Electricity retail

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What does Ovo's potential takeover of SSE mean for the big six and does it signal a new era of consolidation in the energy retail market? Adam John talks to experts including former Npower boss, Paul Massara.
Analysis

Latest in Electricity retail

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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Gas imports reached a record quarterly high in the first three months of 2021 following a fall in gross production, the latest government figures have revealed. The figures have been published in the latest BEIS energy trends report.
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A ban on gas boilers is neither a “necessary or even desirable” policy and government should instead introduce a subsidy for heat pumps, an energy retailer has suggested. Clementine Cowton, Octopus Energy’s director of external affairs, was speaking following national media reports that the government was considering pushing back the ban on new gas boilers.
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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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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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More than 13 million smart meters are now connected to the Data Communications Company’s (DCC) network, the latest figures show. The latest milestone in the smart meter rollout was reached when Octopus Energy installed an electric smart meter in Morecambe in Lancashire.
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The government's approach to the energy retail sector in its new strategy have been branded “disappointing” by the sector’s trade body. Energy UK said the multiple proposals presented a confused picture and that the blueprint overall was "looking to address a problem of the past, not looking to the future". Bulb also criticised the approach but consumer bodies welcomed the extension of the price cap.
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Plans have been unveiled by the government detailing how it intends to test automatic switching arrangements for disengaged customers, as well as for extending the price cap. The energy retail strategy confirms that BEIS intends to incrementally introduce opt-in switching, while also trialling an opt-out scheme. Meanwhile, legislation will be introduced to allow for future extensions of the cap beyond 2023.
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Krishnan Kasiviswanathan, chief operating officer at Innowatts, explains why suppliers need the capability to leverage half-hourly smart meter data and discusses the lessons that can be taken from US states such as California and Texas.
Opinion
A combination of Covid-19 and the recent industrial action from British Gas engineers cost Centrica an estimated £87 million, as well as a reduction in customers in the first half of this year. The process to update employee contracts as part of its major restructure announced last summer has been described as “challenging” by the British Gas owner. Elsewhere, the company updates on customer losses for its retail arm and services business.
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The government has outlined plans to tackle a market distortion from the energy company obligation (ECO), with a view to eventually removing supplier thresholds. In a new consultation, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy set out how it intends to expand the ECO scheme so more small suppliers would be obligated.
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The government has pledged to introduce regulation for smart energy appliances "when Parliamentary time allows". This would set requirements based on the principles of interoperability, data privacy, grid stability and cyber security.
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