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Moves towards automatically switching disengaged energy customers to cheaper deals represent an "almost ideological shift” in the government’s attitude, an industry expert has said. Speaking to Utility Week Adam Bell, head of policy at management consultancy Stonehaven and former head of energy strategy at BEIS, said the government’s approach was both radical and conservative.
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A coalition of prominent companies, including Scottish Power and Severn Trent, have committed to buy 70,000 British-made electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030 at the latest, providing government and Ofgem commit to specific actions on transport decarbonisation.
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Northern Gas Networks (NGN) has begun testing how existing networks cope under 100 per cent hydrogen as part of the H21 project. MicroGrid is a gas distribution test grid which NGN claims is the first of its kind. It has been purpose-built by DNV and located at the latter’s test and research facility at Spadeadam, Cumbria.
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EDF has launched a commercial vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging service with Nissan, allowing businesses to sell excess energy back to the grid. Launched through the EDF’s subsidiary Dreev - a joint venture with US-based green energy technology company Nuvve - the offer is available to fleet owners of the Nissan Leaf and e-NV200.
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An industry analyst has raised concerns over the proposed abolition of code panels as part of planned reforms to energy code governance. Tom Edwards, senior modelling consultant for Cornwall Insight and a member of the Balancing and Settlement Code panel, said the code managers that would take on many of the panels' functions may lack their frontline expertise. Meanwhile, Citizens Advice has welcomed the chance to tidy up what it considers a fragmented and inefficient system.
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The judging panel for the main competition within Ofwat's innovation fund has been named with eight people chosen from industry, academia, R&D and beyond the water sector. The competition is designed to encourage innovative ideas, collaboration and sharing of risk to develop projects.
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Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley has issued a warning to customers to prepare for likely major increases to the price cap as a result of rising wholesale costs. Writing ahead of the announcement Brearley warned consumers that while nothing has yet been finalised the cap could rise by as much as £150.
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In Utility Week's latest round-up of sector appointments, energy technology platform Kaluza has appointed a new chief executive as it targets further international expansion, while the Energy Networks Association and Northern Powergrid have both appointed new directors.
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SSE Renewables and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy have announced plans to produce green hydrogen through electrolysis using energy from two onshore windfarms. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding in a partnership which aims to “encompass the full green hydrogen value chain” including construction, management, end user requirements, operation and maintenance. 
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SGN has revealed plans to form a 50:50 joint venture with Vital Energi to build and operate low and zero-carbon heat networks around the UK. The networks will supply new and existing residential, commercial and industrial sites, including redundant sites owned by SGN and developments planned by its property arm, SGN place.
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Ensuring the safety and effectiveness of carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) are the top two priorities for the public, recent government research has revealed. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with UK Research and Innovation’s Sciencewise programme, commissioned Traverse to deliver a public dialogue to understand citizens’ attitudes towards CCUS.
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The government says separate auctions for low-carbon generation may need to be introduced to the Capacity Market to balance security of supply and the need to decarbonise. A call for evidence on changes to the mechanism also considers agreement lengths and how to incentive low-carbon, long-build-time technologies.
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Ofwat has confirmed its decision to temporarily increase the maximum prices business retailers are permitted to charge as a result of increased levels of bad debt. Under the regulator's plans, where bad costs across the market exceed 2 per cent of revenue, retailers will bear 25 per cent of the costs, with the rest passed on to customers.
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