Regulation

Editor's picks

Pollution incidents caused by water and sewerage companies plateaued in 2019/20 against an overall drop in the number of incidents a report from the Environment Agency shows. Introducing the report, chief executive James Bevan warned that environmental protection and enhancement will come at a cost.
News
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
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

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
The publication of John Penrose’s review into the effectiveness of UK regulation could be dismissed as simply another Whitehall shelf-filler. However, David Blackman argues that Penrose’s proximity to the centre of power mean his views are more likely than most to be acted upon. So, what could this mean for utilities?
Comment
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

Latest in Regulation

The publication of John Penrose’s review into the effectiveness of UK regulation could be dismissed as simply another Whitehall shelf-filler. However, David Blackman argues that Penrose’s proximity to the centre of power mean his views are more likely than most to be acted upon. So, what could this mean for utilities?
Comment
British Gas has confirmed it is raising prices on its standard variable tariff (SVT) by almost £100 to bring it in line with the price cap, the first supplier to do so. The news comes following Ofgem's plans to raise the cap following a rise in wholesale prices, with other major suppliers likely to follow suit.
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
Ofgem has approved an amendment to the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) that will require all data to be made openly available unless there is a specific reason for it not to be. The code modification named P398 was proposed by the BSC panel and will take effect on 24 June 2021.
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
Andrew Urquhart, head of whole system at SSEN Transmission, argues that regional disparities and the volatility and unpredictability of transmission charges are deterring investment in renewables and calls for wider debate over their future.
Opinion
It is crucial that the water sector is not excluded from decarbonisation incentives so it can play a full role in the path to 2050, says Dr Keith Colquhoun, Climate Change & ESG Manager at Thames Water. As part of our Countdown to COP coverage, he also discusses the water sector’s ambitious target to reduce operational emissions to net zero by 2030.
Interviews
A new Utility Week report explores the potential for AI and machine learning to help utilities navigate a swelling crisis in consumer debt. We present an overview of what’s covered.
Analysis
As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, Utility Week speaks to Suleman Alli, director of strategy & customer service at UK Power Networks. He discusses the need to present decarbonisation as an economic opportunity rather than a cost burden, why the sector should be promoting “open energy” and three principles to boost consumer participation in the net-zero agenda.
Interviews
This week marks one year since the deadline for water companies in England and Wales to accept or reject Ofwat's final determinations for PR19. Ruth Williams delves into the final submissions to the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) - from the appellant companies and the regulator - and recaps the arguments so far.
News
Labour shadow energy minister Alan Whitehead has backed Ofgem’s proposals to fully separate the Electricity System Operator from National Grid, describing the move as “absolutely essential”. He said the Independent System Operator proposed by Ofgem should also combine the system operator for gas, something which the regulator revealed it is considering following its recent review of energy system operation in Great Britain.
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