Utility Week

UTILITY Week 16th September 2016

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

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Page 26 of 31

Customers This week Water entrant aims to shake up retail model Alternative Water Company says it will undercut incumbents by supplying water from boreholes A new water supplier has entered the non-household retail market with a business model it claims will be a "gamechanger" for the industry. The Alternative Water Company will design, build and maintain boreholes at, and supply water from, underground water sources that exist on the properties of large customers. It claims that, by doing so, it will be able to undercut incumbent water suppliers by as much as 25 per cent. The firm's director Graham Mann said there are thousands of boreholes that have been drilled but are no longer used, along with millions of cubic metres of untapped resources. By in effect taking customers "off the grid", the Alternative Water Company is looking to strip £30-50 million out of the English water retail market over the next five years. "A lot of companies are going off the grid with elec- tricity and gas," Mann told Utility Week. "And now they can do so with water." Water will be treated at source, with treatment depending on the quality of the water abstracted. Mann insisted that the water supplied will be of the required high-quality drinking water standard. Meanwhile, the company – which will target large water users such as hotels and hospitals – does not require a water supply and sewerage licence to operate, and it doesn't need to install a huge amount of additional infrastructure. LV WATER Waterscan eyes English retail market Waterscan has become the first non-water supplier to request a licence to operate in the busi- ness retail market, which will open to competition in April 2017. The water management firm has applied to Ofwat for a water supply and sewerage licence, saying it will target multisite clients in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. The retail service will operate as a separate business unit, while using Waterscan's existing water management soware and expertise. "Waterscan aims to position itself as the innovative and inde- pendent partner for strategic water management services to the commercial market," the company said. ELECTRICITY DSR hampered by fear of disruption Ninety per cent of businesses would provide demand-side response (DSR) if it did not adversely affect their operations. A total of 87 per cent of the 73 per cent of businesses that do not currently provide DSR said they would be interested in earn- ing revenue from DSR if it did not affect their operation. Of the 200 end-users polled in a survey by Energyst, spon- sored by National Grid and several DSR aggregators, the top reasons cited for not considering DSR participation are a belief that equipment and processes are not suitable (39 per cent) and fear of disruption (37 per cent). Meanwhile, 28 per cent said they did not understand the market well enough to make a decision, and 24 per cent believe that the return on investment is insufficient. ELECTRICITY Three users left out of power cut service Customers of the mobile opera- tor Three have been excluded from the new 105 power cut service at launch. Sources at the Energy Net- works Association told Network, Utility Week's sister publication, that the exclusion of Three's cus- tomers from the new three-digit power cut service was due to a lack of co-operation from the mobile network operator. Uniquely among telephone network operators in the UK, sources said that Three had demanded payment for running the new service, which connects customers with their electric- ity distribution company in the event of a power cut. A spokesperson for Three told Network: "We are working on implementing the 105 service for our customers and expect it to be launched in the near future." Firm plans to tap into unused boreholes I am the customer Claire Maugham "Smart meters are helping to change energy use habits" Smart Energy GB recently pub- lished its fourth Smart energy outlook, the largest independent barometer of national public opinion on energy and smart meters. More than 10,000 people were surveyed, and the findings show that those who have had a smart meter fitted are already experiencing a transformation in their experience of buying and using gas and electricity. Nearly eight in ten (79 per cent) of the people who have smart meters would recommend meter but chose not to take up the offer of an IHD. It's clear that smart meters, and the data they reveal, are transforming the experience of consumers and helping them to change their energy use habits for the better. As the rollout continues, we're excited to see this technology make a positive impact on more and more people. Claire Maugham, director of policy and communications, Smart Energy GB them to others – a very high approval rating, especially for a new technology. Importantly, a similar proportion of people (80 per cent) are taking steps to reduce their energy use. For the first time, the report sheds light on how in-home displays (IHDs) are encouraging people to make positive changes to the way they use gas and elec- tricity, by showing them exactly what they're spending on energy in near real time and in pounds and pence. Nearly nine in ten (87 per cent) of those with an IHD say that they have a better idea of what they're spending on energy, compared with 69 per cent of those who have a smart UTILITY WEEK | 16TH - 22ND SEPTEMBER 2016 | 27

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