Utility Week

UTILITY Week 17th February 2017

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

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4 | 17TH - 23RD FEBRUARY 2017 | UTILITY WEEK It's an ungrateful world for utility staff One4all Rewards is a specialist consul- tancy for benefits and rewards. It works with around 6,000 businesses across the UK and in a recent survey of over 1,000 work- ers across sectors it found: 96% of utility workers surveyed do not receive regular thanks for their work. 80% say that regular thanks would help boost their loyalty to their employer. 36% say they would be "very unlikely" to leave a company that showed regu- lar appreciation for their toil. 36% say that regular thanks would reduce the likeli- hood of them being "poached" by rival employers. STORY BY NUMBERS Ofwat calls for formal powers to regulate TPIs Seven days... F ormal powers to regulate third party intermediaries (TPIs) will be "important" to ensure business water cus- tomers are treated fairly in the new market, Ofwat has insisted. The regulator last week launched a consultation on its principles for voluntary codes of practice for TPIs, such as brokers and price comparison websites, in the business retail market. It said that although the document sets out its proposed approach "within its current powers", evidence from other sectors suggested that formal powers to regulate TPIs would be "important if it is to be able effectively to ensure business customers are treated fairly". Ofwat said the involvement of TPIs could be important for increasing customer engage- ment and stimulating competi- tion, "but there is a risk that the activities of some TPIs may cause customer harm, especially for smaller business customers". Ofwat currently has limited powers in relation to many of the activities likely to be under- taken by TPIs, and obtaining further powers is not within its control. However, it pointed to the Competition and Markets Authority's ongoing investiga- tion into price comparison websites, and the granting of additional powers to Ofgem to enforce the Business Protec- tion from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008, which suggest that the regulation of TPIs is an "important and ongoing issue affecting multiple sectors". LV Analysis on brokers in the util- ity market, p28 "It feels like a policy designed for 1982, but nonetheless it is the policy which has been shaping policy thinking" Sir Ed Davey, chairman, Mongoose Energy and former energy secretary on the "reset" policy framework. National media Boom in energy M&A activity Energy and power M&A activity is at an all-time high at the start of 2017, with nearly $66 billion (£53 billion) of deals announced this year. Deal activity is 36 per cent higher in the sector compared with the same period last year and the best start to a calendar year since records began in the 1980s, according to Thomson Reuters. The largest transaction of 2017 was by US-based pipeline firm Oneok, which bought the final 22 per cent of the pipeline partner- ship it doesn't already own for $9.3 billion. City AM, 13 February Engie could make it the 'big seven' Britain's big six energy suppli- ers are facing a threat to their dominance aer Engie, the French conglomerate, announced its arrival by undercutting their prices. The company, which is one-third owned by the state, is the strong- est entrant in the market for years. It has quietly started advertising a range of tariffs on price com- parison websites before a formal launch expected in the spring. The Times, 13 February Offshore wind 'will be cheaper than nuclear' Offshore windfarms could provide cheaper power than Britain's new wave of nuclear power stations, a leading figure in the wind industry has claimed. Hugh McNeal, chief executive of trade body Renew- able UK, said he expected offshore windfarms to secure a deal with the government lower than the £92.50 per megawatt-hour agreed with EDF for the £18 billion Hinkley Point C. "I wouldn't be surprised if it [offshore wind] cleared Hinkley prices," he said of the bidding for a £290 million-a-year government subsidy pot in April. The Guardian, 12 February

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