Utility Week

UTILITY Week 14th October 2016

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4 | 14TH - 20TH OCTOBER 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Tenants overpay for energy Tenants could save £1 billion a year on their energy bills it they switched, according to Money Supermarket. The price comparison website said some tenants did not know they could switch, while oth- ers were illegally prevented from doing so by their landlords. 49% of tenants are given no informa- tion on their supplier at start of tenancy. 12% think landlords are responsible for switching. 10% of renters do not know who their supplier is. 6% cannot locate their meter. 18% are missing out on collective savings of £1 billion. STORY BY NUMBERS DSR needs a rebrand to end link with 'rationing' Seven days... D emand-side response (DSR) needs a rebrand to stop it being linked with the "rationing" of the 1970s, the former boss of National Grid has warned. Progress so far has been "glacial" because a narrative has taken hold in the national press of having to "switch off factories to keep the lights on". "We need to change the story on demand-side measures, stop seeing them as 1970s-type rationing and start seeing them as part of the future," said for- mer National Grid chief execu- tive Steve Holliday (pictured). Images of the three-day week of the 1970s – "people with their sandwich boxes in their hands and going home at two o'clock in the aernoon" – have become ingrained in the collective memory of Britain, according to Holliday. "That imagery has actually stuck with us for quite a long time," he said. He argued that the word "response" could be dropped and replaced with "flexibility". "That's exactly what we need: a system that's more flexible… Not responding to an emergency, just more flexible because that's the way you're going to get cheaper energy in the longer run." Holliday made the com- ments at an event in London held by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit ahead of the publication of National Grid's Winter Outlook. In November last year, National Grid spent £1.05 mil- lion filling a 500MW supply shortfall during a notice of inad- equate system margin. Accord- ing to analysis published by the think-tank, if DSR had been used to plug the gap, the cost of balancing the system would have been cut by one-fih. TG "We want to look like a new entrant" Northumbrian Water Group Business managing director Lucy Darch said at the WWT Water Scotland conference that companies should not be "afraid to break the mould". National media Mega-droughts loom in western USA The harsh drought currently gripping California may appear trivial in the future as new research shows that the southwest US faces the looming threat of "mega- droughts" that last for decades. California is in its sixth year of drought, but warming tempera- tures and uncertain rainfall mean that if more isn't done to slow climate change, droughts lasting 35 years are likely to blight western states by the end of the century, according to the study, published in Science Advances. The Guardian, 5 October Russia and Turkey sign gas pipeline deal Russia and Turkey have put ten- sions over Syria behind them to agree a gas pipeline deal which would open a new route for Rus- sian energy to western Europe. The TurkStream agreement, if implemented, would redraw the energy map of Europe by allowing Russia to bypass some of its gas around Ukraine. It would also strengthen ties between Moscow and Ankara at a time of growing mistrust between Turkey and the west in the wake of the coup attempt that plunged the country into turmoil three months ago and killed 270 people. Financial Times, 10 October Kite power to take flight in Scotland Giant kites could supply green energy without the need for taxpayer-funded subsidies within years, according to one of the firms developing the technology. Kite Power Solutions expects to open the UK's first kite power plant in March 2017 in Scotland. It hopes to roll out the technology onshore and at sea, building systems with the capacity to produce "hundreds of megawatts" of power. The Guardian, 7 October 100% Southern Water has recycled all of its waste since July, the company said.

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