archived news

EU charges Gazprom over alleged gas market abuse

23 April 2015 - The European Commission has opened an investigation against energy giant Gazprom for allegedly abusing the gas market. It has sent a ‘Statement of Objections’ to the Russian state-owned company alleging some of its business practices in Central and Eastern European gas markets could amount to an abuse of its dominant position, breaking EU antitrust rules. That includes reducing its customers’ ability to resell the gas cross-border, which could have led to Gazprom charging &ldqu ... read more »

Water retail data still a ‘huge challenge', says Thames Water

23 April 2015 - Speaking at Utility Week Live, Graham Southall said this concern is something that keeps him awake at night because there remains “an awful lot still to do before we get to 1 April 2017 [and market opening]”. He added the water wholesalers “need to ensure the data is fit for purpose to allow the market to operate properly” so retailers are able to offer prices to, and acquire new business customers. Despite his concerns, he was adamant the market will open when it is sche ... read more »

Utilities sector’s customer service ‘at the bottom’

23 April 2015 - The UK’s utilities sector still has the worst level of customer service. Despite a significant improvement on previous surveys, a new report on customer’s attitudes shows the energy sector is far behind all others. The latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index by The Institute of Customer Service (UKCSI) shows the utility sector has improved by 1.5 points, the greatest improvement from 13 industries that were measured. Yet it is still at the bottom of the index with a score of 70.9 out o ... read more »

The New Energy Market Panel Debate

23 April 2015 - What will the new energy future mean in terms of legislation and infrastructure? How will the UK grid cope with businesses generating power on site? What policies are needed to open the market up? Hear Jacqui Hall, Managing Director of CNG, Anthony Badger, Strategy and Development Director at Haven Power, Robert Groves, CEO of SmartestEnergy and Jonathan Graham, Head of Policy at the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) answer those questions and many more about the New Energy Market. Sour ... read more »

ECO HTTC Report

23 April 2015 - Hard-To-Treat-Cavity Review This report presents the results of our review of hard-to-treat cavity (HTTC) measures installed under ECO in 2013. The review consisted of a document review by energy companies and independent site audits of narrow HTTCs. The review enabled us to identify measures that were not eligible HTTCs and measures that had been incorrectly notified. Background Following the launch of ECO in January 2013 we became aware of possible inaccuracies in HTTCs under the CERO obligati ... read more »

Tackling fuel poverty

23 April 2015 - £224 million national scheme to launch in September. As many as 28,000 fuel poor and vulnerable households could make their homes easier and cheaper to heat through a new national scheme worth up to £224 million over seven years. Launching in September, the scheme will install insulation, heating and low carbon or renewable measures in the homes of households who are identified as living in fuel poverty, with a wider range of options for people living off the main gas grid including ... read more »

Political party pledges made easy

23 April 2015 - Fed up of all the jargon in the manifesto made by the UK’s political parties? Well, here’s a video showing some of the things they have on offer! The Conservatives said they will scrap support for onshore wind and back fracking. The Green Party would invest in renewable energy and put an end to fracking. The Labour Party has pledged to freeze energy prices until 2017. The Liberal Democrats have vowed to implement a Zero Carbon Bill and close coal-fired power stations. The UK Independ ... read more »

SSE’S GREAT ISLAND CCGT ENTERS COMMERCIAL OPERATION

22 April 2015 - SSE’s new Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station at Great Island, Co. Wexford,Ireland has gone into commercial operation and has now been officially added to the company’s electricity generation fleet as an operating asset. The CCGT station, which is now the cleanest and most efficient natural gas power plant on Ireland’s national grid, will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of half a million Irish homes of SSE Airtricity customers. The final milestone in ... read more »

Utilitywise buys energy software firm in £10m deal

22 April 2015 - A UK energy and water consultancy has bought an energy software firm for £10 million. Utilitywise announced today it has bought t-mac Technologies Ltd in a bid to expand the services it offers to customer needs. t-mac provides energy management systems to businesses, helping them monitor and reduce their energy usage. It uses interactive, cloud-based software so users can analyse and manage their buildings from anywhere. CEO of Utilitywise Geoff Thomson said: “We know [customers] are ... read more »

EU regulators raid bioethanol firms

22 April 2015 - EU antitrust regulators have raided a number of bioethanol companies over alleged price-fixing concerns. The European Commission today announced it undertook “unannounced inspections” last month over concerns they may have violated EU antitrust rules “that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices”. The products concerned are bioethanol used as a biofuel additive in the production of petrochemical fuels or as an ingredient used in the production of beverages, ph ... read more »

UK could revoke Russian tycoon’s oil licences

22 April 2015 - The UK Government said it would revoke oil field licences in the North Sea owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman unless the ownership is changed. His investment fund LetterOne (L1) bought 12 oil and gas fields from German utility RWE last month as part of L1’s deal to buy oil firm DEA despite objections from the UK Government. Mr Fridman was given a week to justify why he should be allowed to retain ownership of the oil and gas fields. Making the announcement today, DECC stated: &ld ... read more »

Networks urged to move from passive to active management

22 April 2015 - Speaking at Utility Week Live today, Sarah Carter from Ricardo-AEA urged distribution network operators (DNOs) to switch to a more active mindset so as to reach their full efficiency potential and solve distribution planning challenges. She said: “On the whole, DNOs presently manage a passive network. Now the active facilitation role of the DNO is needed to ensure the overall efficiency of the electricity system achieves its maximum potential.” In a panel discussion following the tal ... read more »

Leadership for Change: creating a vision amid uncertainty

22 April 2015 - The need to address the challenges of leading change comes at a time of enormous upheaval for utilities across de-regulated energy markets and regulated monopolies. While regulator-driven water and networks companies are pushed to drive down costs while putting customers at their heart of their business plans, de-regulated energy firms face the threat of an increasingly hostile political environment and rising competition from smaller ‘challenger’ retailers. Utilities need to “ ... read more »

Renewables investment risk rising with greater market exposure

22 April 2015 - Analysts at consultancy Poyry have said that investors are now increasingly exposed to wholesale market risk as assets mature and renewable subsidy arrangements shift away from fixed feed-in-tariffs to ‘top up tariffs’, meaning operators may have to set up trading operations to mitigate their exposure. “European renewable energy markets have historically been a low risk investment proposition,” the report said. But “the point in time when they will cease to be eligi ... read more »

Grass to gas – UK’s answer to fracking?

