Utility Week

UTILITY Week 28th April 2017

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

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Community Build it, and they will bomb Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump seem to be engaged in their own personal duel to decide who's the maddest leader of a major world power. Most people would probably think The Donald wins that accolade hands down, but Disconnector thinks that's just because most people don't follow the Russian leader very closely, apart from the weird photo ops in which he's riding around half-naked on a horse. In fact, Vlad has been qui- etly going about his business of turning Russia into a basket case for years now. Part of that has been a fetishistic focus on the Second World War and Russia's part in winning it. As part of that drive, the Russian government has built a "military Disneyland" on the outskirts of Moscow, where the country's youth can learn all about the war and how important it is to Russian identity. Last week it hosted a showcase display involving more than 2,000 people taking part in a re-enactment of the storming of the Reichstag. To make the whole thing more realistic they built a wooden replica of Berlin's Reichstag so that they weren't storming just any old building. More than 5,000 people attended, includ- ing Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu. Dozens of period tanks and pieces of artillery were used as planes circled overhead. State television showed dramatic footage that included explo- sions, gunfire and men dressed as Nazi soldiers falling to the ground in flames. The only fly in the ointment (apart from the whole concept) is that the set-builders appear to have inadvertently replicated the modern-day Reichstag, complete with a glass dome added in the 1990s, rather than the building of Nazi Germany in 1945. The great man has no doubt that it was an entirely innocent mistake. Robotic utilities Robots and artificial intel- ligence are set to become so ubiquitous that they will be another utility service, accord- ing to US author Martin Ford. "Artificial intelligence is going to soon be like a utility, like we rely on electricity today," he told CNBC. His the- sis is that robots are going to pose such a challenge to white collar jobs – as well as manual labour – that we're going to have to rethink how we organ- ise payment for labour. This is bad news for most Brits, since a new survey found that 60 per cent of us say an android takeover in the near future is a "genuine concern". The survey, by Cologne- based soware quality assur- ance firm SQS, found that three out of four of British people believe robots are "unsafe" and could be open to attack. Typically, although people are terrified of a robot arma- geddon, 87 per cent of those included in the survey also said they were interested in using AI technology. Sixty per cent would like to have their own "domestic robots" to help out at home. Which just goes to show that fear and laziness can cancel each other out. This place is a toilet In a sign that the UK is not the only country suffering from a severe housing crisis, an electrician carrying out main- tenance at a public lavatory in Usuki, southwestern Japan, discovered that a man was living in the lo space. Following police enquiries, it turned out the man had been living there for three years and moved in when the previous occupant moved out. The electrician found a liv- ing space decked out with a gas stove, electric heater and cloth- ing. Their owner was evicted. 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; Reporter: Josh Downes, t: 01342 332102, e: joshdownes@fav-house.com; Policy correspondent: David Blackman, e: davidblackman@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Kevin Pearce, t: 01342 332116, e; kevinpearce@fav-house.com; Business development executive: Nigel Searle, t: 01342 332009, e: nigelsearle@fav-house.com; Conference sponsorship manager: Sophie Abbott, t: 01342 332062, e; sophieabbott@ 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, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE. 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 Ed Miliband @Ed_Miliband Tories in for kicking from Sun and Mail tomorrow for energy policy. Just wait: Marxist madness, anti-business, back to 70s... Caroline Flint @CarolineFlintMP Quite. The Tories were afraid of my Shadow Energy Team's impact & policies using CMA review to distract. This "new" policy is mine too. William Marchant @richonlyinname The energy price cap is getting a caustic reception, but it's noticeable none of the critics have any better ideas to solve SVT detriment. Paul Lewis @paullewismoney Pension schemes suffer as Labour's price cap plan wipes nearly £1bn off energy company shares. Oh wait. It was May. Let's not mention it. Ann Robinson @AnnRobinson8 Energy caps can provide right balance between competition and additional consumer protection. A relative cap indexed to cheapest deal would do this Richard Lloyd @RichardJLloyd Energy price cap won't kill competition - it would be set with headroom for suppliers to compete. Meaning less immediate help for consumers. Michael Liebreich @MLiebreich Generally countries/states that have capped utility bills have ended up with chronic underinvestment and eventually blackouts. Just saying. Mary Creagh @MaryCreaghMP A good day to bury bad news - controversial sale of the Green Investment Bank finally goes ahead. Richard Howard @RichardHowardPX The key point, which critics overlook, is that @Macquarie has many more £bns to invest thru @GreenInvBank than UK Govt is willing to. Top Tweets UTILITY WEEK | 28TH APRIL - 4TH MAY 2017 | 31

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