Utility Week

UTILITY Week 9th December 2017

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4 | 9TH - 15TH DECEMBER 2016 | UTILITY WEEK Ofgem reveals winners of Network Innovation Competition The energy regula- tor has awarded £44.6 million of research funding to six projects aimed at bringing about a smart energy grid in the UK. £8m Amount given to National Grid to test a "regional power market" in the South East. 59 Number of sites around the UK where Grid scheme could be replicated. £412m Potential savings by 2050 if Grid scheme is rolled out countrywide. £6.8m Funding for a trial of hydrogen injections at Keele University. 10-20% Proportion of the university's gas supply that will be hydrogen. STORY BY NUMBERS British Gas, Eon, Utilita freeze their winter prices Seven days... B ritish Gas, Eon and Utilita have all committed to freezing their prices over the winter period. British Gas will freeze prices for more than six million cus- tomers on its standard variable tariff. It will also launch a deal allowing customers to fix energy prices until March 2019. Eon will not increase its resi- dential standard energy prices until at least April 2017. Utilita has put a hold on all its gas and electricity tariffs until at least April 2017. Utilita chief executive Bill Bullen said: "We do all we can to give our customers the fairest deal possible so I am delighted we can reassure them they will not be paying more this winter. We will continue to do everything in our power to help Britain's hard-pressed families. "We have seen many other suppliers – large and small – increase their prices in recent weeks, creating uncertainty and fear for many of their customers. Utilita's customers will not have those same worries this winter." The news comes amid specu- lation that independent sup- pliers may not survive current wholesale price volatility aer GB Energy Supply was forced to cease trading last month. Before the firm went bust it hiked prices by 30 per cent in an attempt to counter rising costs. Independent supplier Good Energy and big six energy supplier SSE announced price freezes in October and November, respectively. SJ "Their remedies do nothing to resolve what has become a 'tale of two markets'" First Utility warns of mass confusion for consumers when Ofgem officially removes its four-tariff rule this week. National media Mexico is America's key energy customer Donald Trump's promised wall on the US-Mexico border will need some gaping holes for natural gas pipelines if Trump is also to keep his promises to grow the fossil fuel industries and export more energy. "If trade subsides with Mexico over issues with immigration and NAFTA, US natural gas and pipeline suppliers will be hurt," said Alan Krupnick, co-director of Resources for the Future's Center for Energy and Climate Economics, in an assessment of energy policy under a Trump Administration. Forbes, 4 December CKI offers $5.4bn for Oz energy firm Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) has made an unsolicited offer to acquire Australian energy firm Duet Group for $5.4 billion (£4.2 billion). CKI is a Hong Kong-based conglomerate owned by billionaire Li Ka-shing. The offer represents a 28 per cent premium on Duet's share price last Friday. Earlier this year, the Australian government rejected a $7.4 billion bid by CKI and China's State Grid Corp for a controlling stake of state-owned energy grid, Ausgrid, citing security concerns. BBC News, 5 December Christmas trees are dying from drought As large parts of the US suffer months of unusually dry weather, conifer seedlings are dying and mature trees are turning into fire hazards, according to the US Drought Monitor. The drought is unlikely to hit this year's supply of conifers because even the driest states have enough trees to go around, though some may be drier and less robust than in previous years. Huffington Post, 4 December

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