Utility Week

UTILITY Week 3rd February 2017

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4 | 3RD - 9TH FEBRUARY 2017 | UTILITY WEEK Retail firms should wise up on utilities Utilitywise has launched a campaign to help boost awareness among UK retail businesses about the opportunities to make savings through improved energy and water efficiency. The campaign also aims to alert businesses to the opportunities associated with the opening of the non-domestic water market. 20% of UK retail businesses monitor their energy and water usage. 47% find it difficult to compare offers from different energy suppliers. 30% of businesses provide energy awareness training for staff, although research says providing such training can achieve a 20 per cent reduction in energy costs. STORY BY NUMBERS Littlechild calls for fresh energy market probe Seven days... F ormer energy regulator Stephen Littlechild has called upon the House of Lords Economic Affairs Commit- tee to undertake a fresh inquiry into "misperceptions" about energy market failures, labelling the conclusions of the probe by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) "implausible". The committee "may wish to consider a separate investigation into misperceptions surround- ing the domestic retail energy market", he said in a written submission to its inquiry into the economics of UK energy policy. Littlechild, a former regulator and key architect of privatisa- tion, said the CMA may have recommended inappropriate actions for the domestic energy market to address exaggerated or imagined failures. Co-signatories to the sub- mission included Sir Callum McCarthy, Dr Eileen Marshall CBE, Stephen Smith and Clare Spottiswoode CBE. All of them acknowledged that "in many respects the CMA has delivered a good and con- structive report", in particular with regards to the wholesale market. However, they said the CMA's analysis of the domestic market was "mistaken". Littlechild and others made numerous submissions to the CMA's probe and questioned, in particular, its approach to cal- culating the excess profits being made by energy companies, especially the big six. Their new submission gives fresh and detailed analysis of the flaws in this methodology. JG "Government has given up on making the sort of inroads into energy-poor homes that we all know are absolutely necessary right now" Shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead on the government's plans for the Energy Company Obligation National media UK policy failing to root out coal plants One of the UK's main energy policies has been criticised for enabling old and polluting coal-fired power stations to stay open. On Tuesday [31 January] the government will hold its latest subsidy auction, which is designed to ensure Britain has enough energy over the winter of 2017/18. Analysts and critics expect a number of ageing coal stations will be successful in winning contracts, even though the government has said it intends to phase out all such power stations by 2025. Financial Times, 29 January BP concedes that EV take-up threatens oil BP is bracing for a revolution in electric car use that could halve the demand for oil from vehicles, helping to fan the flames of a fresh battle for market share among the world's oil producers. The oil major has downplayed the potential of electric cars in dampening demand in the past, but admitted for the first time in its annual report on future energy trends that the effect will be ampli- fied by a boom in car sharing and pooling options, offered by firms such as Uber. Daily Telegraph, 25 January Bill for Northern Ireland heat incentive could top £1 billion The Northern Ireland government has paid out more than £68 mil- lion since payments began on the controversial Renewable Heat Incentive scheme in 2013. Figures released to The Times show that the total so far stands at £68,320,021. It is expected to top £1.1 billion over the next 20 years, with £490 million to be paid by the Northern Ireland government's budget and the remainder from the British exchequer. The Times, 31 January

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