Policy & regulation

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

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Ofgem has confirmed another double supplier failure, taking the total number of exits via the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) process so far this year to 26. The collapse of Orbit and Entice Energy means November 2021 is the worst ever month for market exits via SoLR, with a total of 10 failures.
News
The special administration of Bulb will be backed by a £1.7 billion government loan. Approving the unprecedented use of the special administration regime, a judge said state backing was of "existential importance" to continue supply to Bulb's 1.7 million customers.
News
Although water companies risk bearing the brunt of public anger over sewage spills, the government has shown little appetite for allowing them the level of investment needed to tackle the issue effectively, Utility Week has been told. Ministers must now “take off the shackles” following the passage of the long-awaited Environment Act.
Analysis

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The Heat & Buildings Strategy included encouraging signs for advocates of both electrification and hydrogen but experts have warned that the ‘buildings’ element of the blueprint remains alarmingly vague. David Blackman looks at the role of energy efficiency in decarbonisation of heat and where further support is needed.
Analysis
The government should consider picking up the tab for Last Resort Supply Payment claims to spread out the costs of the industry levy and protect consumers from a sharp increase in energy bills next year, Energy UK’s deputy chief has stated. Audrey Gallacher, who also serves as the trade body’s director of policy, made the suggestion after Bulb became the first supplier to enter the special administration regime earlier this week.
News
Customers' understanding of the role they can play in lowering carbon emissions must be addressed if utility companies want to get them on-board for the net zero journey. A panel of experts at the Utility Week Adapting for net zero conference said utilities must be assertive and take the time to explain the benefits to consumers of changing their behaviour to lower emissions.
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Latest in Policy & regulation

Who should lead our power and heat decarbonisation strategy - the market, the government or others? Matthew Leach reports on academic modelling of the options.
News
2012 looks to be the year heat finally makes it on to the decarbonisation agenda, says Roger Milne.
News
A piece of received wisdom has crept up on us over the past year or so. It is that the cost of replacing and uprating our energy generation and grid delivery capacity in the UK will be between £200 billion and £300 billion by 2030. Ministers now reel it off routinely as fact during debates in Parliament. I realised - if I had not done so before - that it had become "fact" when it appeared unsupported as a bullet point in a presentation by a Green Investment Bank adviser at a recent seminar I attended.
Comment
Water regulator Ofwat has confirmed that SSE Water will provide water and sewerage services for a development of 530 new properties in Deptford, southeast London. The so-called "inset" appointment means SSE Water will supply those services in place of the incumbent supplier, Thames Water.
News
Fleets are the obvious place for electric vehicle (EV) adoption to kick off in earnest. Steve Carroll reports on what fleet operators who have tried them think - and why utilities might consider introducing EVs to their fleets.
Collective bargaining sounds like a brilliant way to drive a good deal for consumers, but suppliers are closing ranks against the Big Switch, says Brendan Coyne.
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