Utility Week

UTILITY Week 27th January 2017

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Community Smart politics Six months ago few would have thought Theresa May would get much mileage out of styling herself as a people's champion, but that's the standard she's chosen to fight under. Given all she has to worry about – and that's a lot – one wonders how high up the agenda renewable energy comes. Coupled with this is the start of the smart meter rollout proper. The great British public hasn't yet cottoned on to quite how much it is going to cost, but when they do, Disconnector's prediction is that they will not be happy. More to the point, the Daily Mail is not going to be happy. And, of course, the benefits that have been trumpeted as coming from smart meters are predicated on the continuing decarbonisation of the energy system. Pull back on the decar- bonisation and smart meters start looking like even worse value for money… Virtual reality No matter how bad things get in the UK, renewables investors – or indeed any investors – can thank their lucky stars that they don't live in the US. For those of you who haven't heard, they've just seen Donald Trump inaugurated as their president. And predic- tions that he would adapt his rhetoric to the practical reali- ties of government are looking misplaced – if his first 24 hours in office are anything to go by. He has already excoriated the press as "the most dishon- est people I know" while his press secretary Sean Spicer bawled out the White House press corps for its "shameful" coverage of the presidential inauguration aer it claimed, accurately, that Barack Obama drew twice as many onlookers as Mr Trump. Neither Trump nor Spicer was at all cowed by the wall-to-wall photographic evidence to the contrary. When questioned on this disconnect, White House spokesperson Kellyanne Con- way denied the press secretary had lied, claiming he had sim- ply offered "alternative facts". Expect to hear that phrase a lot in the next four years. But where the hell does this leave the US energy industry? On the campaign trail Trump said he wanted to revitalise the coal industry (he oen sported a miner's hard hat at rallies) and claimed that climate change was a ruse concocted by the Chinese. The assumption was always that once in office he would let these things slide because… well, they're obviously barmy. But what if he believes every word he says? What if truth and lies don't enter into the equation, it's just a question of how much access you have to alternative facts? Cartoon villain The Gaz and Leccy advertising campaign made it on to a top 10 list last week, but unfortu- nately it was the Advertising Standards Authority's top 10 of most complained about TV adverts of 2016. Top of the list was Moneysu- permarket's twerking business- man, which seems fair enough. And in retrospect, Paddy Power's blind footballers kick- ing a cat was bound to go down badly with some. But Smart Energy GB must be feeling a bit aggrieved that 253 complained about Gaz and Leccy, making it the sixth most controversial ad of the year. The campaign featured the computer-generated characters getting into various scrapes around the home – electrocut- ing themselves in various appli- ances – with the punchline "Get Gaz and Leccy under control". Apparently complainants feared that it would encourage kids to stick the fingers in toast- ers and whatnot. Disconnector is pleased to report that the ASA did not uphold the complaints, reason- ing that, duh, it's a cartoon! Disconnector Editor, Utility Week, and content director, Utilities: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellenbennett@fav-house.com; Deputy editor: Jane Gray, t: 01342 332087, e: janegray@ fav-house.com; Insights editor: Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathewbeech@fav-house. com; News editor: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332080, e: loisvallely@fav-house.com; Networks correspondent: Lucinda Dann, t: 01342 332083, e: lucindadann@fav-house.com; Reporter: Tom Grimwood, t: 01342 332061, e: tomgrimwood@fav-house.com; Policy correspondent: David Blackman, e: davidblackman@fav-house.com Production editor: Paul Newton, t: 01342 332085, e: paulnewton@fav-house.com; Business development executive: Nigel Searle, t: 01342 332009, e: nigelsearle@fav-house.com; Publisher: Amanda Barnes, e: amandabarnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership enquiries: Peter Bissell, t: 01342 332057, e: peterbissell@fav-house.com. ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: Buxton Press, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE. Published by: Faversham House Ltd, Windsor Court, Wood Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 1UZ 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2015 Membership subscriptions: UK £669 per year. Overseas £781 per year. Contact Peter Bissell on: 01342 332057 Utility Week is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK's magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors' Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact the editor, Ellen Bennett, at ellenbennett@fav-house.com. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors' Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit www.ipso.co.uk RenewableUK @RenewableUK UK offshore wind costs fall by a third in 4 years – set to be lowest-cost large scale clean energy source. Kane Thornton @kanethornton Renewable energy is more popular among Australian voters than any politician. Pollies must be crazy brave to call for it to be slashed. Erik Solheim @ErikSolheim Solar employs more people than all fossil fuels in US. Wind in third place. Clean energy – good for the economy! Terry Ballard @Ballard2Terry @UtilityWeek @janefagray Just a matter of time before someone suggests bringing back the Bulk Supply Tariff and price control. Caroline Lucas @CarolineLucas Good news that govt looking to cancel @ GreenInvBank sell off, now must publicly confirm this dodgy deal is dead #GIB. Aurora @AuroraER_Oxford #Gas consumption in NW Europe is at a 4-year high, up 33% year-on-year as the cold weather sets in. Matt Finch @mattfinch00 In the #nuclear, #energystorage or #electricvehicles industry? Rub your hands with glee! You are a major part of the UK #IndustrialStrategy. Claire Osborne @Claire_uSwitch Rachel Fletcher from @ofgem at @UtilityWeek #energycustomer conference: suppliers need to do more to encourage loyal customers off SVTs. William Marchant @richonlyinname Glass half empty: the cost of supplying energy consumers is up in last 12 months. Glass half full: but down over the last 3 years. #SCIbants Top Tweets UTILITY WEEK | 27TH JANUARY - 2ND FEBRUARY 2017 | 31

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