21 April 2015 - A plant that turns grass to gas could be the UK’s “antidote to fracking”, according to a green energy provider. Ecotricity said it will roll out the new way of generating gas in Britain following several years of research and development. The ‘Green Gas Mills’ will use grass from farms in local areas to produce biogas, with each plant heating 6,000 homes. It will be purified into biomethane and fed into the national grid plus the fertiliser would be used by farmers ... read more »

Secretary of State decision on LetterOne North Sea gas fields acquisition

21 April 2015 - The Secretary of State has made a decision regards the petroleum licences for the Dea UK North Sea assets recently acquired by LetterOne. The Secretary of State Ed Davey has today (20 April) notified Dea UK and LetterOne that he proposes to revoke Dea UK’s North Sea petroleum licences unless LetterOne arranges for a further change of control of the Dea UK gas fields in the North Sea. This decision was taken after a thorough review of all relevant information as well as obtaining cross-Gove ... read more »

Major oil firms, nations commit to end gas flaring

21 April 2015 - The bosses of major oil companies and government officials have agreed to end routine gas flaring at oil production sites across the globe. Companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil, Kuwait Oil Co. and countries such as Russia, Norway and France were among those that made a commitment to end the practice by 2030 last week. Every year around 140 billion cubic meters of natural gas made with oil is wasted as it is burned or “flared” at thousands of oil fields around the world. Tha ... read more »

New water scheme to help low income homes

21 April 2015 - A new water initiative that aims to help people on low incomes is being launched this week. Sutton and East Surrey Water is inviting customers to sign up to its ‘Water Support Scheme’, which provides a 50% discount on all water charges. It is applied irrespective of whether a property has a water meter but is only available to eligible customers such as those on income support and pension credit. A pilot project last year saw more than 2,500 customers sign up, with eligible customers ... read more »

TIC TAC: SNP Manifesto

21 April 2015 - Read the manifesto here Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Gazprom to be charged with gas market rigging, say reports

21 April 2015 - The European Union is understood to be poised to enforce anti-trust legislation against Europe's largest gas supplier on the grounds that it may have overcharged its Eastern European customers. UK gas market traders told Utility Week that there has so far been no price reaction to the news, but reports suggest the legal action may inflame tensions between the EU and Russian leader Vladimir Putin who in the past has threatened gas cuts through key gas transit state Ukraine. Most recently Russ ... read more »

Government’s EMR delivery body hit by funding delays

20 April 2015 - The government-appointed EMR Settlement company said in a note to UK energy suppliers, seen by Utility Week, that there is “a high probability” it will need to resort to manual invoicing to claim the statutory Operational Costs Levy needed to fund the running of the CfD counterparty. The delivery body was expected to enable an automated system for suppliers to pay in a rate of £0.0397 per megawatt hour of electricity from 29 April, but has acknowledged that delays to its system ... read more »

New Which? research shows energy customers bamboozled by bills

20 April 2015 - New Which? research reveals that three-quarters of consumers are completely confused by their energy bills, finding them by far the most complicated of the households bills they receive. We surveyed nearly 1,600 people about their household bills and found 74% of those who receive energy bills ranked them as the most complicated, far ahead of any other type of bill. Landline phone bills came second, but just one in seven (14%) found these as complicated. One in ten (9%) said their mobile phone b ... read more »

Households with fixed energy tariffs ending this month could see their energy bills increase by £91.05 a year

20 April 2015 - 6 out of 8 tariffs ending will give consumers a 9.43% price sting if they don’t act Norweb First:Utility customers to be hit with a £317 (24%) price hike. 8 energy tariffs are ending on April 30th. 6 increases will add £91.05 a year to average customers’ bills (9.43%). iSupply Energy customers on the electricity only iFix tariff will see an increase of 13.16% to their bills if they roll on to the iSupply standard tariff on May 1st. Loyal customers could see their energy b ... read more »

Consultation on initial proposals on setting revenue, outputs and incentives for National Grid Electricity Transmission plc’s roles in Electricity Market Reform

20 April 2015 - We are consulting on our initial proposals on setting revenue, outputs and incentives for National Grid Electricity Transmission plc’s (NGET) roles in Electricity Market Reform (EMR) from August 2014 to March 2021, based on the RIIO (Revenue = Incentives + Innovation + Outputs) price control model. This consultation uses the information provided by NGET in its EMR Business Plan submitted to Ofgem in January 2015. It also includes our consultation on funding the costs NGET incurred in prepa ... read more »

Labour's Green Manifesto

20 April 2015 - Read the main document here Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Procurement firm buys two brokers

20 April 2015 - A procurement services company has bought two energy brokers. Inprova has bought energyTEAM and ENER-G Procurement, its first buys since its launch. The non-domestic brokers were bought for an undisclosed sum. ENER-G Procurement is based in Warwickshire and its 52 staff will come under the Inprova wing, while energyTEAM, in West Sussex, will also transfer its 60 staff to Inprova. Both deals have been funded through a debt facility from Barclays and will be re-branded to form a large energy broke ... read more »

International: US awards nuclear energy students

20 April 2015 - The US has awarded over $5 million (£3.3 million) to students studying nuclear energy related programmes. Today’s awards included 59 undergraduate scholarships and funding for 32 graduates at American colleges and universities. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said: “The awards announced today will directly help support the future of the nuclear energy research workforce, as we continue to grow the U.S. clean energy economy.” He added: “By helping promote cutting-edge ... read more »

Members Say Prioritising National Infrastructure Projects is Critical to UK’s Transition to Sustainable Economy

17 April 2015 - Two thirds of IEMA Members surveyed this week say that ultimately national needs must take priority where there is conflict between national and local built environment issues. From 646 Members polled, 65% say that while a balance is obviously needed, nationally significant infrastructure projects must take priority. Members also indicated that the Government’s Green Investment Bank should have a greater role in taking forward such nationally significant infrastructure. 92% said that they ... read more »

‘Unclear’ how Lib Dems will meet ambitious energy targets

17 April 2015 - The Liberal Democrats energy strategy in its manifesto has been welcomed but some in the industry say it’s “not yet clear” how the targets will be met. Mike Foster, Chief Executive of the Energy & Utilities Alliance (EUA) – a trade body that provides a leading industry voice to help shape the future policy direction – said: “We would hope this would include working with industry because this is the only way to achieve energy efficiency improvements in home ... read more »

Scotland ‘must use renewable heat to reach 2020 goal’

17 April 2015 - Scotland could fail to meet its renewable heat target unless it stops using gas-fired boilers. That’s according to Scottish Renewables, which claims progress in the sector has been slow, with just 3% of heat coming from renewable sources. That’s against a goal of 11% – which must be achieved in just over 2,000 days, it added. Policy Manager Stephanie Clark believes a “change of mindset” is needed to hit the target. She added: “More than half of the energy cons ... read more »

GmbH and its subsidiary commission 8 solar farms totalling 132.4 MWp in the United Kingdom in the first quarter of 2015

17 April 2015 - Ib vogt GmbH and its subsidiary vogt solar ltd commissioned eight solar farms with a total capacity of 132.4 MWp in the first quarter of 2015 in the United Kingdom. All the solar farms were connected on time for the UK “1.4” ROC policy incentive deadline for ground mounted solar systems. All the projects have been purchased by institutional investors. The solar farms are forecast to generate over 133 GWh per annum of renewable electricity in total, enough to power the equivalent of m ... read more »

Feed-in Tariffs anaerobic digestion (AD) – feedstock declaration form

17 April 2015 - This template is for Feed-In Tariffs (FIT) anaerobic digestion (AD) generating stations to detail the feedstock used to produce AD biogas. Read the document here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Commission approves support to 20 offshore wind farms in Germany

17 April 2015 - The European Commission has found that German plans to support the building of 20 offshore wind farms are in line with EU state aid rules. Seventeen wind farms will be located in the North Sea and three in the Baltic Sea. The Commission concluded that the project would further EU energy and environmental objectives without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market. In October 2014 Germany notified plans to support the construction and operation of several offshore wind farms. Aid would ... read more »

£6 million ‘E.ON Energy Fund’ launched to help pensioners, families, people with disabilities and those on low incomes

16 April 2015 - E.ON has today (WED) launched the ‘E.ON Energy Fund' - a £6 million independently-run fund to help people struggling with their energy bills. Eligible pensioners, families, people with disabilities and those on low incomes are invited to apply for help with the payment of energy debt and the provision or replacement of white goods and gas boilers. The E.ON Energy Fund is open to all energy customers - regardless of their energy supplier. The fund is being independently managed by ... read more »

