Utility Week

UTILITY Week 3rd June 2016

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Page 25 of 31

Customers This week Energy suppliers seek to offer EV tariff Ovo Energy, EDF, Scottish Power, Npower and First Utility are monitoring the EV market closely Energy suppliers are looking to offer special tariffs for electric vehicle (EV) owners as demand for EVs increases in the UK. Ovo Energy said it was "abso- lutely looking at tariff proposi- tions for EV drivers", while big six suppliers EDF, Scottish Power and Npower have been joined by independent supplier First Util- ity in saying they are "monitor- ing the EV market closely". The comments follow Tesla's UK and Ireland country director Georg Ell saying he is "engaged in conversations with an energy supplier" to try to convince it to offer a tariff for EV drivers who inevitably consume more energy at home by charging their vehicles. It was reported by edie.net (owned by Utility Week publisher Faversham House) that he said energy suppli- ers need to "speed up with the transition". However, independent supplier Ecotricity already offers an annual discount on its own Green Electricity tariff of £40 a year for EV drivers, a discount equivalent to at least 1,000 "free miles" a year. Both big six suppliers Npower and British Gas intro- duced a special EV tariff in 2011 in anticipation of the growing EV market, but were forced to scrap them on the introduction of the four-tariff cap in 2014. The Competition and Markets Authority has proposed scrapping the cap in its provisional remedies, which would allow energy suppliers to reintroduce specialised tariffs. LD WATER Risks to supply from fracking 'acceptable' Yorkshire Water has said the risks to the water supply from shale gas production in North Yorkshire are "acceptable", as long as they are mitigated. Following the decision by North Yorkshire County Council to approve Third Energy's fracking application – the first application for fracking in the UK given council approval since a ban was lied in 2012 – Yorkshire Water has assured it will keep future applications under review. A Yorkshire Water spokes- person said: "Although we don't have control over whether frack- ing takes place in the region, we are a statutory consultee on plan- ning applications for onshore shale gas extraction. This means we carefully consider and com- ment on all shale gas planning applications to make sure that where fracking does occur it has no impact on water supplies. "Our current assessment is that the risks to water supply from shale gas production are acceptable, provided they are properly identified and lead to appropriate risk mitigation." ENERGY Prices set to rise as fixed tariffs end Energy prices are likely to rise by an average of £132 per year this summer, as 16 fixed dual fuel tariffs expire at the end of this month, according to price com- parison website Gocompare. The average annual rise for customers who don't switch will be 14.28 per cent, the compari- son company said, with 12 of the 16 tariffs that ended on 31 May rolling customers onto a more expensive variable tariff, unless they shop around for a new tariff. ENERGY SSE has acted after 'scare tactics' report Big six energy supplier SSE has insisted "lessons have been learned", and appropriate action has been taken to ensure its sales training practices are not encouraging "scare tactics", aer The Mail on Sunday accused it of misinforming customers. The newspaper said SSE was "using scare tactics and misin- formation to lure back customers who want to switch to cheaper rivals", aer it sent an under- cover reporter to the supplier's call centre in Cardiff. In a letter to the Energy and Climate Change Committee, SSE managing director for retail, Will Morris, said: "As soon as [the allegations] were highlighted to us we took immediate action, launching an independent inter- nal investigation and suspending our dealings with Pareto Law." He confirmed SSE would not re- engage the recruitment company. Power up: UK demand for EVs is increasing I am the customer James Johnston "Charge fairly for using the local distribution grid" We are moving away from the traditional, centralised fossil-fuel power stations towards a local low-carbon energy economy – where decentralised generation turns buildings into mini power plants and communities take control of their energy supply. Common sense tells us that there should be financial benefits when electricity is consumed near to where it is generated. Piclo, Britain's first online peer-to-peer marketplace for renewable electricity, is the connected to the source. Open Utility has developed a change proposal for Ofgem, so that consumers and generators can be charged more fairly for using the local distribution grid. Using peer-to-peer energy matching to determine how much of the grid has been used, the new method- ology has the potential to unlock billions of pounds for decentral- ised generation and communi- ties over the next ten years. James Johnston, CEO and co-founder, Open Utility first step to realising those benefits. The service, trialled by Open Utility and Good Energy, offers unprecedented customer empowerment and removes bar- riers to individual participation in the electricity market. For the first time, business consumers such as the Eden Project could buy their elec- tricity direct from the source. Cornwall emerged as a buzzing local energy market – with some generators, such as the commu- nity-owned turbines at Gorran, supplying almost 100 per cent of their electricity within 33 miles. We believe consumers are more likely to use renewable energy if people feel emotionally 26 | 3RD - 9TH JUNE 2016 | UTILITY WEEK

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