Utility Week

UTILITY Week 18th December

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

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UTILITY WEEK |18TH - 24TH DECEMBER 2015 | 3 Leader Ellen Bennett This week 4 | Seven days 6 | People & Opinion 9 Policy & Regulation 9 | News Centrica wants tax breaks for batteries 10 | Analysis Ten ways the water sector can improve resilience 11 | Analysis Q&A: Ofwat chief executive Cathryn Ross 12 | Market view Regulatory models need predictability, but innovation is disruptive 15 Operations & Assets 15 | Analysis Will DNOs see the benefits of smart meters? 16 | Market view Utilities are the bedrock on which smart cities will be built 17 | Market view Technology alone is not the key to more efficient field operations 19 Finance & Investment 19 | News Networks avoid storm repair costs 20 Customers 20 | News Water firms can learn from energy retail 21 Markets & Trading 21 | News Low oil price 'fuels import dependence' 22 | Country profile India has yet to meet people's needs for basic utility services 25 | Analysis Doubt over capacity auction 30 Community 31 | Disconnector 2015: Six of the best What a year it's been! A new government, new regulatory regimes and – apparently – some completely new policies. We take a mo- ment to remember some of the biggest stories of the year: • The nation turned true-blue in May, with the unexpected outright victory of the Conservatives in the general election. Utilities' initial relief at having swerved Labour's price freeze soon gave way to confusion and concern as the new government took an axe to renewables subsidies. Into that chaos came some sort of order this winter, as new energy secretary Amber Rudd outlined her "reset" of the last government's energy policy. It's all about gas now. • The results of the CMA inquiry into the energy market, once anticipated as the event of the year, went with more of a whimper than a bang. The interim findings were released shortly a er the election in the summer, and on many of the key structural grounds, they gave the market a clean bill of health. • As the energy landscape shi s, companies are experiencing their own seismic changes. Three of the big six – Eon, followed by Centrica and RWE – have announced major strategic overhauls. National Grid, meanwhile, is flogging its gas distribution busi- nesses while promising a "demand-side revolution" and bidding a fond farewell to outgoing chief executive Steve Holliday. • Much to their surprise, the networks, usually the backroom boys of the energy sector, found themselves up in front of the CMA as well this year. British Gas took the unprecedented step of mak- ing a third party referral to the CMA, complaining that Ofgem's RIIO-ED1 settlement was too generous to the networks. Northern Powergrid also called in the CMA, claiming it wasn't generous enough. In the end, the networks came off best, with the CMA dismissing four of British Gas's five grounds of appeal and British Gas having to pick up Ofgem's legal tab. • The water sector spent most of the year thanking its lucky stars it wasn't in energy, managing to stay out of the political spot- light up to and during the general election. All that changed last month, however, with the Treasury's shock announcement that it wants to see the wheels of domestic competition in motion by the end of this parliament in 2020. • Some water companies, meanwhile, had their own dramas to play out. Chief among them was United Utilities, which had a painful cryptosporidium incident this summer, swi ly followed by bearing the brunt of Storm Desmond, alongside DNO ENW. That's all from Utility Week in print for 2015. We'll be breaking news online throughout December at utilityweek.co.uk, and we look forward to seeing you all again in the new year. A very merry Christ- mas – and here's hoping for mild weather! Ellen Bennett, Editor GAS 19 | News Centrica on track despite BG results 19 | Stock watch Centrica 21 | News Low oil price 'fuels import dependence' 21 | Markets Gas prices hit historic lows WATER 10 | Analysis The resilience taksforce has finished its deliberations 11 | Analysis Ofwat and domestic competition 26 | Analysis A summary of UW's water market quarterly report 29 | Charity How clean water changes lives ELECTRICITY 19 | News Solar cuts add 30% to costs, MPs told 25 | Analysis Doubt over capacity auction ENERGY 9 | News The UK's climate ambitions 15 | Analysis Will DNOs see smart meter benefits? 20 | News Heat customers 'have enough protection' 20 | News Co-op complaints break CAB records 21 | News Low oil price 'fuels import dependence' Ciena: Utility to utelco: the telecommunications opportunity. http://bit.ly/1NTZVsX Knowledge worth Keeping Visit the DownloaDs section of Utility week's website http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/ downloads opower: Eon UK rebuilt trust with cus- tomer engagement and digital transformation. http://bit.ly/1M8xxd3

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