Utility Week

Utility Week 24th February 2017

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 24TH FEBRUARY - 2ND MARCH 2017 | 3 This week 4 | Seven days 6 | Interview Felix Lerch, chairman, Uniper UK 10 Policy & Regulation 10 | News CUSC panel make-up 'favours incumbents' 11 | Analysis Should the government invest in new nuclear to encourage others? 12 | Analysis The independence of the CUSC panel is being questioned 14 Finance & Investment 14 | News Centrica sets £100m aside for innovation 15 | Analysis Investors are wondering if utilities are a good bet 18 Operations & Assets 18 | High viz Western Power Distribution tests its 132kV network 19 | Market view Utilities could be at the forefront of the Internet of Things revolution 20 | Market view What is Blockchain, and how does it enable decentralised energy systems? 23 | Market view Make sure your employees are properly engaged 24 Customers 24 | News Ofgem trials sticky customers database 26 | Analysis Water retail self-supply 27 | Market view Explain to your customers what they're paying for 30 Community 31 | Disconnector GAS 24 | News 'Fund gas connections via Eco' 24 | News Gas supplier granted water retail licence 27 | Market view Explain to your customers what they're paying for WATER 24 | News More self-supply licence applications are 'on the horizon' ELECTRICITY 11 | Analysis Engaging investors in the nuclear programme 14 | News Offshore wind construction at record high in 2016 18 | High viz Western Power Distribution tests its 132kV network 21 | Analysis Networks' top concerns ENERGY 10 | News Labour Lords to block Euratom exit 10 | News Relaxed smart meter deadline rejected 10 | News Uniper sets out Brexit concerns 14 | News 'Unfair advantages' for interconnectors 14 | News Low prices and levies hit Drax 24 | News Councils create local energy scheme WNS: The UK Smart Meter Rollout http://bit.ly/2espIJ3 Will Yorkshire's exit pour cold water on the new retail market? Competitive markets may be the darling of capitalist society, but it seems they still sit uneasily with incumbent water companies. In what appears to be one of the least surprising surprises ever to make a headline, rumours have sprung up that Yorkshire Water may be on the cusp of a complete exit from non-domestic competition (see p4). We're now just over a month away from the opening of the busi- ness water retail market to competition. Yet there were few who were shocked when Yorkshire announced it would backtrack on its well- progressed plans to transfer business customers to its retail spin off Three Sixty and even fewer who boggled at the idea it may be about to sell off its non-domestic customer book for good. Instead, the slightly jaded message was that plenty of other water firms – however publicly they may profess to be preparing for the grand opening of the market – are thinking along exactly the same lines. What does this say about the great endeavour that is market open- ing? Is retail competition a failure before it has begun? Not necessarily. Incumbents have been obliged to make their businesses ready for market opening to remain compliant. But this does not mean they have the enthusiastic backing of shareholders to charge into new, uncharted territory. Nor does it mean that they will close their ears to attractive offers for their non-domestic customer books – that's just business sense. Meanwhile, if incumbents are receiving offers, new retail brands that really believe they can make a buck in competitive water retail (despite tight margins) by snapping up early market share, have everything to play for. • Over in energy, a row has broken out over the ability of new market players to influence the workings of the old energy system. The scuffle over the make-up of the CUSC panel (see analysis, p12) is indicative of an energy system that is going through a painful meta- morphosis. It raises again a question that has already been asked: do we need a new system architecture, unwound from ingrained thinking, for a new world of flexible and distributed energy? Jane Gray Deputy Editor janegray@fav-house.com Leader Jane Gray CGI: Energy Flexibility Transforming The Power System By 2030 http://bit.ly/2bR3zXB Knowledge worth Keeping Visit the DownloaDs section of Utility week's website http://www.utilityweek.co.uk/ downloads

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