UKIP: Get fracking, invest in coal and scrap solar support

16 April 2015 - Support for solar and wind power would be scrapped under plans unveiled by the UK Independent Party (UKIP) today. Its manifesto, which was launched by leader Nigel Farage, says the party would only support renewable energy “where they can deliver electricity at competitive prices”. It believes the only major renewable technology that currently meets the affordability test is hydro. “Wind power is hopelessly inefficient and wind farms rely heavily on reserve back-up from convent ... read more »

Gatwick gas firm backtracks

16 April 2015 - UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) has issued a clarification regarding its estimation of oil at Gatwick airport. The company said it has not carried out enough work to know how much oil there is. “The Company has not undertaken work outside of its licence areas sufficient to comment on the possible OIP in either the approximate 1,100 square miles or the whole of the Weald Basin.” The response came after the company announced last week there was up to 100bn barrels of oil in the south ... read more »

SHEPD launches competitive process for a new energy solution on Shetland

16 April 2015 - Ofgem has been working alongside Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution (SHEPD) to launch a major competitive process for the electricity supply on Shetland. SHEPD has now published the Official Journal Of the European Union (OJEU) Contract Notice inviting Expressions of Interest, alongside a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. Shetland is currently an isolated network and the costs of power generation are much higher than on the mainland. This competitive process provides an opportunity for al ... read more »

Switching soars again

16 April 2015 - Over 400,000 households switched electricity suppliers in March, an increase of over 100,000 from the previous month. This brings the number of switches for the first quarter up to 900,000. The latest electricity switching data shows 417,000 households chose a new supplier in March 2015. This is an increase of 57% from the same period last year. March saw 97,702 households choose a deal with a small supplier. Lawrence Slade, Chief Executive of Energy UK, said: “The substantial increase in ... read more »

Green Party’s ambitious manifesto ‘challenging’

15 April 2015 - The Green Party’s manifesto has attracted positive responses but some believe the “technical details” of getting the policies right could be “challenging”. Matthew Farrow, the Environmental Industries Commission’s (EIC) Executive Director said: “The Green Party manifesto, as one would hope, contains ambitious environmental polices many of which we would strongly support.” The EIC particularly welcomed plans to reduce diesel emissions, the tough car ... read more »

IEA releases Oil Market Report for April

15 April 2015 - The IEA Oil Market Report for April raised its forecast of 2015 global oil demand by 90 000 barrels per day (90 kb/d) to 93.6 million barrels per day (mb/d), a gain of 1.1 mb/d on the year, informing subscribers that the notable acceleration from 2014’s 0.7 mb/d growth builds on cold first-quarter temperatures and a steadily improving global economic backdrop. Global supply rose by an estimated 1 mb/d during March, to 95.2 mb/d, as OPEC production recorded its highest monthly increase in n ... read more »

Statutory consultation on proposed licence modifications to ensure GB compliance with the EU legislative definition of "gas day"

15 April 2015 - This letter seeks views on our proposals to modify certain licence conditions relating to the definition of “gas day” to align them with the EU legislative definition. We consider these changes are necessary to implement the EU requirement for a harmonised start to the gas day as mandated by the relevant EU Network Codes. Proposed modifications In summary, our proposals are: Gas shipper licence: amend the definition of “day” to align with the EU definition of “gas d ... read more »

Greens: No fracking, higher climate change targets

15 April 2015 - The Green Party claims much more needs to be done to tackle climate change in the UK. To have a “reasonable chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change”, it said a 90% reduction in greenhouse gases is needed in the UK in the next 15-20 years. Its manifesto, launched today by party leader Natalie Bennett, states: “This is much more challenging than the 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050 in the Climate Change Act 2008. “We need to do better than the climate change ... read more »

Tories’ manifesto ‘recipe for higher energy bills’

15 April 2015 - The pledges made by the Conservative Party on energy could lead to higher energy bills. That’s the view of environmental group Greenpeace, which claims scrapping support for onshore wind will lead to investment in more expensive sources of green energy. Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK’s Chief Scientist said: “The Tory manifesto pledge on energy is a recipe for higher consumer bills. Onshore wind is the cheapest form of low-carbon power. Stopping it whilst also committing to cutting ca ... read more »

Conservatives to scrap onshore wind support

14 April 2015 - The Conservative Party has reaffirmed it would end public subsidy for onshore wind farms if it were to win the general election. Its manifesto also aims to implement a law to give local people the final say on wind farm applications around their areas. It states: “Onshore wind now makes a meaningful contribution to our energy mix and has been part of the necessary increase in renewable capacity. “Onshore wind farms often fail to win public support, however and are unable by themselve ... read more »

Centrica appoints British Gas managing director

14 April 2015 - Hodges has spent more than 20 years in the UK insurance industry, with Norwich Union and Aviva, but brings “a strong understanding of the UK consumer market and a track record in improving business performance”. “He is experienced in working in a regulated environment, driving significant improvements in customer service and efficiency, offer innovation, major IT and change projects,” Centrica added. Hodges was most recently group chief executive of specialist insurance b ... read more »

SNP manifesto takes aim at National Grid’s transmission charges

14 April 2015 - The party said that it would push for a transmission charging regime which supports Scotland’s energy industry “rather than undermining it as the current regime does”. “Our proposed changes to Westminster’s failed transmission charging regime will provide much needed support for our energy industry at all levels,” said SNP MSP John Swinney. The manifesto pledge comes weeks after Scottish Power’s Longannet power plant announced that it would most likely c ... read more »

Utilita launches multi-channel payment solution

14 April 2015 - Independent energy supplier Utilita has launched a multi-channel payment solution for its smart meter customers which will allow them to pay bills using smart devices as well as cash payments. The solution, in partnership with PayPoint, allows payment by cash at a PayPoint shop or by credit and debit card using their mobile phone, tablet or PC. Utilita’s founder and managing director Bill Bullen pointed out that the company’s aim is to offer customers the “best possible payment ... read more »

Oil & Gas UK comments on ONS profitability statistics

14 April 2015 - Noting the figures published today by the ONS showing the continuing serious decline in profitability of the UK oil and gas industry, Oil & Gas UK’s chief executive, Malcolm Webb, commented: “These shocking figures underline the very serious challenges the sector faces. After more than a decade of spiralling costs, over-taxation and weak regulation, the UK offshore oil and gas industry is now bottom of the league in terms of the cost of producing a barrel of oil and gas. The UK&r ... read more »

Neart na Gaoithe set to produce the cheapest electricity ever generated from a UK offshore wind farm by deploying new technologies

14 April 2015 - Global wind and solar company, Mainstream Renewable Power, today announced that its 448 megawatt offshore wind farm in Scotland will use two recently launched technologies which are set to decrease costs, reduce construction and operational risk, improve safety and ultimately provide the cheapest electricity ever produced by a UK offshore wind farm. The technologies, which have been under development for several years, were formally launched last month following extensive design, de-risking and ... read more »

Labour Manifesto 2015: Mending the markets that people rely on

14 April 2015 - Labour will stand up for working families and businesses against vested interests. We will reform the broken markets that people rely on most so that families and businesses get a fair deal. Energy bills have risen by over £300 since 2010. Many businesses say energy is the biggest cost they face. Lack of competition and transparency has allowed the large energy companies to get away with increasing bills when wholesale prices rise, but not cutting them when they fall. The regulator has fai ... read more »

