the right thing, and Anglian Water Business has received a boost that will perhaps spur it on to even greater things in the English market. But don't write Business Stream off just yet. The seasoned Scottish player, the only company with first-hand experience of defending its territory in a competitive market, will be looking to win back its loss south of the border. The company has been active in shaping the emerging English market, as the leading prospective new entrant, fighting hard for a level playing field. Just this week, chief executive Johanna Dow argues in these pages that the in-area trading ban must stay until market opening to stop incumbents tying business customers into long-term contracts (see p6). Many would disagree – Dow's arguments are sound, but the other side of the debate would say that the in-area trading ban hamstrings incumbents in the run-up to market opening, and creates the potential for the system to fall over if thousands of customers have to be transferred from incumbent in-area companies to new companies outside the licence on the day of market opening. The case for a higher margin – which Dow has also made eloquently – is more clear cut. If the UK government is truly committed to creating a competitive market, it ought to obey the rules of economics and allow private companies to make a reasonable profit. Right now, most companies are operating in the private belief that the margins will have to go up in due course, as they did in Scotland. Wouldn't it be better to make such a decision transparently, and up front? Bloodied by not bowed, Business Stream will no doubt continue to lead the debate on such issues for prospective entrants. Outside the policy world, one way to seize back the initiative in style would be to seal the first deal for an exiting incumbent's book of business customers. Watch this space. Ellen Bennett, Editor ellen.bennett@fav-house.com GAS 12 | Market view Landlords and carbon monoxide detectors WATER 8 | News Southern expects Three Oaks approval 22 | News CGI wins £15m water market IT contract 23 | News Anglian secures Scottish public sector contract 26 | Q&A Making a difference in Wales ELECTRICITY 14 | High viz MeyGen tidal energy project 21 | Market view Grid balancing with DSR 22 | News GIB offshore wind fund reaches £818m 28 | News DSR 'misunderstood in UK' ENERGY 8 | News UK licenses coal gasification trials 13 | Market view Why don't customers switch? 23 | News Smart meter rollout 'may destroy trust' 24 | Analysis Energy in Germany 28 | News Plant delay heightens capacity auction fears 28 | News Profits from gas- fired generation to rise Knowledge worth keeping Visit the Downloads section of Utility Week's website http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/ downloads Schneider Electric: Modicon M580. It's a revolu- tion. Everytime. http://bit.ly/1FZogqK Cognizant: Using Predictive Analytics to Optimize Asset Maintenance in the Utilities Industry http://bit.ly/1cBKZP0

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