net zero

Latest in net zero

Proposed changes to network charges threaten to undermine plans by water companies to generate renewable power on their sites in efforts to become net zero by 2030. Utility Week speaks to senior figures at companies including Anglian Water and United Utilities about the impact of Ofgem's plans on their decarbonisation ambitions.
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Welsh Water has set out plans to reduce its emissions by 90 per cent by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2040 by examining and improving the whole lifecycle of its assets and driving down process emissions at wastewater treatment sites.
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Seagrass, which was once common around the UK's coast, is believed to be as effective as woodland at sequestering carbon but until now no framework existed to measure its efficacy. Affinity Water was awarded funding from Ofwat's Innovation in Water Challenge fund to restore seagrass in its region, create a seed nursery and develop the framework for carbon credits. Utility Week talks to Aaron Burton, Affinity's head of environmental strategy.
Analysis
Carbon offsetting has come under criticism as being a bit of a cop out on the journey to net zero but for essential process emissions, a need to offset remains. Peter Simpson talked to Utility Week Live about the benefits of localised offsetting and why Anglian was not taking the easiest option.
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A national framework for local energy planning is needed in order to prevent a net zero “postcode lottery”, research from Citizens Advice has warned. The charity’s new report, Look before you LAEP, explores issues with local area energy plans (LAEP) and found there is an inconsistent approach to planning across the UK. It recommends the introduction of a national framework which it says could help ensure plans are achievable, affordable and effective.
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There was a “notable decrease” in public awareness of the concept of net zero between December and March, a government survey has shown. Other topics covered in the public attitudes tracker include smart meters, billing and renewables.
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A national communications drive is needed to help bring the public on board with the UK’s net zero ambitions, Citizens Advice has suggested. Zoe Guijarro, policy manager at the consumer body, said: "We need to meet people where they are and communicate the vision in a way that means something to them.”
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Ofwat’s Innovation in Water Challenge has sparked imaginations across the sector in a united effort to find solutions to common challenges faced by water companies. Utility Week finds out more about Anglian's successful bid: a tool to measure the whole life carbon and costs of assets.
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Scottish Water’s decarbonisation strategy works back from the net-zero target of 2045 to establish what needs to be achieved and when – as well as who will pay. As part of our Countdown to COP series, chief executive Douglas Millican talks to Ruth Williams about taking a long-term view and how the company sought public backing for its plans.
Interviews
Bulb chief executive Hayden Wood and REA boss Nina Skorupska are among 32 industry figures who have written to Boris Johnson urging him to scrap VAT on green products. While the letter states the sector was “encouraged” with the chancellor pledging investment in green infrastructure projects in the recent budget, it said there was disappointment at the “lack of policies to help people play a part in reaching net zero”.
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Shell Energy Retail has launched a trial exploring the effect smart thermostats, combined with energy usage insights, have on consumer behaviour.  The trial, which has been awarded £300,000 from the government-led Smart Energy Savings Innovations Competition, will see 600 Shell customers using a device that allows them to control their heating and hot water through their smart phone.
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