EEF response to Labour manifesto

14 April 2015 - Commenting on the Labour manifesto published today, Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said: “Labour is at pains to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and its proposals to focus on a long-term industrial strategy and keep Britain at the heart of the EU are welcome. But the real focus of a new Government must be sustaining growth by completing the job of rebalancing the economy. “The party’s manifesto highlights some of the key foundatio ... read more »

Building firms failing to measure energy use

13 April 2015 - Half of all infrastructure firms have no policy to record their energy and emissions use. That’s the stark finding of a survey of 300 major building and manufacturing firms across the globe. Although 68% said they would be focusing on reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption in 2015, half admitted they had no company-wide programme to record what they were doing. And only 16% ever monitor emissions happening in their supply chain. The survey conducted in the UK, Nordics, USA, Canad ... read more »

TIC TAC: Liberal Democrat's Five Point Plan to cut costs for consumers and commuters

13 April 2015 - The Liberal Democrats have launched a package of measures to shift the balance of power back in favour of consumers and commuters to ease the cost of living and save families hundreds of pounds a year. Our "Five Point Plan" comes on the back of the Lib Dem Digital Rights Bill that provides compensation for consumers who have their data misused online. The plan works by helping consumers switch suppliers or getting group discounts. After five years in government radically overhauling co ... read more »

Statutory consultation on amendments to the Capacity Market Rules

13 April 2015 - This consultation invites your views on amendments to the Capacity Market Rules (the “Rules”). We have considered the 91 proposals submitted to us by stakeholders. The consultation letter sets out where we propose to make the suggested amendments and, where we are rejecting the suggested amendments, our reasons for doing so. Alongside this consultation, we are publishing a copy of the Rules showing our proposed changes and incorporating amendments made by the Department of Energy &am ... read more »

Ofgem's consultation on licence changes to enhance the role of the system operator

13 April 2015 - Following the final conclusions of our Integrated Transmission Planning and Regulation (ITPR) project, we are consulting on the proposed licence modifications we think are necessary to implement our decision to enhance the role of the System Operator in planning the electricity transmission network and mitigating any resulting conflicts. We are proposing to implement our decision by modifying the standard and special conditions of the electricity transmission licences. The proposed amendments wi ... read more »

Joint National Regulatory Authorities (NRA) vision paper: Long-term use-it-or-lose-it (LT UIOLI)

10 April 2015 - The Congestion Management Procedure (CMP) Guidelines introduced new obligations on transmission system operators (TSOs) and National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) regarding the design of congestion management procedures. Article 2.2.5 of the CMP Guidelines describes the procedure for LT UIOLI – a mechanism designed to deter capacity hoarding over the longer term. It dictates that NRAs require their TSOs to fully or partially withdraw systematically underutilised capacity when certain crite ... read more »

Making the energy market work for consumers

10 April 2015 - On 25 March, our CEO Dermot Nolan spoke at the 20th annual The Future of Utilities conference on making markets work for consumers. Contributing to major discussions and insights from over 50 speakers on Britain’s electricity, gas, and water industries, his presentation covered: Ofgem’s involvement in the current CMA review the importance of innovation and non-traditional business models for the energy market, and the possibility of moving towards more principles based regulation in ... read more »

Ofgem: Decision on Cost Recovery Mechanism for Tender Option Contracts

09 April 2015 - Decision on introducing a mechanism to allow National Grid Electricity Transmission plc (NGET) to recover costs of payments under tender option contracts for Demand Side Balancing Reserve (DSBR) and Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR). Read the main document here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Ofwat rejects Anglian Water’s private sewer adoption proposal

09 April 2015 - The three and a half year case came to an end after the regulator ruled today that the sewer will remain privately owned. Ofwat said that Anglian water had failed to provide evidence of a connection between its own sewarage network and the third party facility despite multiple opportunities to do so. An unnamed appellant took the case to the regulator in September 2011 on the grounds adoption by Anglian Water would be detrimental to their site and that there was no statutory duty for for the wat ... read more »

British Gas tackles social media deluge on BG takeover talks

09 April 2015 - The supplier’s twitter accounts dealt with almost 40 tweets from confused and concerned members of the public who wrongfully believed that the utility would be in some way affected by the planned £47 billion takeover. The upstream oil and gas explorer BG Group has been separate from the Centrica-owned British Gas since its demerger in 1997. At the time, British Gas plc spun off its customer business Centrica -which owns supplier British Gas - and two years later the remaining infrast ... read more »

Shell to buy UK’s BG Group in £47bn deal

09 April 2015 - Energy giant Shell said it has agreed to buy oil and gas exploration firm BG Group in a deal worth around £47 billion. In a joint statement, the two firms said Shell would pay a mix of cash and shares and allow BG Group shareholders to own 19% of the combined group. If approved by shareholders and regulators, the deal will be one of the biggest transactions of the year and the first major merger between energy firms in at least a decade. The agreement will add around 25% to Shell’s o ... read more »

British food and drink manufacturers halting growth to cope with UK energy policy costs

09 April 2015 - Following an extended period of policy development, businesses across the UK will soon feel the impact of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR), which is intended to keep the lights on and move the UK to a lower carbon economy. In light of this, new research from npower shows that 75% of UK food and drink manufacturers said that rising energy costs are a factor in decisions to expand the business. In April 2015, the costs of two elements of the EMR – Contracts for Difference (CfDs) and Capac ... read more »

Watchdog brands Boris Johnson’s clean air advert ‘misleading’

09 April 2015 - The UK’s advertising watchdog has slammed Boris Johnson’s advert, suggesting it has misled the public. The London Mayor and Transport for London’s (TfL) Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) adverts stated “introducing the zone in 2020 will encourage the use of newer, cleaner vehicles to reduce vehicle pollution by half.” The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) made the ruling following a complaint from the Clean Air London Campaign. Founder Simon Birkett complained TfL ... read more »

ScottishPower Energy Networks’ CEO Frank Mitchell appointed to chair European-wide Electricity Network Group

08 April 2015 - Frank Mitchell, CEO of SP Energy Networks has been appointed chair of EURELECTRIC’s Distribution System Operator (DSO) Committee following the March meeting of its Board of Directors. EURELECTRIC represents the common interests of the electricity industry at pan-European level. Its mission is to contribute to the development and competitiveness of the electricity industry, to provide effective representation for the industry in public affairs and to promote the role of a low-carbon electri ... read more »

Ofgem ECO guidance

08 April 2015 - The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government energy efficiency scheme for Great Britain, administered by Ofgem. Our guidance provides information on the legislative provisions of the ECO2 Order and our administrative processes. Below is our ECO2 Guidance, which we have split into two volumes: ‘Administration’ and ‘Delivery’. We have also published all ECO2 associated documents on this page to provide a clear guide for users. The documents published below apply to a ... read more »

Savvy Brits buy more from sustainable brands

08 April 2015 - Britons are more likely to buy from brands that care about being sustainable. That’s according to new research, which found 81% of consumers are likely to purchase a product from a brand with a “positive approach” to sustainability. However, just under half (45%) of those surveyed are not aware of any sustainable practices brands have adopted. Mike Shirley, Head of Marketing at SmartestEnergy, which conducted the survey said: “Today’s consumer is savvy and cares abo ... read more »

Switch to LEDs to save Ealing £500k a year

08 April 2015 - A local authority in London is expected to save around £500,000 every year following its switch to LEDs. Around 24,000 existing lights in Ealing will be replaced with energy efficient LED lanterns by energy firm SSE as part of its maintenance programme. Ealing Council is investing £6 million in the project but SSE Enterprise Lighting claims the switch will result in savings of between 43% and 50% – around £400,000 on the annual street lighting electricity bill. The local ... read more »

