coronavirus

The latest on how utilities have reacted to the pandemic and how companies are adapting to a new normal post-lockdown

Editor's picks

Ofgem’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley has set out his expectation that the energy sector will start to return to business as usual from next month. The regulator has written to suppliers, networks and the electricity system operator informing them that normal regulatory rules will apply from 1 July. Brearley said that while Covid-19 guidance must still be adhered to, now was the time for a “steady recovery” to begin.
News
Electricity switching in Great Britain took a further dip last month as the coronavirus pandemic continued to affect consumer behaviour. The figures from ElectraLink’s Energy Market Data Hub show switches between energy suppliers in May decreased both year-on-year and month-on-month.
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Featured

To mark Global Wind Day, Orsted’s head of region for the UK, Duncan Clark, writes for Utility Week about how the post-pandemic economic recovery offers an opportunity for the offshore wind sector to refocus and potentially accelerate progress towards a more sustainable, low-carbon future.
Opinion
Many energy efficiency upgrades can already be carried out safely within Covid-19 guidelines, according to a new report from the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group, which says home insulation projects could create 42,500 full time jobs over the next two years. The report was issued on the same day as the OECD warned the UK will suffer a bigger economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic than any other advanced nation.
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Ofgem’s chief executive returns to Utility Week’s #AskUsAnything show to answer questions from readers, joined by interim executive director of systems and networks, Cathryn Scott and director, future retail, Philippa Pickford. Listen back to the on-demand recording here.
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Latest in coronavirus

With the entry deadline for the Water Industry Awards 2022 fast approaching, this year’s judges set the scene for the awards’ latest instalment on 29 June – featuring a number of new categories.
News
Ahead of the launch of Spring’s first innovation challenge, consultant executive lead, Carly Perry, discusses striking a balance between strategy and serendipity in collaboration and lessons in continuous learning from the tech sector.
Interviews
Philippe Sébérac, director of technological and scientific expertise at Veolia, explains how the firm and its project partners have updated their early warning system for identifying and quantifying Covid-19 in wastewater to cope with new variants, and discusses a broader rollout.
Analysis
Northumbrian Water will combine the advantages of digital and face-to-face platforms for inspiration and problem solving at its fifth Festival of Innovation. The company’s CIO Nigel Watson tells UW Innovate how the mix will allow the company to build on the impressive legacy of its first four events.
Interviews
Download Utility Week’s report to discover the factors driving industry pilots of open banking technology to improve debt and payment management in the post-pandemic world.
Downloads
Ofwat has confirmed its decision to temporarily increase the maximum prices business retailers are permitted to charge as a result of increased levels of bad debt. Under the regulator's plans, where bad costs across the market exceed 2 per cent of revenue, retailers will bear 25 per cent of the costs, with the rest passed on to customers.
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A combination of Covid-19 and the recent industrial action from British Gas engineers cost Centrica an estimated £87 million, as well as a reduction in customers in the first half of this year. The process to update employee contracts as part of its major restructure announced last summer has been described as “challenging” by the British Gas owner. Elsewhere, the company updates on customer losses for its retail arm and services business.
News
Ofgem has revealed when it expects to implement the "true-up" to reflect the final costs of Covid-related bad debt in the default tariff cap. The energy regulator introduced an adjustment to the default cap earlier this year to account for an initial estimate of additional bad debt as a result of the pandemic.
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