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.
News

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.
News

Latest in Build Back Better

Customer engagement with business plans should be increased ahead of the next price review, according to Ofwat's chief executive. Meanwhile, consumer watchdog CCW has claimed that neither business plans nor the regulator was clear about how such evidence was used. in PR19.
News
Ofgem must undergo organisational changes to adapt to the ever-evolving energy landscape, the regulator’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley has said. In his keynote address at Utility Week’s Build Back Better forum Brearley outlined key ways in which the regulator plans to support the scale of change over the next few years.
News
Octopus Energy founder Greg Jackson writes for Utility Week on the back of concerns expressed about a two-tier energy market developing in which vulnerable customers are left behind. He vehemently disagrees with the view that only “prosumers” are reaping the benefits of a smarter system because challengers are not interested in attracting vulnerable customers. Instead, he argues that entrenched interests across the sector are standing in the way of a widespread adoption of innovativions that can drive down costs for all customers.
Opinion
The energy industry has laid the foundations for net zero but it is the next generation of sector leaders that will be responsible for ensuring the 2050 target is achieved. From shifts in energy demand to how we deal with vulnerable customers, Covid-19 has resulted in a number of big changes this year. In the second of a series of articles, Adam John speaks to the winners of the Young Energy Professionals awards and asks them what lessons they think will be learned from the pandemic
News
Kwasi Kwarteng has rebutted suggestions that investors will be put off UK energy infrastructure by Ofgem’s drive to curb network returns. In his keynote address at Utility Week’s Build Back Better Forum the energy minister said he was confident Ofgem would reach a settlement with energy networks that incentivises backers.
News
Since offering its customers the opportunity to own a stake in the company, “tens of thousands” of householders have signed up for Pennon Group’s WaterShare+ scheme, the company's chief executive has told Utility Week.
News
Town-scale trials are needed to end the energy industry’s “total paralysis” on the decarbonisation of heating, the founder of Greencoat Capital has argued. While conceding that the costs may run into the “hundreds of millions of pounds”, managing director Richard Nourse said the bill would be “pretty skinny” when compared to the amounts that must ultimately be spent to address the issue.
News
Ofgem’s proposals for the RIIO ED2 price controls set out how DNOs will be incentivised to deliver in areas such as consumer vulnerability and large connections. Sustainability First’s Judith Ward asks why the same approach has not been taken on decarbonisation. Without clear signals there is a real risk of only incremental steps towards net zero rather than the step change that is needed, she argues.
Opinion
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
SSE is to remove qualification entry requirements for apprentices as part of a wider push to improve social mobility. Utility Week speaks to the company’s HR director John Stewart and former minister Justine Greening, who chairs the social mobility pledge, about the sector’s role in creating new green jobs and supporting the levelling up agenda.
News
Government could be set to invest more in small modular reactors as part of the green recovery plan. They could provide the natural successors to large nuclear reactors, supplying baseload in a future where intermittent energy will play an increasing part. But only if there is commitment to the necessary volume to deliver progressive cost reduction, say Julianne Antrobus and Robbie Lyons
Opinion
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