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Ofwat and CCW have said wastewater companies must review their responses to sewer flooding incidents after a report commissioned by the bodies found customers felt let down by slow action, poor communication and inadequate compensation. CCW chief executive Emma Clancy said the research had exposed “a cross-sector failure which is leaving people who experience sewer flooding in vulnerable circumstances.”
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National Grid has seen its profits surge to almost £4 billion following its acquisition of Western Power Distribution, the commissioning of two new interconnectors to France and Norway, and accelerated investment in the electricity transmission network. Utility Week spoke to chief financial officer Andy Agg about its financial results for the year to the end of March.
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Cadent workers will stage a 48 hour walk-out at the end of May in a dispute over pay, the GMB Union has confirmed. Gary Carter, GMB national officer, said Cadent is “out of touch” with its workers and with the cost-of-living crisis.  
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EDF has raised its price projection for Hinkley Point C by another £3 billion and delayed the start date for generation at the nuclear power station in Somerset by another year. It now expects the 3.2GW plant to cost between £25 billion and £26 billion to build and the first reactor to being generating power in June 2027, assuming there are no new waves of the coronavirus pandemic or additional effects from the war in Ukraine.
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A snap review should be carried out into whether the lives of the UK’s operating nuclear power stations can be extended, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has urged. The review is one of the key recommendations in a new report on the future of the UK’s advanced gas-cooled reactor fleet published on Friday (19 May).
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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks has launched a new online tool to assist households and businesses seeking to connect low-carbon technologies such as heat pumps or electric vehicle chargers. The distribution network operator said its LCT Connections tool streamlines the process, assessing applications through an automated process and providing details for any further steps required.
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United Utilities has seen one in two customers sign up to the open banking scheme it launched last year, its new chief executive has told Utility Week. She described how taking the initiative in-house had overcome underwhelming take-up initially.
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A windfall tax on energy company profits is not “off the table”, Rishi Sunak has stated. The chancellor of the exchequer has come under pressure from Ed Miliband to adopt Labour’s proposed windfall tax on oil and gas companies.
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Ofwat has confirmed it will continue to provide ring-fenced funding for further development of four strategic regional water resource projects in England following their assessment by the Regulators Alliance for Progressing Infrastructure Development (RAPID). The regulator has issued its final decisions for the accelerated gate two of RAPID’s four gate development process for large-scale strategic schemes to provide resilient water supplies to drier parts of the country.
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Kraken Technologies, the provider of Octopus Energy’s proprietary end-to-end energy services platform, has announced it is expanding into other utility sectors such as water and broadband. As part of the expansion, the company has formed a new business, Kraken Utilities, which is hiring for another 50 positions to add to its existing team of 250 people.
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Locational electricity pricing could save £30 billion – or £1,000 per household – by 2035, according to a new study from Energy Systems Catapult and Octopus Energy. The report said the current market arrangements were designed for an energy system dominated by large, centralised generators and “no longer makes sense”, resulting in a “growing tension between the wholesale market and physical reality”.
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Consumers' choices must be limited to a degree if the UK is to achieve its net zero ambitions, a senior industry figure has argued. Speaking during a panel session on the decarbonisation at Utility Week Live on Tuesday (17 May), Vattenfall head of partnerships Noah Nkonge sought to qualify suggestions that consumers should have free choice over the type of heating they use, warning: “If everybody gets to choose every little thing then things like heat networks are really difficult to deliver.”
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Boris Johnson’s departure from 10 Downing Street would not derail the government’s net zero emissions drive because support for the policy is too deeply rooted amongst businesses and the UK’s international partners, a Conservative environmental campaigner has claimed. Jack Richardson, senior climate programmes manager at the Conservative Environment Network, said although there is “definitely” some risk of a new leader dropping support for net zero, this would mean going up against “all those companies that are now investing in transition plans”.
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The water sector has called for reforms to regulation to enable it to meet the challenges of supplying water in the face of climate change, population growth and aging infrastructure. Water UK chief executive Christine McGourty said: “Without urgent action there is a risk future generations will simply not have enough of this precious resource to go around.”
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