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

One of the frustrations for customers of regulated industries is that on the rare occasion the regulator does impose a penalty, it disappears into the Treasury with no benefit to customers. Perhaps that's a frustration for regulators, too: they are taking a more inventive approach.
Comment
Subsidies for domestic renewable heating technologies look like being almost a year later than planned, government has admitted. In the meantime, the department of energy and climate change (Decc) has put forward proposals for ensuring the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) stays within its budget and can be controlled predictably.
News
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) is writing to four million vulnerable households as suppliers warn that they are in danger of missing the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (Cert) because they are struggling to help those most in need.
News
Proposals to reform the energy retail market have been criticised by large and small suppliers and by the consumer watchdog, who believe the proposals clash with other government policies.
News
A single department with responsibility for all energy matters, the radical reduction of Northern Ireland's dependency on home heating oil, and renewable electricity-based heating for the south and west where gas networks may never reach, are three of the recommendations of a new report on the energy industry in Northern Ireland. The report, 'Energising Northern Ireland', was commissioned by the Consumer Council and produced by former energy Minister, Lord Whitty.
News
With private sewers now transferred, water companies are gearing up to take control of private pumping stations. Nick Orman explains .
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