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As the nation enters the first phase of returning to work, two landmark projects - Hinkley Point C and Thames Tideway - have brought staff back to sites with guidance on how to operate under social distancing rules.
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The Covid-19 outbreak offers a unique opportunity for the sector to reappraise supply chain robustness, address the resilience of excessively leveraged balance sheets and prompt a discussion around the true value of essential workers, says Arenko’s James Mills
Opinion
We introduce a new series celebrating the tireless work carried out across the utilities sector to ensure the lights stay on and the water and gas keeps flowing during lockdown. As well as highlighting individuals and teams going above and beyond their day-to-day roles we will be examining how companies are adapting to new responsibilities and taking the initiative to extend support – both operational and financial - where it is needed most.
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Even before the coronavirus, understanding which of their customers would come under the broad umbrella of “vulnerable” was a key challenge for utilities companies. Here data specialist Mike Fox looks at ways companies can use their own data to search out difficult-to-identify vulnerabilities.
Opinion

Latest in Company strategy

Yorkshire Water has published ideas for investment and regulatory reform to allow the sector to be more flexible in its PR24 business plans and rise to the challenges of climate change and population growth. Utility Week discusses the company's proposal with its director of corporate affairs, Richard Emmott.
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Octopus Energy has revealed it has started offering customers working from home the use of a battery to power their wifi during smart meter installations. The large retailer, which recently surpassed 2 million customers, said it has seen a number of customers cancel their installation appointments as they did not want their wifi to be switched off during the process.
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To address some of the problematic elements of decarbonisation in the water sector, this virtual innovation festival jointly hosted by Anglian, Yorkshire and Essex & Suffolk will look towards COP26
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All three of the electricity and gas transmission companies as well as two of the four gas distribution networks in Great Britain have so far announced plans to appeal elements of Ofgem’s RIIO2 final determinations. Utility Week brings you all the latest updates and reaction in this live blog.
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National Grid has said it will accept most of RIIO2 final determinations for its electricity and gas transmission businesses but will submit a technical appeal on the cost of equity and the outperformance wedge to the Competition and Markets Authority. It said the final determination for the Electricity System Operator will be accepted in full.
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Ovo Energy, Shell Energy Retail and Scottish Power are among 18 suppliers which failed to correctly protect customers’ tariff prices when they decided to switch, Ofgem has announced. After several suppliers self-reported the issue every provider on the market was requested to self-assess their practices, revealing that 18 suppliers were not compliant between 2013-2020.
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The energy sector must learn lessons from the smart meter rollout when implementing technical standards for future smart home energy technologies, industry observers have warned. A recent roundtable hosted by DevicePilot, a service monitoring platform for connected devices, discussed the future of the home energy market, which innovations are set to have the biggest impact and what effect this will have on the UK’s net zero goals. Several attendees reflected on how the smart meter rollout has panned out and offered their thoughts on what can be learned as homes adopt smart technologies.
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Analysts at Barclays have predicted each of the gas and transmission networks will appeal their final determinations from Ofgem for the RIIO-2 price control. The companies have until 3 March to accept or reject the regulator's decision on their business plans.
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Octopus Energy has awarded a year’s supply of free energy to its 2 millionth customer. Chief executive Greg Jackson talks to Utility Week about the milestone and how he took inspiration from the comic Whizzer & Chips to celebrate it.
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Npower has confirmed it shut down its customer app following an attack which left customers’ details exposed to cyber criminals. During the breach personal data and contact preferences were accessed. For some accounts the sort code and the last four digits of their bank account number, but not the full number, was accessed.
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Centrica’s aim to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2045 show the “tide is turning” for energy businesses, an industry observer has said. Alongside the company's latest financial update were plans for the business to achieve net zero emissions five years ahead of the UK’s national target.
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