Utility Week

Utility Week 27 Oct

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

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Page 38 of 39

Community Just say no The Daily Mail is getting into its stride in its righteous campaign against the smart meter rollout. Although as a matter of course the organ is splenetic about "rip-off energy prices", it's prepared to overlook this issue when it comes to smart meters in favour of the graver problems of privacy, fear of hacking, spies in the hall and unspecified "health risks". The paper has started championing what it terms "middle-class refuseniks", some of whom boast that they have padlocked their meter cupboards just in case any das- tardly energy company makes a clandestine visit. It's farcical. Disconnector can't help but notice that the Daily Mail is supporting no such campaign against smart phones, or indeed the internet, despite the fact that every smart phone is effectively a tracker device for GCHQ and your IP address lets all manner of companies amass gigabytes of data about your habits. The fact is we simply don't care: we're not going to do without the internet. Or smart phones. Because we like them; they're useful and fun. We feel no such qualms about taking a balanced view of smart meters, or energy prices. It's an issue we're constantly told we should be angry about – and politicians collude in the narrative – even though many people can't be bothered to switch. Given that the smart meter rollout is becoming just another stick with which to beat the energy industry, suppliers may be wondering why they lobbied so hard to be responsible for it. Lost in translation Just because Disconnector is a strong advocate of smart meters, that doesn't mean the great man is in awe of all things modern. Technology is not always your friend. That must certainly be the conclusion of Palestinian builder Khalawim Khalawi, who posted a photo of himself beside the bulldozer he works with in the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit, together with the message "Good morning!" in Arabic. Unfortunately for Mr Khalawi, Facebook's auto- matic translation algorithm rendered this as "Attack them" in Hebrew and "Hurt them" in English. Unsurprisingly, the police arrived promptly and carted him off to the cells, where he spent a few hours before being released. According to Israeli news service Haaretz, the error was down to Facebook using a transliterating service – a translation of individual cor- responding letters rather than whole words or phrases. They've got it covered We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are staring at the ground. Thus muses the great man on reading about the enthusiasm in Japan for collect- ing manhole covers. "Manhole spotting" is not the preserve of the Japanese, of course. Some Brits are also into it, but over here it tends to be restricted to a few oddballs. Jeremy Corbyn is a name that springs to mind. But over in Japan it's a big deal. In fact in Maebashi, a city in central Japan, when they offered ten used manhole covers for sale it was 20 times oversubscribed and the only fair way of deciding who got one was to hold a lottery. Mind you, at least one win- ner was struck with buyer's regret when he got home to his cramped Tokyo flat – and his wife – with his 40kg manhole cover. Local broadcaster TV Asahi caught up with him there, where he admitted: "I'm in trouble. This is the last time." The broadcaster noted that his lottery prize was leaning against a wall in the porch. 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; Features editor: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332080, e: loisvallely@fav-house.com; Deputy news editor: Katey Pigden, t: 01342 332082, e: kateypigden@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; Sales executive: Sidney Houliston, e: sidneyhouliston@fav-house.com. t: 01342 332009; 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. 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 Richard Folland @richard_folland At CBI event where UK Climate Change Minister Claire Perry says genuinely "open- minded" about future UK carbon pricing. #EUETS #lowcarbon Mark Johnston @mark_johnston Maybe so, but not an ETS issue unless Brexit abandoned. Norway participates, but Switzerland only links. Swiss talks 7 yrs & counting ... Sarah Merrick @SpeakSarahSpeak #SPIA - the Smart Power Industries Alliance looks spot on. Some much needed joined up thinking on joined up technologies! Emma Pinchbeck @ELPinchbeck Don't tell me that the energy sector can't speak with a common voice. Industry bodies unite to talk #smartenergy at the launch of #SPIA James Heappey MP @JSHeappey Smart Power Industries Alliance launch is Who's Who of UK clean tech industry. Grt to see such expertise togethr & pushing in same direction Richard Black @_richardblack Good initiative. Insightful speeches at launch from @Richard4Watford, @ChiOnwurah, @Laura_Sandys, @JSHeappey… cross-party consensus evident Barnaby Wharton @BarnabyCBW Who will regulate consumer focused, internet- enabled, future smart energy system? Ofgem or... Ofcom? asks @JSHeappey #SPIA Alasdair Cameron @ACameronFOE Just asked how we stop an entire smart energy system being captured by a single platform like Amazon. No answer yet, but we need one #spia Alistair McCay @AlistairMcCay So my flat with gas boiler is already using a whole systems approach? well that's futuristic. Eric Holthaus @EricHolthaus A reminder: Weather and climate disasters have cost Americans *half a trillion* dollars this year. That's just one year, in one country. Top Tweets UTILITY WEEK | 27TH OCTOBER - 2ND NOVEMBER 2017 | 31

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