Build Back Better

Exploring how energy and water companies can drive the post-Covid recovery and build a greener and fairer society

Editor's picks

Politicians and business leaders want the country to deliver a green revolution, create jobs and boost the economy. As part of our Build Back Better campaign, Utility Week in association with Addleshaw Goddard has published a major new report exploring the significant role utilities can play in fulfilling these ambitions.
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Targets to install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028 and create 5GW of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 are included in Boris Johnson’s long-awaited 10-point plan for a “green industrial revolution”. Find out what else is in the plan and how the industry has reacted.
News
The government has pledged to set out details next year of new mechanisms to help both its target to dramatically increase the uptake of heat pumps and the UK’s fledgling hydrogen and carbon capture industries. The details are included in a policy paper giving further clarity on the prime minister’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.
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Featured

Working closely with local authorities on their zero carbon plans has put Electricity North West in a stronger position as it draws up its own business proposals in the run up to ED2, says CEO Peter Emery. Denise Chevin reports
Interviews
The triumph of offshore wind has shown how long-term policy and price signals can rapidly drive technology forward – and even Boris Johnson is full on behind its expansion. But can the same model work for other renewables, or is it time for a new set of energy market reforms?
Analysis
In the final part of the series, Adam John speaks to the winners of the Young Energy Professionals awards about how their generation considers the net-zero challenge.
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Latest in Build Back Better

Anglian has had approval from Defra to accelerate investment in schemes that will benefit the environment. The company will invest £800 million in natural water treatment, river restoration and enhancing biodiversity in its region
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With tech giants like Google entering the utility space, suppliers need to rethink their current business models in order to retain customers. This is the view of Andrew Field, of digital performance specialist, Teleperformance. He believes retailers must integrate competitors’ services alongside their own and harness technology to appeal to the modern consumer – one who is conscious of and takes an active interest in personal energy consumption. But what else can utility companies do to remain relevant?
Opinion
Ed Miliband has said the government still has “a long way to go” to show the requisite ambition on decarbonisation. While welcoming aspects of the Energy White Paper, he warned it left too many questions unanswered.
News
The publication of the Energy White Paper this week capped a whirlwind of policy updates on how the UK will hit its 2050 net-zero goal. Among these, the Climate Change Committee’s substantial Sixth Carbon Budget stood out, setting a clear vision and hard deadlines for decarbonisation. David Blackman looks at how it is likely to influence the government’s evolving net-zero strategy.
Analysis
In its long-awaited Energy White Paper, the government has announced that the UK will press ahead with the establishment of its own emissions trading scheme (ETS) next month. Utility Week looks at other key elements of the paper and rounds up industry reaction.
News
Council leaders have pledged to reach net zero in their communities by 2045 at the latest and have called on government to “get out of our way”. The UK100 group, which brings together city mayors and council leaders, has unveiled a pledge signed by 41 of its members to neutralise their own emissions by 2030 and those of their residents and businesses “as soon as possible (and by 2045 at the latest)”.
News
Coronavirus has prompted utilities' leaders to take a fresh look at what it means to deliver on their social contract - but what should meaningful approaches to delivering positive outcomes like social and economic mobility for communities look like? Senior industry representatives and other experts shared some key considerations with Utility Week.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)’s director of clean growth is leaving to take a new role working with Tony Blair. Utility Week understands a replacement has been identified.
News
Boris Johnson has unveiled a dramatic increase in the UK’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target. The prime minister has announced that the UK is committing to a 68 per cent cut in territorial emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The government claims this means the UK is now committed to reducing emissions faster than any major economy.
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Current circumstances requiring workers to remain as socially distant as possible can pose huge operational challenges for utility companies. At Utility Week Live Online, UK Power Networks and SGN were among the experts sharing their tips on adapting technology to help connect and protect their workforce during the pandemic.
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