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

With drought now officially declared in parts of England, can the water sector turn this crisis into an opportunity to communicate the importance of water efficiency? Ruth Williams examines how the sector can build trust and share knowledge, as well as what progress companies themselves can make.
Analysis
The introduction of hosepipe bans by three water companies this week has sparked a wave of negative headlines. But is the water sector missing a golden opportunity to use the current pressures on water demand to engage with consumers about the need for long-term behaviour change?
Comment
Whoever wins the Conservative leadership race will face immediate pressure to deliver on the promise of more secure, affordable, green energy. Sue Ferns, of the Prospect union, insists that this must start with a clear delivery plan that provides certainty for investors, an expanded skills pipeline, and good green jobs.
Opinion

Latest in Policy

There is a major lack of awareness among consumers of how much the price cap is expected to rise by in October, research by comparison service Uswitch.com has suggested. Respondents to its survey underestimated the expected increase by more than £1,100 on average when compared to recent forecasts by industry analysts.
News
The Conservatives risk being seen “as constantly behind the game” on tackling the cost of living crisis unless they counter Labour’s price cap freeze plan, a former energy retail CEO and fuel poverty expert has warned. However, Paul Massara, former Npower boss and member of the Committee on Fuel Poverty, told Utility Week he disagrees with Labour leader Kier Starmer’s approach of freezing the price cap across the board and instead called for a social tariff to be implemented from October.
News
The government has announced plans to completely exempt heavy industries such as steel, glass and cement from green levies in a bid to curb the impact of spiralling electricity bills on such firms. Under the existing rules governing the Energy Intensive Industries Exemption Scheme, such heavy power users enjoy a discount of up to 85% on indirect costs of the Contracts for Difference, Renewables Obligation and Feed In Tariff subsidy schemes.
News
As each week brings dire forecasts of what energy bills will look like come winter, a frantic discussion has gripped the sector on how to help consumers. Put simply, immediate action is required if we are to avoid a cataclysm for the poorest households. Is a social tariff, favoured by several key players, the solution? If so, what will it look like and how soon could it be implemented? Adam John asks the experts.
Analysis
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects backed by Cadent, Equinor and SSE were amongst 20 shortlisted on Friday (12 August) for government financial backing in the next stage of its drive to establish net zero industrial clusters. The projects selected by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) are all part of the East Coast and HyNet North West schemes, which were designated earlier this year as the first two industrial clusters in the UK in line to receive funding for the construction of CCS infrastructure.
News
Boris Johnson has stated it will be up to his successor to make any significant decisions on further support for people struggling to pay spiralling energy bills. The outgoing prime minister, along with chancellor of the exchequer Nadhim Zahawi and business and energy secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, met with energy industry leaders at a roundtable to discuss potential solutions to the current crisis.
News
The government has proposed using a dual Contracts for Difference (CfD) mechanism with separate strike prices for electricity generation and negative emissions to spur the development of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) power stations. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said this would be "familiar and effective", offering stable revenues to investors whilst also providing paybacks to consumers when power or carbon prices are high.
News
People living in poorly insulated homes face paying a nearly £2,000 premium on their energy bills when this winter’s price cap hike comes into force, new analysis shows. The warning comes as pressure grows on politicians to act soon to mitigate the worst impacts of impending energy bill hikes, with fresh speculation about expanding the scope of the windfall tax.
News
Rishi Sunak has pledged to provide extra support for households with their energy bills if he wins the Conservative leadership contest as Cornwall Insight forecast the price cap will peak at more than £4,400 in April next year. The former chancellor of the exchequer, who is lagging behind foreign secretary Liz Truss in the two-horse race, made the commitment after Truss recently rejected “handouts” for households struggling to pay their bills.
News
Ofgem has proposed a series of measures to speed up the delivery of large onshore electricity transmission upgrades needed to achieve the government’s target of deploying 50GW of offshore wind by 2030. The regulator said it is considering providing early certainty on funding, reducing number of regulatory approval gates and giving exemptions from the incoming introduction of competition to large onshore transmission projects.  
News
The next price cap coming into effect in October will include an additional £41 uplift to reflect wholesale costs incurred by suppliers as a result of customers shifting onto standard variable tariffs, Ofgem has announced. The regulator said the adjustment is necessary to prevent further supplier failures, the costs of which would be borne by consumers.
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