Policy & regulation

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

Editor's picks

A more than £1 billion tax windfall should be used to help fuel poor households in the forthcoming budget, the head of the charity National Energy Action has argued. Adam Scorer warned that without emergency support, millions of households will sink further into debt or be forced to turn off their heating, becoming at risk of serious ill-health.
News
The government must complete this year its analysis into the botched Green Homes Grant (GHG) scheme to ensure similar mistakes are not repeated in future home energy retrofit programmes, a House of Commons committee has recommended. Despite being designed to stimulate creation of jobs, the Environmental Audit Committee said the scheme may have “perversely” put people out of work.
News
Ofgem has been threatened with legal action by a number of small suppliers which said they no longer have confidence in the regulator and have demanded redress for what they deem as its failings. In a letter written by Jo Gilbert, the former chief operating officer of the recently failed PFP Energy, Ofgem was accused of helping to bring the energy market “to its knees”.
News

Featured

Utility Week launches a new campaign aimed at ensuring the current focus on the energy retail market results in real reform, not more tinkering at the edges. Energy Reset seeks meaningful protection for consumers, an end to the damaging obsession with auto-switching and steps towards long-term relationships between retailers and their customers to drive forward the energy transition.
Analysis
The collapse of Avro Energy, affecting 580,000 customers, presents a significant test for Ofgem’s Supplier of Last Resort mechanism. Experts tell David Blackman that it’s a "flip of a coin” as to whether the process will cope.
Opinion
The need to adopt methane strategies is an under-explored area of net-zero policy but there are still important steps that can be taken by the government and Ofgem. Maxine Frerk delves into the issue in her latest column for Utility Week.
Opinion

Latest in Policy & regulation

Ellen Fraser, energy retail partner at Baringa Partners, sets out her main observations about the ongoing crisis in energy retail and discusses some of the changes that are needed to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Opinion
Utilities should work with mortgage and insurance providers to pinpoint moments when householders and drivers are most likely to respond to incentives to switch to low-carbon options. This was the view of senior industry figures speaking to Utility Week in the wake of the publication of the Heat and Buildings Strategy.
News
People spending thousands of pounds on green home technologies have fewer protections than those taking out a mobile phone contract, according to new research from Citizens Advice. Highlighting a “worrying gap” in consumer protections for the installation of technologies like heat pumps and solar panels, the charity said they are also “far better” for financial products such as loans, pensions and insurance.
News
Will the introduction of market-wide half-hourly settlement unlock energy service innovation for the mass market? And are suppliers ready to support the nimble settlement processes it requires?
Analysis
Getting consumers to engage with net zero is going to require big changes to service strategies. But are utilities clear on what those changes should look like for a diverse spectrum of customers?
Analysis
As part of our Countdown to COP series, Utility Week speaks to Suleman Alli, director of customer service, strategy, regulation and information services at UK Power Networks. He discusses the legacy of COP26 but also delves into action his company is taking to facilitate on-street electric vehicle charging and how it aims to “write the book on green home heating”.
Interviews
Incentives to decarbonise housing should be tailored to local property prices in order to ensure that poorer areas, like many in so called northern “red wall”, are not left behind, a new report has argued. The study by local government thinktank Localis highlighted dramatic variations in the ratio between home retrofit costs and property prices across England.
News
Ofgem has expressed concerns that the number of priority services register (PSR) services offered by energy suppliers seem to be “out of step with need”. The regulator’s latest Consumer Protection Report draws from the latest social obligations data from domestic suppliers, as well as engagement with consumer groups and charities over the course of the pandemic.
News
Cutting VAT across the board on electricity bills in next week’s budget would be a “disastrous decision” by Rishi Sunak, ex-Npower chief executive Paul Massara has warned. Pressure has built up on chancellor of the exchequer over recent weeks to relieve pressure on households, while providing a Brexit dividend, by axing VAT from electricity bills.
News
Energy retailers have told Utility Week that Ofgem’s plans to make them refund customer credit balances will do nothing to address the affordability issue and simply heaps further pressure on suppliers at the worst possible time.
News
The target of making the energy system emissions free by 2035 is now official government policy, but how realistic is it? And what needs to be done to achieve it? David Blackman asks the questions.
Analysis
Shell Energy has become a supplier of last resort (SoLR) for the second time in a week following the demise of GoTo Energy. The failure of GoTo Energy marked the 16th time this year the SoLR process has been invoked and the 38th time since 2016.
News
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