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

Professor Sir Dieter Helm has branded the government’s decision to opt out of the EU’s internal energy market (IEM) while increasing its reliance on interconnectors a “mistake”, which threatens the UK’s security of supply during cold snaps.
News
The government has outlined plans to tackle a market distortion from the energy company obligation (ECO), with a view to eventually removing supplier thresholds. In a new consultation, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy set out how it intends to expand the ECO scheme so more small suppliers would be obligated.
News
The Cap & Floor regime, which was developed by Ofgem to encourage investment in interconnectors, could be extended to long-duration storage projects. In a new call for evidence on facilitating the deployment of large-scale and long-term electricity storage storage technologies, such as pumped hydro and hydrogen, the government says these projects are not being built at the scale needed to support the transition to a lower carbon.
News
The government has pledged to introduce regulation for smart energy appliances "when Parliamentary time allows". This would set requirements based on the principles of interoperability, data privacy, grid stability and cyber security.
News
Ofgem has proposed taking on a strategic oversight role for energy code governance as part of a joint consultation with BEIS, published amidst a flurry of energy policy announcements. Presenting this as their preferred option for reform, they said the regulator would issue a strategic direction for energy codes on an annual basis and ensure it is delivered by a series of code managers that would take on most of the functions currently performed by industry-led code panels.
News
A government-funded smart meter trial led to a dramatic reduction in average annual energy bills, while at the same time decreasing consumers’ carbon footprints.
News
As part of a flurry of energy policy announcements, the government and Ofgem have outlined their initial views on the responsibilities, ownership and structure of an independent system operator for electricity and gas. The consultation suggests transferring all responsibilities of the current electricity system operator but leaving some gas system roles with National Grid. It also gauges views on a privately-owned or public sector model.
News
There is a “severe lack of detail” around how vast numbers of new EVs will be integrated into the energy system, an industry expert has warned. Conor Maher-McWilliams, head of flexibility at technology platform Kaluza, told Utility Week that there is a risk of looking back on the next decade with regret if the government’s transport strategy is not fully joined up.
News
Nearly three quarters of England’s most powerful councils have committed to decarbonise their local area, according to a new report from Parliament’s spending watchdog. The National Audit Office backed calls for the government to consider the case for a statutory duty for local authorities on net zero to clarify the scope of their roles and responsibilities.
News
Consumers should contribute to the upfront costs of building the shared transmission infrastructure that will be required to connect new offshore windfarms to the power grid, Ofgem has proposed. The suggestion is included in the results of the regulator's year-long review into the offshore transmission network.
News
Labour’s shadow energy minister has highlighted “perverse outcomes” since the introduction of the Capacity Market and criticised the mechanism for furnishing suppliers with “free money” to provide power they would have anyway.
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