Policy & regulation

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

Editor's picks

United Utilities earned fast-tracked status for its PR19 business plans, which chief executive Steve Mogford says put the business on the front foot to deal with the pandemic year. He talks to Utility Week about how the company has improved its performance and reflects on the need for a simpler price review process, as well his view that CSOs are the next big challenge.
Interviews
The CMA’s decision on the cost of capital could be called into question by the premium Pennon Group has paid for Bristol Water, a sector analyst has suggested. Utility Week gauges reaction to the deal and talks to Pennon's chief executive and chief financial officer about integration plans and the possibility of further M&A activity.
News
Introducing carbon MOTs for customers’ homes could help with the lack of understanding around the impact domestic heating has on net zero, a new report has suggested. The report, Getting to net zero, by Energy Systems Catapult on behalf of Shell Energy Retail includes new polling which shows just nine per cent of customers plan to switch to low-carbon heating when they replace their current boiler.
News

Featured

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.
News
As part of Utility Week's Countdown to COP campaign, former Ofgem chief executive Dermot Nolan highlights three things the government should consider in balancing the need for a rapid transformation of the energy system alongside the responsibility to keep costs down for consumers.
Opinion
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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Latest in Policy & regulation

Overall satisfaction with customer service has dipped to an all-time low for the energy sector, research from Ofgem has revealed. The regulator’s quarterly consumer perception of the energy market survey has polled thousands of customers each quarter since Q4 2018.
News
Shifting low-carbon levies off electricity bills would not only reduce the differential between the running costs for heat pumps and gas boilers, but also strengthen the price signals provided by locational and time-of-use charges, a new report has argued.
News
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has ordered National Grid to hold off from taking control of Western Power Distribution, while it considers whether to launch an in-depth investigation into its planned acquisition of the company. National Grid agreed in March to buy the electricity distribution network for £7.8 billion.
News
Flexibility markets should factor in carbon impacts, rather than just prioritising delivery at the lowest cost, an industry expert has urged. Jeff Hardy, a senior research fellow at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London, also called for greater integration between markets at the local and national level to enable providers to “stack up” deals.
News
Councils should be given a legal duty to draw up net-zero strategies in order to prevent the issue being dealt with in a piecemeal way across the country, the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) has urged.
News
The government has been urged to invest £40 million to improve advice on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers in schools and colleges in England. A new report from EngineeringUK highlights the added difficulties presented by the pandemic in connecting young people with employers in sectors such as utilities.
News
With bad debt risk spiralling for energy providers, and growing economic uncertainty for customers, both groups are seeking new ways to settle their energy bills. In a new technical white paper, Siemens make the case for leveraging two innovative technologies, Managed Credit and Open Banking, to realise a compelling fourth payment option, which strikes a unique balance between credit risk and operational costs.
Opinion
The Independent Networks Association (INA) has called for the implementation of the Future Homes Standard to be coordinated with planning and regulatory milestones for electricity and gas networks. Executive director Nicola Pitts told Utility Week it should possibly be delayed until the end of the RIIO2 price controls for electricity distribution in 2028, giving networks time to establish how flexibility from heat pumps can be used to reduce their impact on the power grid.
News
What role should nuclear power play in meeting the 2050 net zero target? As part of our Countdown to COP series, Tom Greatrex of the Nuclear Industry Association discusses the lessons from countries that have failed to replace lost nuclear capacity and issues a plea for the UK not to follow the same path.
Opinion
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