Utility Week

UTILITY Week 9th September 2016

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 9TH - 15TH SEPTEMBER 2016 | 9 Policy & Regulation This week Crypto probe could delay market opening DWI's findings could trigger changes to systems being developed for the non-household market The outcome of the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) probe into a cryptosporidium incident could delay the opening of the business water retail market if system changes are deemed necessary. The water sector has warned it is "likely" that the inspector- ate's findings in its probe into the water quality incident, which occurred in United Utilities' region last year, will require changes to systems being developed for the non-household market. Moreover, if a further water quality incident occurs during the shadow market period, the DWI may lose confidence in the ability of the industry to manage an incident under the future arrangements as they stand. The processes set out in the codes have been thor- oughly reviewed. However, a significant incident could result in escalation to Defra for review, resulting in a delay to market launch, the sector cautioned. If an inci- dent were to occur in the coming weeks, it could affect the start of the shadow market phase in October. Water wholesalers met at Water UK at the beginning of August to discuss significant issues that could impede the start of shadow operations in October 2016, or the open- ing of the competitive market for non-household custom- ers in April 2017. The workshop involved representatives from 18 water wholesalers, MOSL and Water UK. In a briefing note, attendees also expressed concern that systems and processes may not be able to cope with high levels of switching likely to occur on day one of market opening. LV ENERGY Hinkley 'not solution to carbon emissions' Decentralised energy would be a quicker solution to reducing the UK's carbon emissions than Hinkley Point C, the chair of the Renewable Energy Association has insisted. Martin Wright said that the association sees "huge poten- tial" in decentralised energy, which he said could make a big impact faster than the new nuclear plant. Wright told Utility Week he doubts the "right technology" is there and questioned whether nuclear is "cost effective". He added that he believed decentralised energy will "come much more to the fore", and that energy storage will "make a much bigger contribution" than people foresee. PAN-UTILITY 'Scrutinise utilities over cybersecurity' "Closer scrutiny" is needed of UK utility companies because only two cybersecurity breaches were reported to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) over the course of a year. Cybersecurity firm Hunts- man Security said the figures demand investigation, because the overall number of incidents reported to the ICO has doubled to 2,048 incidents between April 2015 and March 2016 from 1,089 in a similar period the year before. Huntsman Security obtained the figures through a freedom of information request and said the lack of reports could indicate that organisations are under "such an intense barrage of cyberactivity" that only some are being detected. The firm's chief executive Peter Woollacott said: "No news is bad news: if breaches aren't being detected, it most likely just means that security analysts are having difficulty finding the needles in the haystack." WATER Water UK welcomes microbead ban plan Water UK has welcomed the gov- ernment's plan to ban the sale of cosmetic products containing microbeads as early as 2017. Environment secretary has Andrea Leadsom announced plans to ban the sale and manufacture of cosmetics and personal care products contain- ing the tiny pieces of plastic. Water UK said that it was "pleased to see the government taking the lead" on the issue. It added: "Water companies work hard to maintain the quality of the UK's waters and will continue to engage with the government and Environment Agency to help reduce micro- plastic pollution." Incidents may prompt changes to market systems Political Agenda Mathew Beech "China is pressing May for answers on Hinkley Point C" Prime minister Theresa May made her international bow last weekend at the G20 summit in China. Top of her agenda was talk of Brexit and what exactly it means. The short answer is still "we don't know". The Chinese in particular are pressing May for answers, although less about Brexit and more about Hinkley Point C. Aer many months of delays, the final decision by EDF, backed by huge sums of Chinese "golden era" was when David Cameron was the UK's premier, and there are other G20 nations that Britain is to develop trade links with. The flagship of the partner- ship between the two nations was going to be the UK's new nuclear renaissance, led by Hinkley Point C. Now, although China and EDF have signed off the deal, the project seems as far away as ever, with May's concerns poten- tially threatening it completely. money, was once again parked, but this time as the new govern- ment said it wanted to look at the details once more. The UK prime minister appears to have got jittery feet about the plant, which will cost £18 billion and represents a national security concern for May, so much so she is said to have ordered a security services review of the proposed plant. In public, the PM is doing her bit to maintain cordial rela- tions with China, saying she is keen to build on what the two nations already have. However, things are not as cosy as they once were, with May saying the

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