EDF buys UK wind project from rival firm

08 April 2015 - EDF Energy’s renewable arm has agreed to buy a wind project in the Highlands from its rival E.ON. The Highland Council gave consent to build the 11-turbine Corriemoillie project in March 2011. It will have a capacity of more than 45MW – enough to supply electricity for around 24,000 homes. Matthieu Hue, Director of Onshore Wind at EDF Energy Renewables said: “We are keen to start construction at the site and will first take the opportunity to meet and talk with local people abo ... read more »

New chair to lead Scottish Water through ‘challenging period’

07 April 2015 - John Swinney announced Rice will start her new role on 1 June, replacing Ronnie mercer, who has served two full terms as chair. He praised Rice’s “unparalleled skills and experience at the highest level” but warned she will have to lead Scottish Water through “a very challenging period in the next few years”. Swinney added: “Her demonstrable leadership qualities bode well for Scottish Water in striving to continue to build on the success so far achieved in del ... read more »

New research shows how onshore wind can deliver cheapest electricity of all power sources by 2020

07 April 2015 - New research published by the industry-led Onshore Wind Cost Reduction Taskforce, set up by RenewableUK, shows that onshore wind can become the most cost effective new electricity source by 2020, driving down fuel bills for households throughout the UK. The recommendations put forward fall into four main categories: further innovation by industry, improvement to the grid connection system, ensuring the UK consenting system is functioning as it should and monitoring and sharing best practice with ... read more »

Direction to issue the Incentive on Connections Engagement Guidance Document

07 April 2015 - Connecting customers to the electricity network is very important. It allows new businesses to open, new housing to be made available and generators to export electricity. To drive electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) to understand and meet the needs of larger customers, we decided to introduce the Incentive on Connections Engagement (ICE). The ICE Guidance Document outlines the scope of the incentive, the reporting requirements, the submission process and our assessment process. Th ... read more »

Ofgem Telephone services – our expectations of suppliers operating in the domestic energy market

07 April 2015 - We want domestic consumers to be able to access their energy supplier’s telephone services easily and without incurring high call charges. We have conducted an initial assessment of the practical and financial accessibility of domestic suppliers’ telephone services and identified actions that will help to improve accessibility. We found that: One domestic supplier does not list a telephone number anywhere on their website,but otherwise contact numbers are available on suppliers&rsquo ... read more »

National Grid escapes use of UK’s priciest winter power

07 April 2015 - The operator’s executive director John Pettigrew wrote to Ed Davey last week to formally review the steps National Grid took to maintain the UK’s supply. He said the margins faced by the market were “tighter, but secure”, meaning the operator did not need to use the priciest power available in the market, or its supplemental balancing reserve (SBR). Power plants were kept in reserve to ramp up in case the market was unable to bring forward the output needed. But National ... read more »

Corriegarth Wind Farm project

07 April 2015 - Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has granted consent to Corriegarth Wind Farm, in Highland Council Area. The development, applied for by NBW Wind Energy Ltd, will have 23 turbines and have a generating capacity of up to 70MW, and effectively replaces the existing planning permission granted by Highland Council for a 50MW, 20 turbine Wind Farm on the same site. It is estimated that Corriegarth Wind Farm would power 33,000 homes. During the construction period, it is envisaged that local and national ... read more »

We're Recruiting! Changes at TEC. Better skills, more delivery and better value.

02 April 2015 - As part of our continued efforts to deliver the best and most cost effective service to members, TEC are continually striving to retain, recruit and train a team capable of delivering a focussed managed service in the provision of energy supply and supporting frameworks. Over the past 2 years we have been looking at the outsourced services which we procure and which support the core provision. There have been opportunities to bring some of these services in house, as we have with our fixed term ... read more »

UK and Norway ink €2bn interconnector deal

27 March 2015 - The UK and Norway have signed an agreement to build the world’s longest interconnector. The 730-kilometre power cable, which will link the two nations’ electricity markets directly, has a planned capacity of 1.4GW – enough to power nearly 750,000 UK homes. UK’s National Grid and Norwegian transmission system operator Statnett reached a final agreement today. The €2 billion (£1.5bn) project, expected to be completed by 2021, will run from Blyth in Northumberland ... read more »

Sun seeking Brits buck solar slide

27 March 2015 - The UK bucked the trend as solar installations across Europe dropped by a third last year. In Europe only 7GW of solar capacity was installed in 2014. The UK made up 2GW of that figure and here installations were actually up by 50%. Overall the global solar market grew slightly to about 40GW, mainly due to an upturn in China, Japan and America. The figures released by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), showed there was a 36% drop in Europe from 11GW of installations in 2013, ... read more »

Will you be switching off this weekend?

27 March 2015 - Iconic London landmarks including the London Eye, National Theatre and the Palace of Westminster will be switching their lights off this weekend. It is part of a global annual event run by WWF when hundreds of millions of people across the globe will turn off their lights for an hour in a symbolic display to show their commitment to tackling climate change. Called Earth Hour, it will take place between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday, 28th March this year. It was famously started as a lights-off e ... read more »

UK to face legal action over Aberthaw emissions, says EC

27 March 2015 - The EC said on Thursday that there has been no reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions from the RWE-owned coal plant since it warned the UK in October last year that it had two months to bring emissions levels down. The Wales-based coal-fired power station emits more than double the allowable emissions under its large combustion plant directive at 1,200mg/Nm3 compared to the limit of 500mg/Nm3, which has been in force since 1 January 2008. The Commission first raised its concerns in a letter of fo ... read more »

LEDs to light up Glasgow streets

27 March 2015 - More than 10,000 street lights in Glasgow are to be replaced with LEDs. Glasgow City Council has become the first UK local authority to use a loan from the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to finance the switch to low-energy street lighting. It has secured £6.3 million which will be used for the first wave of the council’s plan to replace 70,000 existing street lights with lower cost alternatives. The new LEDs are expected to use at least 50% less energy than the old versions and cut the ... read more »

Ofgem insists gas networks do more on fuel poverty

27 March 2015 - The regulator said it had reviewed the fuel poor network extension scheme and believes the gas networks can connect more eligible households to the gas grid than the original 77,000 planned for delivery between 2013 and 2021. The fuel poor network extension scheme aims to assist vulnerable customers in switching to natural gas, one of the cheapest sources of energy, by helping towards the cost of connecting to the gas network. Network firms will be required to re-submit their plans to Ofgem for ... read more »

UK Green Investment Bank International Pilot

26 March 2015 - Further to the statement made on 11 June 2014 by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills I would like to inform Parliament that we have agreed, along with the Secretary of State for International Development, to pursue a new pilot joint venture with the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) to assist in investment of the UK’s International Climate Fund (ICF). GIB has been very successful in mobilising private sector investment into the UK’s green infr ... read more »

Micro and Small Business engagement in the Energy Market, 2015. Quantitative Research Report.

