Utility Week

UTILITY Week 31st March 2017

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

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Community A punchy campaign In a splendid example of Antipodean directness, New Zealand conservation trust manager Greg Byrnes has challenged the country's water minister, Dr Nick Smith, to a fist fight over the latter's policy on water pollution. In February, Dr Smith announced a new policy of making 90 per cent of New Zealand's waterways safe for swimming by 2040, but in the small print he also proposed changing water quality stand- ards, so that water previously considered not suitable for swimming would pass under the new regime. Mr Byrnes, though, is mak- ing sure the ruse doesn't go unnoticed by the population at large. He took out a newspaper advertisement challenging the minister to a boxing match near a stretch of water that he claimed was polluted but would pass the new environ- mental standard. The advert further declared: "The loser to frolic in the water hole for no less than five minutes. This is in line with my target to make 90 per cent of all members of the NZ Parliament believable by 2020." Dr Smith's office has yet to issue a public response, but he is expected to decline. Leaks down under As it happens, Dr Smith has a lot on his plate at the moment. A recent report estimated that pipes in the country's capital, Wellington, are leaking a mil- lion litres of water a day as a result of a powerful earthquake that hit the area last November. The authorities can't fix the problem because they don't know where the leaks are located. Utility Wellington Water says meters are going to be fitted in the city's central business district to work out where the weaknesses lie, but this could take months. In the meantime there is little that Dr Smith can do, although Disconnector thinks he might be able to usefully employ his time learning jujutsu. The debate hots up Just when you thought you'd heard every conceivable opinion on how to make a decent cup of tea, William Gorman, chairman of the Tea and Infusions Association, has thrown a spanner in the works by insisting that you should never reboil water. He told the Telegraph newspaper that this resulted in a "dull tasting" cuppa. Given the environmental implications of throwing away hot water in favour of cold, Mr Gorman risks stirring up civil strife on a par with the last cen- tury's fiercely contested debate about whether or not to put the milk in first. That question was never sat- isfactorily resolved before the world moved on to teabags. Mind you, Mr Gorman is also on record claiming that it's okay to reheat your cuppa using a microwave because "it doesn't affect the taste", so maybe he's just a troublemaker. Raving mad Now, Disconnector likes a party as much as the next man (as long as the next man also doesn't like parties much), but ravers in Newcastle surely went too far when they organised an illegal party down a sewer, complete with lighting rig and sound system. Northumbrian police raided the tunnels under the River Ouseburn at 4:00am on Sunday night aer being tipped off by one of the partygoers who feared for the safety of those underground. Around 200 youngsters had waded through filthy water for the event, which was promptly evacu- ated without trouble. It must have been a crappy party, in all senses of the word. 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; Deputy news editor: Jamie Hailstone, t: 01342 332050, e: jamiehailstone@fav-house.com; Senior 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 William Marchant @richonlyinname The Sun, 10.30pm: uSwitch "fleecing" customers… or 4.20pm "better still... use uSwitch." Nick Mabey @Mabeytweet UK ends up with many different reactor types supported by huge subsidies whose profits & export benefits go overseas paul massara @paulmassara Can regulation keep up with innovation - a case of blood hounds chasing grey hounds - always lagging Liz Lainé @lizlaineuk Ending incandescent light bulbs has poten- tially reduced energy use equivalent to two £25bn nuclear power stations. #ThankEU. Ann Robinson @AnnRobinson8 Ofgem considering further action to restrict amount energy companies can claim back when meters go wrong. So they should. Thomas Edwards @TomHenryEdwards Ofgem rejects all of the #CapacityMarket mods which would have changed the satisfactory performance tests, good news for storage! Aurora @AuroraER_Oxford For the first time since August 2016 the average GB offshore wind load factor is higher than the system-wide average across all technologies Waterscan @Waterscan The freedom of choice is most welcome in the new #water market, but with it comes complexity...... Ofwat @Ofwat "Change in expectations is accelerating, we have a fantastic opportunity to get ahead of the curve" Cathryn Ross #tappedin Top Tweets UTILITY WEEK | 31ST MARCH - 6TH APRIL 2017 | 31

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