Governance

Editor's picks

The non-domestic water sector is continuing to underperform in long-standing problem areas, market operator MOSL has concluded. Its latest market performance report highlights issues around billing, customer service and meter reads. It has also published peer comparison league tables.
News
Business water retailers will be given leeway on settlement deferrals and can list customers’ premises as vacant if they are temporarily closed due to coronavirus, under new rules. Utility Week examines the fresh measures Ofwat and MOSL have introduced to support retailers facing a collpase in their cashflow as a result of coronavirus.
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Featured

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
In the latest of a series of articles exclusively for Utility Week members, Maxine Frerk – former senior partner networks at Ofgem – gives her view on the price control processes across the utilities sector. She examines the themes emerging from the PR19 appeals and what read across we can identify for the price reviews in energy.
Opinion
With a structured mentoring programme, utilities can enrich the working lives of employees and pass on hard-won experience to the next generation.
Opinion

Latest in Governance

Water sector investors do not feel listened to by Ofwat according to its annual survey, which nevertheless showed overall support for the regulator’s policies and methods. The poll found 48 per cent of respondents did not feel the regulators was taking their views on board.
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Several large energy suppliers have called on the government to shift policy costs from electricity bills and introduce a carbon tax to deliver its green heating ambitions. Ovo, Eon, EDF and Scottish Power commissioned a report by consultancy Public First which looks into options for incentivising heat decarbonisation, claiming the current framework actively encourages the use of fossil fuels. Meanwhile, Energy Systems Catapult has backed the creation of an economy-wide ‘carbon regulator’.
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Centrica says attracting female employees is its biggest challenge as an employer, as it revealed plans to align its workforce with the latest census data by 2030. Part of its plans to create a more inclusive workforce include the introduction of a ‘shadow board’ of diverse employees which will “drive continuous improvement”, as well as mandating unconscious bias training for all staff.
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A new report exploring possible options to enable electric vehicle (EV) owners to benefit from smart charging has warned against mandating the use of the Data Communications Company’s (DCC) network. The report produced on behalf of trade body Energy UK, assesses a variety of smart charging at home options and the benefits and protections they will need to provide consumers and the energy system.
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The final deadline has passed for British Gas engineers embroiled in a bitter dispute with Centrica to decide whether to accept new contracts or be sacked by the company. In a statement issued on Wednesday morning, Centrica said it expected 300 to 400 of the less than 500 engineers still holding out at the time to refuse to sign.
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Monitoring of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) has increased 14-fold over the past four years, according to data from the Environment Agency (EA), with 100 per cent coverage expected by 2023. The EA has for the first time publicly released data on the frequency and length of sewage discharges from the 12,092 CSOs that were monitored in 2020, which showed 403,171 spills last year.
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On 1 April, Centrica’s rancorous dispute with the GMB union over updated terms and conditions for workers comes to a head. Utility Week understands that despite a remaining cabal of resistance, most GMB strikers will concede. Adam John examines how the longest strike in Centrica’s history came to be and how it is likely to end.
Analysis
Gemserv has called on the energy regulator to give strategic directions to code managers to guide their decision-making as one of a number of early improvements to governance ahead of more significant reforms. The company, which administers the Master Registration Agreement and the Smart Energy Code, said the regulator should also introduce new financial incentives for performance and funding for innovation.
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The pandemic ushered in a huge change in utility customer services culture at a pace which could not have been predicted. The new Insight Report from Utility Week uncovers the short-term tactics that companies deployed and considers how these can be honed into longer-term strategies to improve customers’ experience and company efficiency.
Downloads
GMB Union has announced a fresh wave of industrial action involving Centrica workers, which it says makes the strike the longest in the British Gas owner’s history. The announcement by the union follows fruitless talks between itself, Centrica and ACAS.
News
In the latest appointments round-up from across the utilities sector, the head of BP UK is to step down at the end of this year; the Energy Networks Association has named the chair for its smart grid project; MOSL has appointed a non-executive director, and Energy UK’s switching consumer group has a new chair.
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