Our latest roundup of movers and shakers across the utility sector includes Matthew Vickers leaving the Ombudsman, board appointments at Ofwat, MOSL, Pennon and Utilita Energy's charitable group has a new executive director
Higher energy bills are leading businesses to invest in energy efficiency measures, new government-commissioned research reveals. Three-quarters of businesses said they have taken steps to limit their energy use in the last year, in response to rising prices. Of those around two in five (43%) had invested in energy-efficient technology.
Utility Week Live 2024 will return on 21-22 May, with a host of new zones and features designed to unite stakeholders in the transition to a digitally enabled, net zero future, under the new strapline ‘Accelerate Delivery’. UWL24 will introduce a variety of new features including the Local Government Pavilion showcasing decarbonisation plans from local authorities, the Energy Flexibility stage bringing you 2 days of content dedicated to the emerging markets and the RoboTech Demo Zone providing live demonstrations of the latest artificial intelligence, automation and robotics revolutionising utilities.
In our latest round-up of the weekend’s national news coverage, Thames Water auditors warn that the country’s biggest water company could run out of funds by April unless shareholders inject more equity into the debt-laden firm. Elsewhere, COP28 President caused a stir by claiming there is “no science” indicating that a phase-out of fossil fuels is needed to restrict global heating to 1.5C, while in Cumbria heavy snow left thousands without power.
The government has cut the fines boiler manufacturers will have to pay if they fail to meet targets for its new scheme to boost the production of heat pumps. The change is one of a number of moves to ease requirements on manufacturers under the Clean Heat Market Mechanism, which resembles the Zero Emissions Mandate being introduced in the car market.
Scottish Government plans that could give the country’s homeowners and businesses two years to rip out their fossil fuel heating systems have been branded a “time bomb” by the opposition Conservatives. A consultation on a proposed Heat and Buildings Bill, outlines a swathe of tough new targets for accelerating uptake of energy efficiency and low carbon heating measures north of the border. It confirms that the use of “polluting” fossil fuel heating systems will be prohibited after 2045.
The number of applications made to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) has soared in the weeks after grants were increased to £7,500. An additional 1,150 new applications were received during the week commencing 23 October, three times as many as the weekly average received so far this year. Speaking to Utility Week, Heat Pump Federation director Bean Beanland said he expects the recent surge in demand to remain for the foreseeable.
What prompted Britain’s gas companies to resign en masse from the Energy Networks Association and what does it mean for the wider sector’s message around net zero? Utility Week editor James Wallin examines the tensions on both sides, the catalyst for the walkout and what the two sides can still agree on.
The Rough storage facility has released stored gas into the grid for the first time this winter, to meet rising demand during colder temperatures. Operated by Centrica, Rough is the UK’s largest gas storage facility. This year, Centrica has filled Rough with the equivalent of 18 LNG tankers, double the amount stored last winter.
Just 215 private rented properties have secured energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades under a scheme set up by the Scottish Government three years ago. This equates to 0.06% of all eligible private rented homes north of the border, according to the Scottish Lib Dems.
Improving the energy efficiency of fuel poor households could slash the number of children suffering from asthma by 700,000, Energy UK’s deputy chief executive has told MPs. That equates to around two-thirds of the 1.1m children who Asthma UK estimates are receiving treatment for the condition
Firms involved in the development of batteries are finding it hard to access government support, the recently-published UK Battery Strategy reveals. The strategy outlines the steps government is taking to “achieve a globally competitive battery supply chain by 2030, that supports economic prosperity and the net zero transition”.
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