Utility Week

Utility Week 20th October 2017

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 20TH - 26TH OCTOBER 2017 | 5 ENERGY Ofgem 'lacks expertise on networks' Ofgem currently lacks the technical expertise needed to regulate networks effectively, a senior figure at Northern Gas Networks has warned. Speaking at the Utility Week Congress in Birmingham last week, regulation director Stephen Parker raised concerns over "a large turnover of staff" at the regulator and the implications for the second round of the RIIO price controls. Parker told delegates that while RIIO is sound, there are issues over its application. These include Ofgem's ability to cope with "detail". PAN-UTILITY NJUG renamed Street Works UK The National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG), the trade association for utilities and their streetworks contractors and suppliers, has been renamed Street Works UK. The new name was announced at the organisation's annual conference in Birmingham on 17 October. "I am excited by this change," said Street Works UK chief executive Bob Gallienne. "While the NJUG name is well understood within the industry, an organisational name which more clearly communicates what we do and who we are is necessary for us to be able to add even more value to our members. "There is now no doubt as to who the go-to organisation is for streetworks in the UK." "If the government was serious about tackling climate change it would be creating a far more radical plan" Sir Vince Cable, leader of the Liberal Democrat party, responds to the publication of the government's Clean Growth Strategy. See analysis, p10 Utility Week Congress took place on 11-12 October, with high-profile industry speakers discussing the big themes of regulation and customers, and innovation and resilience. The event attracted more than 250 delegates over two days. A write-up of the highlights will appear in next week's edition of Utility Week. (Pictured inset: a chief executives' panel with UKPN's Basil Scarsella, Bristol Water's Mel Karam and Southern Water's Ian McAulay.) 10% Proportion of customers Ofgem CEO Dermot Nolan predicted will still be on an SVT in 18 months' time, in evidence to a special hearing by the BEIS select committee on energy price caps. A new Northern Energy Strat- egy has been published by the Northern Energy Taskforce, set- ting out recommendations for greater devolution of decision- making to the North with regards to its energy future. It also makes recommendations to enable the flexible operation of distribution system opera- tors for local energy needs. Among the taskforce's spon- sors are Northern Powergrid and Northern Gas Networks. An energy strategy for the North Source: Northern Energy Strategy, IPPR

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