26 March 2015 - In August 2014, we commissioned BMG Research to undertake a quantitative survey to understand how micro and small businesses across Great Britain are engaging in the energy market. Interviews were conducted with 1,502 businesses between 29th September 2014 and 25th November 2014. The survey covers a wide range of topics including: Current energy usage Which types of energy are currently used How much is spent on each energy type Proportion of overall expenditure spent on energy Which suppliers a ... read more »

SSE to ‘reshape’ portfolio towards cleaner capacity

26 March 2015 - The big six supplier said in its latest financial report that it plans to ‘reshape significantly’ to meet the challenging market conditions which face conventional generators as the sector decarbonises, including greater investment in gas-fired power assets and a possible shutdown of its remaining coal plant. SSE will bring its 735MW gas-fired power station at Keadby out of deep mothball, so that it has the option of returning it to service, it said. Although generator profits have b ... read more »

Oil price unlikely to rebound - Saudi official

26 March 2015 - The oil price is unlikely to reach again the record levels seen in the past few years, according to Saudi Arabia's representative at Opec. Mohammed al-Madi, Saudi's Opec governor, told an energy conference that hitting the $100 to $120-a-barrel mark again would be "difficult". Mr Madi also told the meeting in Riyadh that that his country's oil policy had no "political dimension". Saudi is Opec's biggest producer and the dominant voice with the group. On Friday ... read more »

ESOS

25 March 2015 - Feedback from TEC’s recent workshops strongly suggested greater clarity was needed on whether Higher Education institutions (HEI) are covered by the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). In light of the degree of uncertainty which remains over the issue, TEC invested in seeking legal assistance to help clarify concerns discussed at TEC workshops. Key issues which were raised as a result of discussions included: • To provide clarity around the exemption under the organisation&rsquo ... read more »

BENEFITS METHODOLOGY

25 March 2015 - In assessing the impact of using TEC as a provider of OJEU enabled frameworks for the provision of energy supply, the question of benefits is often raised. Thanks to improved access to data and with the co-operation of framework suppliers, we can now quantify these benefits as well as capturing contract spend through the frameworks for each member’s financial year. The other purchasing consortia, under the umbrella of UKUPC (and more specifically Procurement England Ltd – PEL) have a ... read more »

SPOTLIGHT ON PEL’s PROCUREMENT SUPPORT IN THE HE SECTOR

25 March 2015 - In an already crowded Higher Education (HE) sector, can another sector body, Procurement England Limited (PEL), really add value? Rex Knight, Vice-Provost (Operations) at University College London, and Chair of the PEL Board says it can and explains how. Q: Can you tell us a bit about PEL? Rex Knight (RK): For those unfamiliar with this new member of the HE sector, PEL is a partnership between six HE purchasing consortia in England, and acts as a vehicle to advance collaborative procurement with ... read more »

TEC CONFERENCE 2015: BOOK YOUR PLACE TODAY!

25 March 2015 - As the countdown continues to our TEC Annual Conference in June we are delighted to announce our host for the event will be Declan Curry. He will host at the TEC conference, which will take place on Wednesday 17th June 2015 at Birmingham’s iconic Town Hall. TEC is thrilled to be able to welcome Declan who is best known for his work for the BBC, ABC News and LBC. He started working for the BBC in 1994 where he worked with the BBC News Channel from the channel’s inception in 1997. Posi ... read more »

Oil industry support set out

23 March 2015 - The government has today (Friday 20 March) outlined a major package of support for the oil and gas industry following Wednesday’s Budget announcement. The new Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) will be given a range of powers to ensure it has the ability to help maximise the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas industry. Under the proposals published today, the OGA’s powers would include the ability to issue fines of up to £1m, to revoke licences where necessary, as well as ... read more »

SNP’s deception on oil a ‘political scandal’

23 March 2015 - The SNP’s deception over oil revenue forecasts before the referendum was a “political scandal”, the Scottish Conservatives have said. In a paper published by the party today, the Scottish Government’s manipulation of oil projections has been laid bare. It shows how, by the time the referendum came, the SNP’s predictions were double that of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s. On the back of the revelations, the Scottish Conservatives have called for a retur ... read more »

Electricity System Operator incentives 2015-17: Final Proposals

23 March 2015 - This document sets out our final proposals for a two-year incentive scheme for the electricity System Operator (SO), to be put in place from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2017. Under our proposals the incentives placed on the SO would be based on the existing framework. The current incentive scheme provides a robust framework which protects the interests of consumers. It achieves this through the use of financial incentives which promote economic, efficient and coordinated action by the system operat ... read more »

Move your solar panels and keep your tariff

23 March 2015 - Businesses can now take their solar panels with them when they relocate, allowing them to continue to reap the benefits of lower energy bills. From summer 2019 medium and large building-mounted solar PV systems will be allowed to be moved between buildings without the loss of Feed-in Tariff (FIT) payments. Previously, if a FIT accredited installation was moved it became ineligible for further support. Now, landlords and tenants who cannot guarantee having long-term ownership or lease of a buildi ... read more »

Future nuclear projects ‘should expect lower strike price’

23 March 2015 - Developers of nuclear power plants in the future shouldn’t expect to receive the same level of support as agreed for EDF’s £16 billion Hinkley Point project. That’s the view of William Nuttall, Professor of Energy at The Open University, who told ELN the so-called strike price of £92.50 per megawatt hour (MWh) is “not too high”. He believes “first movers” should receive extra support as they are doing “some of the heavy lifting” b ... read more »

Wave hello to £4 million!

23 March 2015 - Do you love the seaside? Want to pocket £4 million? Got a smart idea to harness the power of waves? Then you should enter a new competition launched by Wave Energy Scotland (WES) and funded by the Scottish Government to find new technologies to capture and wave energy. WES wants ideas from a wide range of industries to provide a better cost and performance solution over current wave energy technologies. Successful applicants will be eligible for contracts to cover cost of their technology ... read more »

E.ON to withdraw Killingholme gas-fired power station’s 900MW of capacity from UK market but tenders for SBR contract which would see the station continue to be available to National Grid if successful

20 March 2015 - E.ON has today (THURS) announced it is to release Killingholme's 900MW of Transmission Entry Capacity (TEC) to National Grid meaning that the power station will no longer be available to generate in the UK energy market. It has also been made clear that the power station is at serious risk of permanent closure, subject to the outcome of an ongoing tender for National Grid's Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR) service. Commenting on the announcement E.ON UK Chief Executive, Tony Cocker, ... read more »

Osborne delivers barren Budget for energy efficiency, says UK-GBC

20 March 2015 - The UK Green Building Council has today responded to George Osborne’s Budget, branding it a “barren Budget for energy efficiency”. The Chancellor’s final Budget of this Parliament included no measures to encourage energy efficiency in homes and buildings, and failed to extend the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) - a tax break for domestic landlords installing insulation measures in properties - which is due to finish next month. John Alker, Director of Policy and ... read more »

Community Energy Strategy Update

20 March 2015 - Read the whole report here Source: DECC Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Ofwat boss urges rethink on wastewater

20 March 2015 - Speaking at a Waterwise conference in London on Thursday, Ross said there needs to be a change in mind-set so that wastewater is seen as a “genuinely useful resource”. She said that seeing water companies view wastewater as a problem “is something that really bothers me”. Ross was talking about the implications of the resilience duty the government placed on the regulator in the Water Act, which was passed last year, and how the water companies, as well as other stakehold ... read more »

Tidal lagoon power: worth the cost?

