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

Ofwat chief executive David Black has written to water companies' remuneration committees to urge them to consider executives' performance on pollution and the environment, both good and bad, when setting and awarding bonuses. The regulator has separately issued a consultation on options to simplify how output delivery incentives are calculated for the next price review in 2024.
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Southern Water's chief executive Ian McAulay will retire at the end of the year once a suitable successor has been chosen. McAulay joined the business in 2016 tasked with turning around the organisation and steering it through two record prosecutions for misreporting discharges that occurred under the previous CEO.
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Four UK utilities have made it onto the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index of global publicly-listed companies that have scored highly across five areas: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay parity, inclusive culture, anti-sexual harassment policies, and pro-women brand. In a separate ranking, four utilities made the top 50 UK employers for inclusivity.
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Pennon Group's acquisition of Bristol Water has moved closer to completion as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said it is likely that evidence provided by the former would be accepted in response to concerns the deal could undermine Ofwat's ability to regulate. Meanwhile, the CMA has also launched a merger inquiry into the acquisition of a minority stake in gas distribution network SGN by Brookfield Asset Management.
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Southern Water's interim results for the first six months of 2021/22 show the business is behind on a series of key targets and has already exceeded its annual maximum number of sewer flooding incidents following a particularly wet summer season. The company, which welcomed a new majority shareholder in September when Macquarie invested more than £1 billion, has set out it strategies to improve across all indicators.
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Concerns about Avro Energy were raised with Ofgem by Citizens Advice on 10 separate occasions in the three years before its collapse, the charity has revealed. In a damning new report, Citizens Advice accused Ofgem of making a “catalogue of errors” and failing to act against unfit energy suppliers for nearly a decade, leaving the market in a “precarious position” and consumers with a £2.6 billion bill.
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Ofwat has set out options to protect customers from water company financing risks as part of a consultation following its financial resilience report last month. The regulator has proposed measures including raising the minimum standards of credit quality, strengthening expectations on dividend payments being linked to performance and increasing transparency.
News
Thames Water has reported on the first six months of its programme to transform from an underperforming water company under the leadership of a new executive team. The company has prioritised customer service and tackling pollution as it works to "get the basics right" and increased its investment in asset base and network monitoring.
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Ofwat has taken steps to restore public trust in the sector with revised licences to reflect expectations of transparency and financial resilience. However its report into resilience in the first year of AMP7 found several companies are lagging behind expectations as it expressed concerns over the finances of SES, Southern and Yorkshire.
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“Monolithic utilities” need to deliver change to avoid being “eaten up by start-ups” – that’s the message from experts within the sector who are seeking to adopt a culture of agile working. This report explores how utilities can learn from disruptors and other industries about adopting a DevOps culture. With contributions from Shell Energy Retail, Octopus Energy, Everflow and UK Power Networks among others.
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Ofwat has launched an investigation into allegations of illegal discharges from combined sewer overflows after receiving reports of “widespread unpermitted releases of sewage”. The regulator said new information, along with analysis by the Environment Agency, suggests water and wastewater companies “may have released sewage into rivers and waterways when they were not legally allowed to do so."
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Less than one per cent of megaprojects deliver the promised benefits on time and on budget. Download this report from Vision to learn why they go wrong, how you can fix them and why the fix works. The report also explores how these lessons can be applied to all capital projects of scale.
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