Policy

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
Utility Week explores the wide range of new roles and responsibilities an independent energy system operator may be asked to take on. These include a possible statutory duty to advise government, Ofgem, code managers, councils and other bodies, as well as taking on some secretary of state functions with regard to the Capacity Market and playing an active part in the rollout of hydrogen and CCUS.
Analysis

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

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.
News
Eon UK chief executive Michael Lewis has urged the government to bring forward the ban on gas boiler sales to 2030 as “the best way to give industry the signal to start investing today”. Conversely, he said rumours of the ban being extended beyond a previously mooted date of 2035 would “simply delay the benefits of the transition to net zero”.
News
Ensuring the safety and effectiveness of carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) are the top two priorities for the public, recent government research has revealed. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in partnership with UK Research and Innovation’s Sciencewise programme, commissioned Traverse to deliver a public dialogue to understand citizens’ attitudes towards CCUS.
News
The government's approach to the energy retail sector in its new strategy have been branded “disappointing” by the sector’s trade body. Energy UK said the multiple proposals presented a confused picture and that the blueprint overall was "looking to address a problem of the past, not looking to the future". Bulb also criticised the approach but consumer bodies welcomed the extension of the price cap.
News
The Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into the Electric Highway charging network over concerns that its exclusivity agreements with motorway service operators are hindering competition. Gridserve recently relaunched the network after acquiring it from energy supplier Ecotricity and beginning a programme to replace chargers with more modern and powerful units.
News
The Environment Agency has proposed allowing water companies up to 25 years to deliver on environmental programmes and extending the timeframe for the Water Industry National Environmental Programme (WINEP) from five to ten years.
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