Policy

Editor's picks

The debate over the imbalance of policy costs and taxation between electricity and gas bills is ramping up as the Treasury investigates how net zero should be paid for. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, David Blackman looks at the arguments for change alongside concerns that targeting gas bills would hit the fuel poor hardest.
Analysis
One of the next Holyrood government’s first acts of the following May’s Scottish Parliament elections should be to make energy and net zero a Cabinet level portfolio, a trade body has urged.
News
The first official statistics on the rollout of the Green Homes Grant have laid bare the sluggish pace, with just 2,777 measures installed over the past five months – only 12 per cent of which were low-carbon heat.
News

Featured

The principle of no customer being left behind in the shift to a smarter, more flexible energy system is hard to argue with. However, some experts believe that in the short-term a just transition is just impossible. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, James Wallin examines different pathways to fairness – from ensuring the most vulnerable benefit first to the introduction of non-participant tariffs.
Analysis
A long-awaited report outlining recommendations designed to strengthen the UK’s competition regime has been cautiously welcomed by industry observers but described as lacking in detail. The Power to the People report by Conservative MP John Penrose has a heavy focus on streamlining regulatory processes and creating further competition where possible. It also calls for measures introduced in insurance to tackle 'loyalty penalties' to be extended to energy.
News
The surprise twist in the Energy White Paper was its embrace of the idea of auto-switching. David Blackman looks at how this and other key planks of the paper landed with the sector, and why it came out of the blue.
Analysis

Latest in Policy

The “volatility and unpredictability” of Transmission Network Use of System charges are inflating renewable costs and undermining the viability of some projects. Andrew Urquhart, head of whole system at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission, tells Utility Week some developers in the north of Scotland have reported having to factor a risk premium of as much as £10/MWh into their business case to reflect the uncertainty. 
News
Portsmouth and Southern will publicly sign their bulk supply agreement today, marking an historic milestone for both companies. Chief executive Bob Taylor talks to Utility Week about how Havant Thicket exemplifies the water-only company's growing role in regional water resource planning.
Interviews
Vattenfall has urged the government to make a “speedy” decision in redetermining planning permission for its Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind project after a High Court quashed the development consent order granted for the 1.8GW windfarm in July last year. Justice Holgate said the business and energy secretary at the time, Alok Sharma, had failed to adequately justify his decision not to consider the cumulative impacts of the onshore infrastructure for Norfolk Vanguard and its equally sized sister project Norfolk Boreas, and had thereby acted unlawfully.
News
The principle of no customer being left behind in the shift to a smarter, more flexible energy system is hard to argue with. However, some experts believe that in the short-term a just transition is just impossible. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, James Wallin examines different pathways to fairness – from ensuring the most vulnerable benefit first to the introduction of non-participant tariffs.
Analysis
A High Court judge has overturned the decision last year by then business and energy secretary, Alok Sharma, to award a development consent order for the 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard offshore windfarm being developed by Vattenfall. The judge said the secretary of state had acted unlawfully by failing to provide adequate justification for declining to consider the cumulative impacts of the onshore infrastructure for Norfolk Vanguard and its 1.8GW sister project, Norfolk Boreas, when granting planning permission for the former.
News
It may be “unwise” to rely on consumers buying electric vehicles (EVs) to decarbonise transport, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has warned. The committee has also called on the government to front-load public investment in green measures that will help to counter rising unemployment.
News
A long-awaited report outlining recommendations designed to strengthen the UK’s competition regime has been cautiously welcomed by industry observers but described as lacking in detail. The Power to the People report by Conservative MP John Penrose has a heavy focus on streamlining regulatory processes and creating further competition where possible. It also calls for measures introduced in insurance to tackle 'loyalty penalties' to be extended to energy.
News
Energy UK has urged Rishi Sunak to use the government’s post-Brexit freedom on VAT rates to cut the tax on energy bills. In its pre-budget submission to the chancellor, the trade association said energy costs are “a significant concern for many consumers” and zero-rating supply could reduce the average family’s outgoings by £60 per annum.
News
Two semi-detached homes containing appliances fuelled entirely by hydrogen, the first of their kind in the UK, are to be built in Low Thornley, Gateshead. The project is being run by Northern Gas Networks and Cadent, both of which have input £250,000 of funding. It will also be part-funded by the government’s £25 million Hy4Heat Innovation programme.
News
The review of system operation announced by the government in its recent energy white paper as well as its ongoing review of code governance, together provide a “golden opportunity to reform these arrangements holistically”, Elexon has a stated in a new paper. The administrator of the Balancing and Settlement Code said reforming gas and electricity system operation and code governance in tandem would allow “once in a generation” changes to be made.
News
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