Utility Week

UTILITY Week 20 05 16

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/680922

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 31

Customers This week Concerns raised over replacement for Eco Energy UK chief uneasy at how the next energy efficiency scheme will handle able-to-pay market E nergy UK chief executive Lawrence Slade has said he has "strong concerns" over how the government's next energy efficiency scheme will handle the able-to-pay market, and the cost of the scheme to customers in fuel poverty. Speaking at a Public Accounts Committee hearing last week, Slade said: "I think it is very useful that we have an interim to take us from the end of the current Eco Energy Company Obligation] to the next one; I gener- ally support the idea of focusing the money available towards the fuel poor. "I have strong concerns, though, over how we are going to handle the able-to-pay market and complexity of measures that need to be delivered there to meet our interim targets, but also the amount of work that needs to be done there." Slade told the committee that the funding of the measures also needed to be considered because "it's very regressive and not right, I believe, that someone in fuel poverty is paying for these schemes". Eco is entering its transitional year before a replace- ment scheme is expected to be introduced in 2018. The industry has been calling for clarity on the next meas- ures. In January, Lord Bourne told MPs the new energy efficiency scheme will cost about £640 million and be "centric to fuel poverty". Little else is known. In April, shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead warned that early signs suggest the replacement scheme for the Eco and Green Deal "won't be good enough". SJ ENERGY Prepay sector 'needs' CMA safeguard tariff The prepay meter sector of the energy retail market "needs to have" the safeguard tariff outlined by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), accord- ing to the energy secretary. Amber Rudd told the House of Commons last week that prepay meters "need reform" and that the safeguard tariff proposed by the CMA in March must be adopted. The CMA has proposed a temporary price control for the four million cus- tomers on prepay meters, ending the full rollout of smart meters and wider reform of the market by 2020. It claims the measure will save those customers £300 million a year. WATER Veolia sets sights on English retail market Veolia UK has said it wants to grow its retail activities in the UK water market, as the industry prepares for market opening. Veolia UK chief operating officer for water, John Abraham, told Utility Week: "Veolia is inter- ested in growing retail water activities and welcomes further competition." Veolia Water Projects – part of the Veolia Group – is a mem- ber of Market Operator Services Ltd and currently provides water and sewerage services under licence to domestic and commercial customers in the Tidworth and Perham Down area in Wiltshire. The company is now looking to increase its activities within the water market. "Retail water, resource management and sludge treatment and dis- posal are all areas where we can provide investment, technology and global best practice, which promote greater sustainability and efficiency," said Abraham. ENERGY First Utility: big six overcharge by £4bn First Utility has condemned the big six energy suppliers for "overcharging" customers by as much as £4 billion a year, more than double the £1.7 billion figure suggested by the Com- petition and Markets Authority (CMA). First Utility claimed in March that energy customers were over- charged by £3.4 billion a year. However, fresh analysis by the independent supplier has sug- gested an extra £600 million of savings is now available UK-wide. It said the overspend is due to more than 85 per cent of energy customers being with one of the big six, with 70 per cent of those being on the standard variable tariff, and "not taking advantage of saving money by switching supplier". Slade: 'not right' that fuel poor should pay for it I am the customer Allen Creedy "Energy costs are a barrier to small business growth" The Competition and Markets Authority is putting the finishing touches to its final report on the energy market. Its provisional recommendations announced in March strongly imply there will be changes to the way tariffs are offered to customers. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is hopeful that published tariffs will be made available to small businesses, and we could well see the liing of existing restrictions around the number of tariffs available. last week, SSE released a new 100 per cent renewable energy product that allows organisa- tions to report zero emissions for their purchased electricity. With the rollout of smart meters, it will be interesting to see how new and innovative tariffs help businesses to save time and energy, change the way they operate, increase market engagement, reduce costs and maximise productivity. Allen Creedy, chair of energy and environment, FSB Around a third of small businesses highlight the cost of energy as a barrier to growth, so an efficient market needs to help them pay less and, more impor- tantly, use less. But many busi- nesses have concerns that go beyond prices and want to see tariffs reflect the varied needs of each customer. Of course, many businesses will continue to simply seek out the cheapest deal. However, there will also be businesses looking for a more holistic package. Some suppliers, such as EDF, have pre-empted the expected CMA recommendations by releasing a published variable tariff for small businesses. And UTILITY WEEK | 20TH - 26TH MAY 2016 | 25

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 20 05 16