Policy & regulation

Latest updates and analysis on how government and regulators' decisions will impact the sector 

Editor's picks

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.
News
Meeting environmental targets and cutting the use of combined sewer overflows have been outlined as key priorities for Ofwat to incentivise in the next price review. Defra has instructed the regulator to make environmental planning and pollution reduction top objectives, in its draft strategic policy statement (SPS) for PR24 and beyond.
News

Featured

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is due to deliver its preliminary judgement on the appeals against Ofgem’s RIIO2 price controls next month. In her latest column exclusively for Utility Week members, Maxine Frerk examines what we can learn from the arguments put forward so far.
Opinion
As well as presenting a confusing message to the public, the division between the proponents of electrification and green gas risks giving government a licence to delay on decarbonisation of heat. This is the view of Madeleine Gabriel, of innovation agency, Nesta, who highlights some of the more positive steps that could be taken to address the home heating conundrum.
Opinion
Biodiversity net gain is a concept enshrined in the Environment Bill 2019-2021, which establishes how the UK's environmental law will function and develop post-Brexit. Experts from Osborne Clarke set out what the bill means for utilities.
Opinion

Latest in Policy & regulation

Any social tariffs introduced to help the most vulnerable energy customers must be consistent in their approach, an industry expert has warned. Peter Smith, director of policy and advocacy at charity National Energy Action (NEA), talked to Utility Week on the back of recent reports that several large energy suppliers are supportive of the introduction of a social energy tariff for the most vulnerable.
News
Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) Transmission has submitted a proposal to Ofgem for a £400 million project to replace the Fort Augustus to Skye electricity transmission line.
News
More than a quarter (27 per cent) of bill payers say an increase of more than £10 a month in energy bills could push them into debt, new research has found. An Opinium survey of 2,000 adults was commissioned by Uswitch.com and the results have been released just days before Ofgem is expected to increase the default price cap. The research found a significant percentage of people were willing to go without essential foods to cover their energy costs.
News
In our latest review of sector coverage in the national newspapers, the increase to the energy price cap comes under fire. Meanwhile, there is analysis of the rifts in government that are hindering action on climate change and ministers have been warned against taking a stake in the Sizewell C nuclear plant.
News
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.
News
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.
News
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.
News
Energy suppliers representing 90 per cent of domestic customers have signed up to fresh commitments to support those worried about paying bills this winter. Energy UK deputy chief executive Audrey Gallacher looks at what else the sector is doing to help struggling billpayers.
Opinion
The institutional reforms to the energy industry recently proposed by the government and Ofgem represent “unfinished business,” an influential academic has argued. Catherine Mitchell, professor of energy policy at the University of Exeter, described the proposals as “tantalising” and stated: “It’s really irritating that they just have not gone that extra step.”
News
The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has advised the government to avoid “picking winners” among greenhouse gas removal technologies and to rapidly introduce market frameworks to support various options. The NIC wants the government to commit to deploying five to ten megatonnes of engineered removals of carbon dioxide by 2030, rising to between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.
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