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MPs have criticised distribution network operators for poor communication with customers suffering from power outages as a result of Storm Arwen, including providing inaccurate reconnection times. Speaking during an emergency debate in the House of Commons, business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said it is “clearly unacceptable” that some customers had to wait for up to two hours to get through to call centres over the weekend.
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Unless the energy market framework is reformed, the UK’s carbon reduction goals will require a “massively expanded” role for government with knock on inefficiencies, a new report co-authored by a former top energy official has warned. The study from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change said generators' growing reliance on the Contracts for Difference mechanism will mean they become “less and less responsive” to demand because of its in-built incentive to produce as much power as possible.
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Ofgem has confirmed plans to temporarily expedite Last Resort Supply Payment claims to relieve pressure on the finances of suppliers taking on the customers of failed rivals, whilst facing high wholesale energy prices. The regulator invited Suppliers of Last Resort appointed since 1 September to submit claims by 6 December to begin receiving payments from April.
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SP Energy Networks (SPEN) is offering an additional refund of £150 to the around 8,000 domestic customers in its license areas that have been left without power for more than 48 hours following Storm Arwen. The distribution network operator said the amount is more than the average annual cost of its services and will be paid to eligible households by the end of this year.
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South East Water has expanded its autoenrollment scheme for social tariffs and is looking to team up with more councils to grow the service further. The company wants to build on the partnership that began with Maidstone Borough Council in August and has now been extended to Tunbridge Wells.
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The final milestone has been cleared in the funding of the £9 billion Dogger Bank wind farm. SSE and Equinor announced they have reached financial close on Dogger Bank C, the third phase of the 3.6GW project. Taken in aggregate with the first two phases, this is now the largest offshore wind financing anywhere in the world.
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Severn Trent has joined forces with CCm Technologies to create a sustainable fertiliser from waste by applying carbon capture technology to wastewater treatment processes at its Birmingham plant. The company said the scheme will open new commercial streams and contribute to its 2030 triple carbon pledge commitments.
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Ofwat has taken steps to restore public trust in the sector with revised licences to reflect expectations of transparency and financial resilience. However its report into resilience in the first year of AMP7 found several companies are lagging behind expectations as it expressed concerns over the finances of SES, Southern and Yorkshire.
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Elexon has proposed to significantly raise the credit assessment price (CAP) in a move which will see it top £300/MWh for the first time ever. The Credit Committee said it is prepared to increase the CAP again at its next meeting in two weeks’ time as electricity prices going into January are currently forecast to be even higher.
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The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has “persistently failed” to learn lessons from previous energy efficiency schemes, according to the latest damning report into the botched Green Homes Grant voucher programme. Despite retaining personnel with experience of previous initiatives, the Public Account Committee said the scheme suffered from many of the same issues and questioned how the department “maintains and uses its corporate memory”.
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Ofwat's annual operational performance review has found the water sector made 'considerable progress' on leakage during 2020/21 but 'stagnated or deteriorated' on pollution incidents. The report showed water consumption rose in all parts of England and Wales except South West's region as lockdown altered usage habits.
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Zog Energy has ceased trading, claiming it was unable to secure the gas hedges it previously agreed with its gas shipper CNG. The Ipswich-based supplier, which served around 11,700 domestic gas customers, is the 27th energy retailer to exit via the Supplier of Last Resort process so far this year.
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Some homes will remain without power until at least Friday following the widespread damage to the electricity network during Storm Arwen. The Energy Networks Associations said engineers have been undertaking repairs at around 4,500 individual sites after strong winds, falling trees and airborne debris downed overhead power lines and inflicted damage to substations.
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Suppliers which have gone out of business as a result of the recent escalation in gas costs cannot blame the price cap because they should have been adequately hedged, the energy minister has argued. Appearing at the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee, Greg Hands said suppliers who were properly prepared have “clearly been in a much better position to ride out the big increases in global gas prices.”
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Susan Davy, chief executive of South West Water-owner Pennon Group, has said preventing and adapting to climate change is her top priority for PR24, whilst discussing the company’s financial results for the six months to the end of September.
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