Strategy & management

Editor's picks

Complaints about the standard of customer service from utility companies have reached record levels, according to the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index. Published twice yearly by the Institute of Customer Service, the survey polls 10,000 customers to track the impact of customer service on business performance.
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Douglas Millican is stepping down as chief executive of Scottish Water after ten years in the role. Millican said it was time for a new leader to guide the company through its preparations for the next price control period from 2027.
News
To achieve their ambitious decarbonisation targets, local authorities must get to grips with a complex and evolving energy system. But, as UK100 chief executive Polly Billington argues, the energy sector must also do its part in seeking to understand the needs and the capabilities of local government. She talks to Lucinda Dann about how the sector is doing so far and why local area energy planning must happen with councils, rather than to them.
Interviews

Latest in Strategy & management

EDF has raised its price projection for Hinkley Point C by another £3 billion and delayed the start date for generation at the nuclear power station in Somerset by another year. It now expects the 3.2GW plant to cost between £25 billion and £26 billion to build and the first reactor to being generating power in June 2027, assuming there are no new waves of the coronavirus pandemic or additional effects from the war in Ukraine.
News
The inaugural UK Utilities Risk Report, from Utility Week and Marsh, highlights the key issues keeping sector leaders awake at night. From cybersecurity to policy and regulatory blockers, extreme weather and price volatility, this report presents a snapshot of the key concerns for utilities.
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Following Ofgem’s minded-to decision to introduce a quarterly price cap, Utility Week reporter Adam John believes it is time to start looking to a future that is not fixated on price and switching. From a relative cap to social tariffs, there are several options on the table to be considered. Failure to act is likely to result in more consumer woe.
Opinion
Cadent workers will stage a 48 hour walk-out at the end of May in a dispute over pay, the GMB Union has confirmed. Gary Carter, GMB national officer, said Cadent is “out of touch” with its workers and with the cost-of-living crisis.  
News
Ofwat and CCW have said wastewater companies must review their responses to sewer flooding incidents after a report commissioned by the bodies found customers felt let down by slow action, poor communication and inadequate compensation. CCW chief executive Emma Clancy said the research had exposed “a cross-sector failure which is leaving people who experience sewer flooding in vulnerable circumstances.”
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National Grid has seen its profits surge to almost £4 billion following its acquisition of Western Power Distribution, the commissioning of two new interconnectors to France and Norway, and accelerated investment in the electricity transmission network. Utility Week spoke to chief financial officer Andy Agg about its financial results for the year to the end of March.
News
United Utilities has seen one in two customers sign up to the open banking scheme it launched last year, its new chief executive has told Utility Week. She described how taking the initiative in-house had overcome underwhelming take-up initially.
News
Kraken Technologies, the provider of Octopus Energy’s proprietary end-to-end energy services platform, has announced it is expanding into other utility sectors such as water and broadband. As part of the expansion, the company has formed a new business, Kraken Utilities, which is hiring for another 50 positions to add to its existing team of 250 people.
News
Locational electricity pricing could save £30 billion – or £1,000 per household – by 2035, according to a new study from Energy Systems Catapult and Octopus Energy. The report said the current market arrangements were designed for an energy system dominated by large, centralised generators and “no longer makes sense”, resulting in a “growing tension between the wholesale market and physical reality”.
News
Consumers' choices must be limited to a degree if the UK is to achieve its net zero ambitions, a senior industry figure has argued. Speaking during a panel session on the decarbonisation at Utility Week Live on Tuesday (17 May), Vattenfall head of partnerships Noah Nkonge sought to qualify suggestions that consumers should have free choice over the type of heating they use, warning: “If everybody gets to choose every little thing then things like heat networks are really difficult to deliver.”
News
April saw a record low in the number of energy supplier switches started, the latest figures from Electralink have revealed. The company said with contracts ending each Spring April typically shows relatively high numbers of switches started as customers seek cheaper deals. Yet with a record increase to the price cap, Electralink said the appetite to change supplier has “flatlined”.
News
The government has declared its support for further investment in sewerage systems in England and Wales in its response to the Environmental Audit Committee’s damning report on water quality in rivers. However, the committee's recommendations to address pollution from agriculture and homebuilding, which both play a significant role in preventing rivers from achieving good ecological status, were not accepted.
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