Utility Week

UTILITY Week 27th May 2016

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/683664

Contents of this Issue


Page 2 of 31

UTILITY WEEK | 27TH MAY - 2ND JUNE 2016 | 3 Leader Jane Gray This week 4 | Seven days 6 | People & Opinion 9 | Special report An in-depth report from the second annual Utility Week Live exhibition and conference at the NEC in Birmingham 16 Policy & Regulation 16 | News Yorkshire fracking well gets go-ahead 17 | Market view Safety is paramount for those planning fracking operations in the UK – and for the government 18 Finance & Investment 18 | News Grid rules out cuts in transmission charges 21 | Market view Why the government's cancellation of the CCS competition may simply be a setback 22 Operations & Assets 22 | High viz The Thames Tideway Tunnel, London 23 | Pipe up Initiatives to attract a new generation of workers to the utilities sector 24 | Market view How long-term vehicle rental can save utilities the expense of running an ageing fleet 27 Customers 27 | News Customers uncertain about water market 28 | Market view Why energy suppliers must create clearer bills to make the most of consumer choice in the market 30 Community 31 | Disconnector Thames boss is ready to shake things up One of the biggest jobs in the water market has changed hands. Aer several months of speculation, a new chief executive has been appointed at Thames Water, the UK's largest water company and, historically at least, one of the most prone to feature in news headlines. So, it's goodbye to Martin Baggs, and hello to Steve Robertson. What will he bring to the party as Thames squares up to the chal- lenges of market opening and the evolution of "pro-market" regula- tion in the water sector? The answer – if we can judge by his recent leadership experience – is an awful lot. Robertson joins Thames from Truphone, a telecoms company that was founded in 2001 and has since disrupted the market for provision of business communications services. Bringing proprietary technology to bear, it has worked to undermine and transform the accepted wisdom that firms with international operations have to put up with hey mobile telephone bills. Truphone introduced a global network that lets business travellers make calls, text and browse the internet at local rates using voice over IP technology. It's a virtual network with physical infrastructure delivered through partnership. This background will bring many important areas of experience to Thames, but two stand out. First, a firm foundation in dealing with business customers and changing their expectations with regards to the service they receive from a utility that has previously been undifferentiated and arguably, uninspiring. Second, an innovation-friendly, digital-first mentality that will become increasingly important for water firms as they seek to break out of the "capex equals good, opex equals bad" mentality of yes- teryear – which speakers at Utility Week Live (p9) recently said still prevails in the sector, despite the move to a totex and an outcomes- based regulatory regime. Robertson will have a big challenge on his hands as he brings this experience to bear. Although Thames Water's performance against Ofwat's service incentive mechanism has steadily improved in recent years, it still lurks at the bottom of SIM league tables and there is still doubt in the water market about the extent to which the low retail margin will allow competitive differentiation to flourish come April next year (p27). But these challenges notwithstand- ing, Robertson's appointment indicates an intent to disrupt from Thames's board. Jane Gray, Acting Editor jane.gray@fav-house.com GAS 17 | Market view Safety is vital for those planning fracking operations 18 | Stock watch IGas and Egdon benefit from fracking decision 18 | News SSE mulls partial sale of SGN stake WATER 16 | News Water firms allowed to back-bill for only 16 months: Ofwat 18 | News Severn Trent to save £670m in AMP6 22 | High viz Digging deep to clean up the Thames 27 | News More apply for retail market licences 27 | News Extra help for UU's customers ELECTRICITY 16 | News EDF has Hinkley cash ready to go 16 | News Anti- diesel action 'will hit distributed generation' 18 | News Beatrice windfarm gets green light ENERGY 21 | Market view Reasons to be cheerful about the prospects for CCS 27 | News Extra Energy falls under Eco scheme 28 | Market view Clearer bills vital to switching Visit the Downloads section of the website Citrix: How utilities can improve both customer service and operational efficiency http://bit.ly/1s4EAnI Kirona: Seven Deadly Sins Managing Field Based Workers 2016 http://bit.ly/1U737yM Aeris: Water Meters and the Internet of Things. http://bit.ly/1rEqcT0

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - UTILITY Week 27th May 2016