Utility Week

UTILITY Week 6th May 2016

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

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4 | 6TH - 12TH MAY 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Public support for renewables rises New figures from Decc have shown an increase in public support for renewables, as the level of concern over climate change has risen. 81% of the public said they support the use of renewa- bles. 4% said they are opposed to renewables. 70% said they are concerned about climate change. 38% support nuclear power. 23% were opposed to nuclear. 31% are opposed to fracking. STORY BY NUMBERS UU-Severn Trent JV gets green light from the CMA Seven days... T he Competition and Mar- kets Authority (CMA) has cleared the proposed joint venture between Severn Trent Water and United Utilities, to be called Water Plus. The 50/50 JV, first announced on 1 March, will offer water and related services to business customers. Chief executive Sue Amies-King told Utility Week the company had ambitions for growth, and planned to be a "winner in the market". "We certainly want to be market-leading on service and on our people engagement, so we have ambitions for growth and we want to be successful. We want to be seen as a go-to company for business custom- ers," she said. Aer completion, the new business will have an estimated 25 per cent market share across England and Scotland. Severn Trent and UU will account for the JV, through share of profits of joint ventures, using equity accounting. United Utilities has been given the go-ahead from Ofwat to provide loans to the JV, allowing it access to the working capital required for it to provide non-household retail services to customers. Severn Trent will also make loans from its appointed busi- ness to the JV. However, its licence does not contain a full set of financial ring-fencing conditions, so it does not need formal consent from the regula- tor to do so. Operations will be trans- ferred progressively to the new head office in Stoke-on-Trent over the course of this year. LV For a full Q&A with Sue Amies- King, visit: www.utilityweek.co.uk National media Nestlé: Bottling water in drought-hit California Nestlé extracted 36 million gallons of water from a national forest in California last year to sell as bottled water, even as Californians were ordered to cut their water use be- cause of a drought in the state. And the permit that Nestle uses to operate its water pipeline in the San Bernardino national forest costs just $524 (£357) a year. BBC News, 3 May Tata Steel boss hits out at UK's energy costs Tata chief executive Bimlendra Jha, whose UK operations are losing around £1 million a week, said the firm's energy charges are £40 million more a year than those in Germany. His comments came as discus- sions continue over the future of the company's plant in Port Talbot, South Wales, with thousands of jobs at risk. Daily Express, 28 April US shale gas fireball shakes the market A fireball from a ruptured pipeline linking the most prolific shale gas region of the US to New York has agitated energy markets and pro- vided new fuel for critics of fracking. On Friday, the Texas Eastern pipeline, a major artery in North America's natural gas network, burst into flames outside Pitts- burgh, Pennsylvania. The explosion seriously burnt a man fleeing his house and carved a crater into the ground, authorities said. The blast occurred in the Marcellus and Utica shales, layers of rock which since 2010 have grown to provide one-quarter of US natural gas production. It came as new pipelines in the region faced protests from some residents, envi- ronmentalists and politicians. Financial Times, 2 May "I am resisting setting a target" Energy minister Andrea Leadsom has refused to qualify what the Department of Energy and Climate Change will deem as a successful uptake of the smart meter rollout (see news, p11) . £150m Independent supplier Economy Energy has said it wants to increase revenues threefold by trebling its customer base in the next year.

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