20 March 2015 - Citizens Advice believes not. In response to a recent call for evidence, the consumer group points out that the price “exceeds every technology for which strike prices have been published by DECC” and expresses concern at the “appalling value for money” for consumers. Energy secretary Ed Davey says the talks will establish whether a Contract for Difference (CfD) for a potential tidal lagoon at Swansea Bay, which is expected to have a rather modest 320MW capacity, is &ldqu ... read more »

Pennon chair retires as M&A speculation rises

20 March 2015 - Harvey has served as chairman for the past 18 years, but following the company’s AGM this summer he will be replaced by former National Grid chairman John Parker. The leadership change has already sparked investor speculation that the company may be targeted for M&A activity this year, and follows just one week after Ofwat chairman Jonson Cox fired the starting pistol on a possible industry shake up by setting a five year vision for the sector where vertical integration may no longer b ... read more »

Get your office energy efficient or pay £150K

20 March 2015 - Commercial landlords need to start planning energy efficiency upgrades now or face a potential fine of up to £150,000. Under the 2011 Energy Act, all commercial property owners need to meet the minimum band ‘E’ standard by 2018 or potentially face being unable to lease them and hit with a whopping fine. And energy efficiency could become a factor in determining rents and valuations, so the time to act is now. That’s the view of experts at global property consultants DTZ, ... read more »

Solar eclipse poses energy challenge

20 March 2015 - Friday's solar eclipse will present a significant challenge for the UK's electricity network and be an unprecedented test for operators of power networks. Power demand is expected to fall and then surge. As the moon obscures much of the sun, the electricity generated by solar panels is expected to drop by up to 75%. But National Grid believes the overall impact will be "manageable". Unprecedented test Much more electricity is generated from solar panels now than than during the ... read more »

UK green targets ‘costing £214 a year’

19 March 2015 - Ditching green energy targets in favour of gas-fired power plants would save householders around £214 every year. That’s according to a new report from the Centre for Policy Studies, which claims the costs of renewable energy are “massively understated” and accuses the government of “aiming to hide the full costs” through its policies. It adds committing the UK to “high-cost and unreliable” renewable energy could be the “most expensive policy ... read more »

Osborne slammed for ‘barren’ energy efficiency Budget

19 March 2015 - Chancellor George Osborne has been slammed for not including measures to encourage energy efficiency in his 2015 Budget announcement. The UK Green Building Council (GBC) said that while the Chancellor’s backing of the world’s first tidal lagoon project shows the government’s commitment to the green agenda, it is an “otherwise barren Budget” for energy efficiency. John Alker, Director of Policy and Communications and Acting CEO of UK-GBC added: “The Chancellor ... read more »

SSE fined £100k for overcharging to switch off

19 March 2015 - SEE has been hit with a £100,000 bill for overcharging fees at six of its power stations. Energy regulator Ofgem found the Big Six supplier demanded excessively high payments to switch off its hydropower stations when the grid could not cope with their electricity. National Grid pays power stations the so-called “constraint payments” to reduce their output when there is not enough network capacity to transmit the electricity. At times of high or low demand, the network operator ... read more »

Feed-in Tariff (FIT): Quarterly statistics

19 March 2015 - The graphs on this page provide an overview of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme's progress since launch to the latest quarter (1 April 2010 to 31 December 2014). This includes the total number of installations and total capacity by technology alongside installation types, with a further breakdown by region. These graphs are interactive, allowing you to explore data views important to you. Use the dropdown filters to view the relevant graphs. Find all FiT Reports here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC ... read more »

Budget lays strong foundations for regeneration of the UK North Sea

19 March 2015 - Oil & Gas UK welcomes the Chancellor’s decisive move to restructure the North Sea tax regime to promote investment in the nation’s vital and considerable remaining oil and gas resource. The UK will continue to rely on oil and gas for the majority of its energy supply for many decades to come so this action, which will help to maximise recovery of that resource, is both sensible and far-sighted. These tax reforms will help to sustain an industry which supports hundreds of thousand ... read more »

Smart Meters, Great Britain, Quarterly report to end December 2014

19 March 2015 - Read DECC full report here Source: DECC Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Massara’s 2015 customer service pledge unlikely, says Npower

18 March 2015 - Paul Massara stepped into the role of chief executive at the beginning of 2013, promising that the company would climb from the bottom of the customer service league tables to the top in just two years. But the company’s business relations manager Dan Meredith told Utility Week that he would be “very surprised” if this was achieved. “It was always an aspirational target,” Meredith said. Npower has been dogged by customer service woes following the introduction of a ... read more »

Ofgem to give National Grid ‘extra responsibility’ for grid development

18 March 2015 - Ofgem concluded its consultation on integrated transmission planning and regulation (ITPR) on Tuesday with the final decision to give National Grid “extra responsibilities” to identify the future needs of the onshore and offshore electricity network as well as interconnectors with neighboring countries. “This will help ensure that the network is planned and operated in an efficient, economical and coordinated way,” said Ofgem, adding that it will also lead to lower networ ... read more »

Generator faces capacity auction ban

18 March 2015 - The regulator said that 11 of UKCR’s 96 units which were submitted into the auction did not have planning permission in place, which is a basic requirement of competing for a support contract through the auction process. As a result these units will be excluded from future auctions for the next two years, it said. “Accurate information is vital to the proper functioning of the capacity auction and participants should exercise care over their submissions,” Ofgem warned. National ... read more »

The UK can build 10 GW of carbon capture and storage by 2030, says ETI

18 March 2015 - The UK has an opportunity to build a CCS sector capable of reducing the costs of meeting its carbon targets, by exploiting the UK’s unique offshore engineering capabilities, safeguarding the future of key energy-intensive industries, according to a new report by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). The report written in partnership with Element Energy and Poyry – “Building the UK Carbon Capture and Storage Sector by 2030 – Scenarios and Actions” identifies the p ... read more »

Tax cuts expected for offshore oil and gas

17 March 2015 - The industry and Treasury have been holding ongoing talks since the historic collapse in global oil prices over the last year which threatens to extinguish activity in the UK’s continental shelf, and the BBC have reported that "major" cuts are now expected. Chancellor George Osborne has already delivered a two percentage point tax decrease to companies operating in the area in December last year but is expected to offer further relief to the industry in the budget. The cuts would ... read more »

CMA names one utility specialist on four-strong Bristol Water inquiry panel

17 March 2015 - The CMA announced at the end of last week that Robin Aaronson is the only person on the four-strong panel to come from the CMA’s specialist utility group. He will serve under the chairmanship of former Oftel deputy director general Anne Lambert, and alongside Katherine Holmes, and Stephen Oram. Aaronson was appointed to the CMA’s predecessor - the Competition Commission (CC) - in 2009 and is an economist specialising in competition policy. He has also worked previously at HM Treasury ... read more »

Big six earnings rise tenfold in six years, says CMA

17 March 2015 - As part of its ongoing probe into the energy sector the CMA reported initial findings that the companies' total earnings have spiraled from £110 million in 2007 to £1.1 billion in 2013, meaning the amount paid by customers over and above supplier costs has increased from £1.32 per dual fuel bill to £48.16 over the same period. Energy companies have consistently maintained that the profit margin made on supplying the household market is around 3.9 per cent, which is re ... read more »

The NEW UUK Report: PEL Recognised as an Important Step Towards Sector Collaboration

17 March 2015 - The Universities UK (UUK) Efficiency, Effectiveness and Value for Money update report by Professor Sir Ian Diamond was published on 26 February 2015 and celebrates the achievements of the Higher Education sector. This year’s report praised the work of the Procurement Maturity Assessment (PMA) programme, the Higher Education Procurement Academy and Procurement England Ltd (PEL) in supporting the recommendations outlined in the first Report on Efficiency and Effectiveness in Higher Education ... read more »

