Utility Week

UTILITY Week 29th January 2016

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4 | 29TH JANUARY - 4TH FEBRUARY 2016 | UTILITY WEEK National media Utilities the 'most improved' sector The Institute of Customer Service surveyed 10,000 customers, ask- ing them to score companies out of 100 for customer service, and found the utilities sector the most improved year on year. Two utilities made the top 50. 1.9 Number of points utilities improved by on 2014. 0.8 Overall points rise of customer service across industries. 86.4 Total points for Utilities Warehouse in second place of the top 50 table of companies. 81.7 Total points for Ovo, putting it in 33rd place. US ruling for demand side response The US Supreme Court has upheld a four-year-old federal programme that pays large electric custom- ers to save energy during times of peak demand. The ruling is popular among environmental groups who said the plan saved billions in energy costs and reduced air pollution. The Guardian, 25 January Water mills reinvented A new system has been created to generate electricity from slow- moving water in rivers and streams where other technologies are not viable. The Lunagen system works by placing turbines in the river to generate energy for a home or be fed back into the power grid. Lunagen says there is a gap in the market for smaller-scale, slow- flowing waters where building dam- like infrastructure is impossible. The Guardian, 24 January Green Party calls for greener TfL A Green Party London Assembly member has proposed that Lon- don's mayor should set up a green energy company under Transport for London (TfL). Dubbed the London Energy Company, it would generate and purchase low-carbon energy to run the capital's transport system and provide affordable clean energy to fuel poor Londoners. Business Green, 25 January Renewables could double GDP Doubling the current share of renewable energy in the global energy mix would increase GDP by up to 1.1 per cent, or $1.3 trillion, by 2030, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Forbes, 25 January STORY BY NUMBERS Portsmouth Water quits business retail market Seven days... P ortsmouth Water has become the first water company to announce its exit from the business retail market when competition is introduced in April next year. Scottish supplier Castle Water will take on the retail activities for business customers on behalf of Portsmouth from April 2016 until April 2017, when it will be handed full responsi- bility. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Portsmouth Water managing director Neville Smith told Util- ity Week that the retail revenue from its business customer base represented just 1.6 per cent of its revenues, meaning it would need a "huge investment" to be successful in the new market. He said operating in the retail market was "not the right thing to undertake. The execu- tive team have worked with the board over a number of months to come to a decision that is in the best long-term interests of the company," he said, adding that working with a specialist provider represented the "most sensible and cost-effective solu- tion" for the company and its customers. Portsmouth will continue to provide retail services to house- hold customers, which make up 95 per cent of its customer base. It said it "fully intends to par- ticipate in the household retail market, if it happens". The company will also continue to supply water to all its existing customers, and will remain responsible for water abstraction, treatment and pipe maintenance. Smith said no job losses or transfers were anticipated. The market is due to open in April 2017, allowing 1.2 million businesses and organisations based mainly or wholly in Eng- land to choose their supplier of water and wastewater services. It will link with the existing mar- ket in Scotland, which opened to non-household customers in April 2008. LV "The industry must draw a line under the turbulence of the past year and look to the future" REA chief executive Dr Nina Skorupska claims 2016 will be a "breakthrough" year for storage.

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