Utility Week

UTILITY Week 30th October 2015

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

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4 weeks Northern Gas Networks has for the first time used close-fit pipe lining technology to replace cast iron pipes, reducing the duration of two gas mains replacement projects by four weeks UTILITY WEEK | 30TH OCTOBER - 5TH NOVEMBER 2015 | 5 United Utilities has revealed plans to invest £3.5 million in what will be Europe's largest floating solar power development. The water company began the installation of 12,000 solar panels on 26 October on the surface of its Godley reservoir in Greater Manchester in a bid to reduce its energy costs. The 3MW project is expected to meet a third of the energy needs of the water treatment works and is the second largest in the world, behind a similar scheme in Japan. Northumbrian workers conclude strike, postponed action remains Workers at Northumbrian Water concluded a planned 24-hour strike in Wallsend on Monday, while strike action at Tees Dock Road has been postponed. The dispute is over changes Northumbrian Water is planning to make to its defined benefit pension scheme. On 20 October, balloted workers voted by 61 per cent in favour of strike action and by 80 per cent for industrial action short of a strike. The 24-hour strike was planned to start at 8am on Monday 26 October, with 44 Unite members at the Tees Dock Road sewage treatment works in Middlesbrough and the Northumberland Dock Road sewage treatment works in Wallsend downing tools. A spokesman for Northumbrian Water said the company received a letter from Unite regional officer Pat McCourt dated 22 October, calling for the strike at Tees Dock Road to be postponed due to "health and safety concerns", but the letter does not specify when the strike will take place. Also ongoing is indefinite industrial action short of a strike – including a call-out ban and a ban on overtime – across all the company's sites, featuring about 100 members of the GMB and Unite trade unions. CLARIFICATION In the previous print issue of Utility Week, it was reported that 61 per cent of Northumbrian Water workers voted in favour of strike action. This percentage refers only to balloted workers, not the workforce as a whole. WATER Big Energy Savings Week offers seven 'easy tips' to save The Department of Energy and Climate Change has joined with the Energy Savings Trust and Citizens Advice to launch the Big Energy Savings Week. The campaign is encouraging consumers to switch energy supplier and save money on their energy bills. Citizens Advice has run 286 events across the country, actively helping consumers to switch, and giving advice on managing debt and saving energy. The campaign said 45 per cent of people do not think they could save money by switching, while 75 per cent of the 55 per cent that do think they could make savings believe they would be less than £100. "I'd like to apologise" British Gas Business managing director Gab Barbaro in reaction to news that Ofgem is investigating whether the supplier has been wrongfully blocking the transfer of business customers and whether it has been dealing with billing issues correctly. "If there is one issue that seems to dominate my life, it is Gaz and Leccy" Lord Bourne addressing the Energy UK conference

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