Regulation

Editor's picks

The chair of Ofgem’s RIIO2 challenge group has reaffirmed its view that there is no case for raising the cost of capital beyond the levels currently proposed by the regulator for the next set of network price controls. Roger Whitcomb said the coronavirus pandemic has made the stable returns of regulated utilities more attractive to investors, meaning “if there is argument at all, it will be for a reduction”.
News
Consumers may be more willing to buy their energy from a local supplier if they are also able to stay with their current provider at the same time, a new study from researchers at University College London has suggested. The paper, published in the Energy Policy journal, also indicates that consumers may be more open to signing up with a local company if they are implicitly endorsed by their present supplier.
News

Featured

The Competition & Markets Authority’s decision to overturn Ofwat’s stance on the cost of capital in the PR19 price control was an unexpected and significant intervention. James Wallin examines how the regulator is likely to respond, what it means for the price controls in energy and whether the water companies that accepted their final determinations really will take this lying down.
Analysis
In her latest exclusive column for Utility Week members, former Ofgem executive Maxine Frerk gives her view on the CMA appeals in the water sector. She examines what impact this is likely to have on RIIO2 and highlights areas of the CMA’s response that energy networks may want to study.
Opinion
Ofgem’s proposals to drive higher standards among energy suppliers and increase support for customers draw inspiration from a similar approach by the Financial Conduct Authority. Huntswood’s Alex Prentice looks at how the financial services sector has adapted and what lessons there are for utilities.
Opinion

Latest in Regulation

Town-scale trials are needed to end the energy industry’s “total paralysis” on the decarbonisation of heating, the founder of Greencoat Capital has argued. While conceding that the costs may run into the “hundreds of millions of pounds”, managing director Richard Nourse said the bill would be “pretty skinny” when compared to the amounts that must ultimately be spent to address the issue.
News
Politicians and business leaders want the country to deliver a green revolution, create jobs and boost the economy. As part of our Build Back Better campaign, Utility Week in association with Addleshaw Goddard has published a major new report exploring the significant role utilities can play in fulfilling these ambitions.
Downloads
Regina Finn, Ofwat’s first chief executive and now chair of the Low Carbon Contracts Company, talks to Utility Week about her career and the future of Contracts for Difference. She discusses the role of auctions for emerging technologies, starting with next year’s bumper round and whether they could extend beyond the power sector. She also gives her view on how regulation should reflect the net-zero journey.
Interviews
Water cannot be excluded from energy and planning discussions if the UK is to meet its commitments to net zero, according to a new paper from the Westminster Sustainable Business Forum that recommends ambitious targets for consumption and calls for mandatory sustainable drainage and water labelling.
News
Business secretary Alok Sharma has announced the government will extend the default tariff cap until "at least" the end of 2021. He said that so far the cap had saved customers around £1 billion a year, equivalent to around £75-100 annually for typical households on default energy tariffs
News
Energy customers struggling to pay their bills will be given more support via new license requirements, the industry regulator has announced. As part of the new rules, suppliers will be required to offer emergency credit to customers struggling to top up their prepayment meter, many of whom are likely to be in vulnerable circumstances.
News
Phil Swift, chief executive of Western Power Distribution, answers questions from Utility Week on the how the company can contribute to a green economic recovery and help local communities to Build Back Better following the coronavirus pandemic,
Interviews
CCW has reviewed how water companies interacted with billpayers when writing their PR19 business plans and made recommendations for best practice looking ahead to PR24 including a call for comparable nationwide data
News
Ofgem’s proposals for the RIIO ED2 price controls set out how DNOs will be incentivised to deliver in areas such as consumer vulnerability and large connections. Sustainability First’s Judith Ward asks why the same approach has not been taken on decarbonisation. Without clear signals there is a real risk of only incremental steps towards net zero rather than the step change that is needed, she argues.
Opinion
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