Utility Week

UTILITY Week 30th October 2015

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"The guiding principle of our energy plan is the pursuit of social justice." Shadow energy secretary Lisa Nandy UTILITY WEEK | 30TH OCTOBER - 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 | 13 Utilities' policy positioning paper Policy & Regulation This year Utility Week Lobby took the voice of the UK utilities in- dustry into the thick of the major party conferences by hosting three fringe events at the Labour, Conservative and SNP party conferences. Ahead of the conferences, Util- ity Week, in association with Bain & Company, held a series of high level workshops with company chief executives and senior directors in the energy and retail, energy transmission and distribu- tion, and water sectors. These discussions were used to develop a policy positioning paper identifying approaches that would help utilities address their major challenges over the coming parliament. Energy • Government should clarify its  position on the energy trilemma of security, affordability and environmental protection, and on Electricity Market Reform (EMR). • The withdrawal of exemptions  to the Climate Change Levy with 24 days' notice was a setback for investor. Government should  clarify its intention never to implement retrospective policy changes. • Industry welcomes the findings  of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). It asks that the  appropriate measure of profit- ability for the industry be used, and that the proposed backstop tariff be avoided, or limited to vulnerable customers, to prevent unintended consequences • To deliver the best customer  experience at the lowest possible cost and with the least possible disruption, industry needs the full five years initially planned for the  smart meter rollout. • The future of gas in the  medium-term energy mix should be explicitly acknowledged, and policy support given with this in mind. • Industry recommends that  government review how new con- nection costs are charged. • The industry asks for greater  alignment in government support for apprenticeships and the pro- motion of vocational skills. Water • Industry suggests that  extending the current five-year  regulatory cycle to eight years could deliver greater consistency and investor confidence. Other  options include introducing longer-term incentives that run between price reviews. • Government should support  Ofwat in providing a transpar- ent assurance framework for the opening of the non-domestic water market in April 2017, and take a timely decision as to whether opening on this date is the best option for customers. • Non-household competition is  a major reform. The benefits and  costs should be assessed post- implementation before further market reform (such as upstream reform) is undertaken. To download Utilities 2015: A Policy Positioning Paper in full, go to the downloads section of utilityweek.co.uk "The global environment is in peril. We need to be part of an international movement to cut emissions and pollution." Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn "We may have come to expect an incoher- ent, illogical and piecemeal approach to devolution from Westminster but, frankly, it's just not good enough." SNP energy spokesperson Callum McCaig "An independent National Infrastructure Commission… set up in law, free from party arguments, which works out, calmly and dispassionately, what the country needs to build for its future." Chancellor George Osborne "The consumer, the consumer, the consumer." Energy secretary Amber Rudd on who should be the focus of the govern- ment's energy policy "The future of gas in the medium- term energy mix should be explicitly acknowledged" "Ignore Scotland at your peril." SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon

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