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Npower is set to be swallowed up by Eon, as part of the wider asset swap between parent companies RWE and Innogy. However, the EU Commission is yet to give its approval to the deal, and if a decision is not reached before 31 October then domestic competition approval may be needed.
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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 Gas retail

Energy retail is a state of upheaval – huge consolidation, tighter regulations and falling profits, but a wealth of opportunities lie ahead as we transition to net zero. In this comprehensively researched report, in association with Charles River Associates, we talk to 16 senior executives about the future, including in depth interviews with Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus and Ed Kamm CEO Shell Energy.
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Centrica has urged the government to commit to a “retrofit fund” to pay for the installation of 5,000 hybrid heating systems between 2022 and 2024.
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A charity says it has seen a “significant increase” in demand from single men seeking advice and support with fuel poverty over the course of the pandemic. Before Covid-19 hit, support was usually taken up by low-income families, single parents, pensioners and people with health needs.
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London Power is continuing to struggle to attract customers, with the latest figures showing it supplied just over 5,500 after more than a year in operation. The Octopus Energy white label, which began supplying customers in December 2019, publishes quarterly updates on its progress.
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Making the switch to low-carbon heating attractive and accessible to consumers will be a crucial part of achieving net zero. As part of our Countdown to COP series, Utility Week speaks to Eon boss Michael Lewis, who explains that a combination of the right financial incentives and consumer education will be key to the transition.
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A new poll has revealed the city with the highest uptake of green energy tariffs in the UK. Uswitch.com conducted a survey of 2,000 consumers and asked about the type of energy tariff they are being supplied by. Overall a third of UK customers said they were on a green tariff. The study also revealed how much more per year customers are willing to pay for a "truly green" deal.
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Ofgem has proposed that no further adjustments be made to the price cap to account for the impact of the pandemic following a review of suppliers' forecasts for bad debt. The regulator previously ruled that cap period six, which began on 1 April, should include an additional allowance, or "float", for suppliers to claim £23 to cover higher levels of bad debt from more customers being unable to pay their energy bills due to the impact of Covid.
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CNG Fuels has begun building a biomethane refuelling station near Bristol which it says will become the “world’s largest” when it opens by the end of this year. The station at Avonmouth near the junction between the M4 and M5 motorways will be capable of refuelling 80 heavy goods vehicles per hour from 14 high speed dispensers.
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There was a “notable decrease” in public awareness of the concept of net zero between December and March, a government survey has shown. Other topics covered in the public attitudes tracker include smart meters, billing and renewables.
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For the past year, the utilities sector has been warned that it faces a tsunami of debt resulting from the pandemic. However, there are emerging reasons to think the reality may not be as dramatic as feared. James Wallin asks whether we can risk reading anything into the green shoots of recovery.
Comment
A quarter of 18-24-year-olds struggle to understand their energy bills, new research from Octopus Energy and the National Literacy Trust has revealed. A OnePoll survey of more than 2,500 bill payers looked to explore how well people understood their energy bills and identify ways in which they could be made easier to read.
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Unequal electricity and gas policy costs and taxes must be tackled in order to encourage consumers to switch to low-carbon heating options, the government’s leading heat policy official has told Utility Week. David Capper also hinted that the government is examining a phase-out date for fossil fuel heating systems
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