Utility Week

Utility Week 27 Oct

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

Issue link: https://fhpublishing.uberflip.com/i/891847

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 39

4 | 27TH OCTOBER - 2ND NOVEMBER 2017 | UTILITY WEEK STORY BY NUMBERS Seven days... National media Floating windfarm starts generating The world's first floating windfarm started producing electricity last week in an advance that experts say takes renewable energy production into a new era. The five turbines sited 100m above the seabed 26km off Aber- deenshire are generating enough power to supply 20,000 homes. The Times, 19 October UK battered by storms and energy bills Britons could find themselves in the eye of a financial storm as wild weather and soaring energy bills threaten a harsh winter. With Hurricane Ophelia having swept the UK and Storm Brian striking last Friday, households are being urged to batten down the hatches to limit damage to their properties. The clocks change at the end of this month too, which means gas and electricity bills are set to start ticking upwards, further hiking the financial pressure, as consumer price inflation hits a five-year high of 3 per cent. Daily Express, 18 October Shell EV charging Shell is opening a first wave of electric vehicle charging points at its UK petrol stations, in a sign of the far-reaching changes under way in the transport and oil sectors. Drivers will be able to recharge 80 per cent of their battery in half an hour at forecourts in London, Surrey and Derby from this week, with a total of ten service stations to be equipped with rapid chargers. Guardian, 18 October Water privatisation 'has not boosted productivity' A n academic has claimed that "there is no evidence of significant improve- ment in productivity" among water companies since priva- tisation, as experts debate the merits of bringing the sector back into public ownership. Speaking at Moody's 2017 UK Water Sector Conference last week, Dr Kate Bayliss, a research associate at SOAS, University of London, and David Hall, a professor at University of Greenwich, presented the case for bringing water into public ownership. They discussed the finance, affordability and accountability of the sector, drawing reference to their report "Bringing Water into Public Ownership: Costs and Benefits", published in May this year. Dr Bayliss told delegates the growth in the sector's regulatory capital value has increasingly been financed by debt, while "pretty much all post-tax profits [for nine water and sewerage companies] has been taken out as dividends in the past ten years". She said these profits equated to about £75 per house- hold per year and were financed by bills that had risen by 40 per cent since privatisation. "It's not just about affordabil- ity but fairness," she said, argu- ing that "reducing costs must be a priority for government". Professor Hall discussed the performance of private and public water companies and claimed "there is no evidence of significant improvement in productivity in England since privatisation". "The English system is unique in the world. No other country has adopted this model in the past 28 years," he argued. Instead, he said, there has been a strong trend in Europe and elsewhere in the past decade to "re-municipalise private water services". Speaking as part of a panel discussion, Craig Lonie, director of strategy and regulation at Southern Water, said a debate about public ownership was "fair and reasonable", but he added: "The question of whether the sector is best run in the public or private sector is best referenced to whether prices would be lower or outputs would be different." KP "We owe it to consumers to tell them with certainty what they should be doing at their next boiler cycle replacement" Colin Calder, chief executive of PassivSystems, tells Energy UK's annual conference that the government should keep householders informed about the phasing out of gas. The energy sector's worth to the UK economy Energy UK pub- lished its "Energy in the UK" report to coincide with the trade body's annual conference in London on 19 October. £24bn Amount the energy sector generated in gross value added (GVA) last year. £88bn Amount delivered through supply chains and buying goods and services from other sectors. £5.9bn Amount paid in tax by the sector in 2015/16, which includes £1 billion corporation tax and £1.4 billion VAT. 730,000 Number of jobs supported by the energy sector across the country. £11.9bn Amount invested by energy companies in 2016.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Utility Week - Utility Week 27 Oct