Utility Week

UTILITY Week 19th February 2016

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4 | 19th - 25th February 2016 | utILIty WeeK National media Remainder of big six cut gas prices british Gas and eDF cut their gas prices this week, following the rest of the big six in responding to calls from politi- cians and the public to reflect falling wholesale prices. 7.2% largest supplier gas price cut from renewable independent, Good energy 5% lowest gas price cut from big six supplier, eDF 9 number of suppli- ers who have cut gas prices, out of a total of 37 53% percentage wholesale gas prices are down in January com- pared with the same time last year. See analysis, p25 Flint investigators mull criminal charges The state of Michigan's inquiry into the Flint water crisis will consider any potential criminal conduct, including involuntary manslaugh- ter, investigators have said. Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette and a team of investi- gators appointed last month to examine Flint's water debacle said they've "hit the ground running" in the investigation. The investigators declined to put a timeline on when the inquiry will be completed, but said the scope of potential criminal charges that may be considered include mis- conduct in office and involuntary manslaughter. The Guardian, 9 February Solar-powered drones to join British fleet A British-designed solar-powered drone operating at the edge of space will soon join Britain's fleet of military aircra, allowing special forces to observe or eavesdrop on adversaries for weeks on end. The £10.6 million contract is to acquire at least two Zephyr 8 "pseudo satellites" – high-altitude endurance drones – from Airbus Defence and Space. Financial Times, 2 February Four billion face severe water scarcity At least two-thirds of the global population, more than 4 billion peo- ple, live with severe water scarcity for at least one month every year, according to major new analysis. The revelation shows water shortages are far worse than previ- ously thought. The new research also reveals that 500 million people live in places where water consumption is double the amount replenished by rain for the entire year, leaving them vulnerable as aquifers run down. The Guardian, 12 February stoRy by NUMbERs EPH wants more plant as it moves into SME retail Seven days... E PH, the Czech owner of Eggborough and Lyne- mouth power stations, has outlined wide-ranging ambitions for the UK, including the development of new-build gas-fired power stations via the capacity market, the further acquisition of existing coal and gas-fired power stations, and a move into the SME retail market. In an exclusive interview with Utility Week, EPH UK chief executive Neil O'Hara revealed that the company is looking at a number of sites for potential new-build gas power stations. However, he warned that the current capacity market would have to change if it was to bring forward new-build. O'Hara added that EPH was conducting "several" negotia- tions to acquire power stations. He said: "We're very comfortable with taking on low load factor coal and dealing with some of the other issues around coal, through our preference is clearly going to be gas." Utility Week can also reveal that EPH is launching Energy- scanner, a digital marketplace for SME customers to find, compare and transact their energy business. The company is in the process of signing up energy suppliers, and expects to expand into water when the non-household market opens to competition in 2017. Utility Week revealed last week that EPH has secured a place in the 2016/17 Supple- mental Balancing Reserve for Eggborough, giving the power station a one-year reprieve from its planned closure in March. The central European utility bought Lynemouth from RWE earlier this year. EB See p8 for the full interview. "Vigorous competition and abundant new entrants… dispel any suggestion that suppliers somehow face 'softened incentives' to compete for [prepay] customers" SSE challenges the CMA's assumptions about the prepayment market in its response to the latter's proposed remedies

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