Global carbon emissions stalled in 2014, says IEA

16 March 2015 - The growth in carbon emissions across the globe stalled last year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It marks the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn. Data from the IEA reveal global carbon emissions stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014, unchanged from the previous year. It believes efforts to mitigate climate change could be having a “more pronounced effect” on em ... read more »

Labour pledges to force energy price cuts by winter

16 March 2015 - The Labour Party is to give Ofgem new powers to force energy companies to cut gas and electricity bills. Leader Ed Miliband said he will pass a new law giving the regulator a “legal duty to ensure fair prices this winter” if he wins the general election. Ofgem would have to review prices by this autumn to see if consumers are paying “fair” prices and if not, it would have to force companies to cut them. He previously pledged to freeze prices until 2017, which is expected ... read more »

UK Budget should safeguard £6bn shale supply chain, says trade group

16 March 2015 - The Onshore Energy Services Group said in its latest policy paper ahead of Wednesday’s Treasury statement that the UK could see much of the work developing the nascent shale sector go to foreign firms, unless action is taken. Although early work in developing the UK's shale potential has been led by independent British companies including IGas and Cuadrilla, alongside utility giant Centrica, the trade group has warned that there is "a real risk" that the supply chain will com ... read more »

UK needs a ‘user-led’ energy policy

16 March 2015 - The UK needs a “user-led” policy which gives consumers control over their energy. Jonathan Graham, Head of Policy at the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) said the nation still has a “centralised mind-set”. He added: “We have to overcome a historical bias in the UK which is we’re used to electricity being generated very far away from us.” Speaking at the New Energy Market conference in Manchester this week, he told ELN the nation needs to &ldquo ... read more »

Ofwat names new market opening director

16 March 2015 - A spokesman for the regulator told Utility Week on Friday that Cooper has already taken up the role. Cooper was appointed after the board of Water Industry Commission for Scotland (Wics) vetoed plans for it to oversee the programme, under Alan Sutherland's leadership. Cooper will report directly to Ofwat chief executive Cathryn Ross. He has previously worked as an economist at Ofgem, as well as the Bank of England, and the Australian Treasury. He has also worked at Merrill Lynch, Shell, and ... read more »

ScottishPower accepts sales ban after failing Ofgem’s customer service target

16 March 2015 - ScottishPower will stop proactive sales for 12 days from today Sales ban reflects supplier’s failure to meet Ofgem target to clear all outstanding Ombudsman decisions on customer complaints Customers with outstanding Ombudsman complaints will continue to receive free energy until issues are resolved ScottishPower has stopped proactive selling for 12 days after Ofgem found that the supplier failed to remove a backlog of outstanding Energy Ombudsman decisions by the end of November. The ban ... read more »

£223m energy recovery plant in Wales complete

16 March 2015 - Construction of a £223 million energy-from-waste facility in Wales has been completed. Viridor’s Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) at Trident Park in Cardiff is expected to process 350,000 tonnes of rubbish every year. It is exporting 30MW of electricity to the grid, enough to power around 50,000 households, the company said. The plant is said to be operating 35% above the required energy efficiency threshold, which is awaiting approval from authorities. Alan Cumming, Capital Projects a ... read more »

Ofgem notice of decision to impose a financial penalty following an investigation into compliance by Drax

16 March 2015 - The Authority has decided to impose a financial penalty on Drax following an investigation into the company’s compliance with its obligations under Article 14(1) of the Electricity and Gas (Community Energy Saving Programme) Order 2009. The Community Energy Saving Programme ("CESP") was a policy, set down in legislation, designed to improve domestic energy efficiency standards in the most deprived geographical areas across Great Britain. The relevant legislation was the Electrici ... read more »

New figures demolish Transmission Charging case

16 March 2015 - National Grid figures showing that a power station in Lands’ End would expect to be subsidised for its electricity have blown a hole in attempts to claim that current transmission charges reflect proximity to population centres. The latest transmission charges that will come into effect in April show that a power station located at Lands’ End would receive the maximum subsidy of £5.80 per KW while Longannet faces charges of £17.15 per KW. This is despite the fact that Cor ... read more »

IEA releases Oil Market Report for March

13 March 2015 - Having bottomed‐out in the second quarter of 2014, global oil demand growth has since steadily risen, with year‐on‐year gains estimated at around 0.9 million barrels per day (mb/d) for the final quarter of last year and 1.0 mb/d for the current quarter, the IEA Oil Market Report for March informed subscribers. The forecast of demand growth for all of 2015 was raised by 75 kb/d to 1.0 mb/d, bringing global demand to an average 93.5 mb/d. Global supply rose by 1.3 mb/d year‐ ... read more »

GDF Suez announces central North Sea Oil discovery

13 March 2015 - GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and its co-venturers today announced a new discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The 22/16-6 well on the Dalziel structure flowed at rates in excess of 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The well is now being side-tracked to appraise the extent of this discovery. Block 22/16 is part of GDF SUEZ operated Licence P.1799. Ruud Zoon, Managing Director of GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd said: “This is another encouraging discovery by GDF SUEZ following on from a successfu ... read more »

Smart Grid Forum: Meeting 16 Minutes

13 March 2015 - These are Ofgem's minutes for the Smart Grid Forum held on 20 January 2015, covering the following topics: Present Demand Side Response – What is the Forum doing and is it enough? Horizon 2020 Year 5 Work Programme Workstream 8 Indicators Workstream 9 update – TOR/ work programme ENA update on BSI standards Network Codes Closing Doors – Standing Item AOB Read the minutes here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Response to confirmation that the NHS will miss the A&E target for the full 2014/15 year

13 March 2015 - Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding to the Department of Health’s confirmation that the NHS will miss the A&E target for the full 2014/15 year, said: “This is a serious admission of failure by the Government. David Cameron has lost control of the things in the NHS that matter most to the public. “He caused the A&E crisis by systematically dismantling GP services and elderly care and the result has been a devastating surge in patients comi ... read more »

Consumers could be due £235 million from old energy accounts

13 March 2015 - A quarter (23%) of consumers admit they’re unsure whether they left old energy accounts in credit. Four in five (79%) consumers with credit outstanding say they reclaimed an average of £88 each – with some receiving as much as £300. Energy suppliers launched the ‘My Energy Credit’ campaign six months ago to help return unclaimed balances to customers, but the findings suggest more can be done; customers should check with previous energy suppliers to see if the ... read more »

Boris Johnson urged to divest £4.8bn from fossil fuels

13 March 2015 - An elected watchdog for London which scrutinises the Mayor’s plans and programmes has voted in favour of fossil fuel divestment. The London Assembly is calling on Boris Johnson to divest the £4.8 billion London Pension Fund Authority’s pot from fossil fuels in the next five years. The members voted this week, with a majority of 15-3 supporting taking the pension’s investments out of coal, oil and gas companies. The motion is also calling for a commitment from the Mayor no ... read more »

Response to the Climate Change Agreements Target Review 2016

13 March 2015 - Government Response to the Climate Change Agreements Target Review 2016 Discussion Paper and Call for Evidence Read the main document here Source: DECC Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Matthew Hancock energy speech to the NOF Conference

12 March 2015 - It’s a pleasure to be here in Newcastle today, and to be addressing you on the crucial subject of energy. From car fuel, to electricity, to spin-off products like plastic, your industry is what makes modern civilisation possible. As Energy Minister my priorities are to maintain our energy security while meeting our international carbon obligations at the minimum reasonable cost to bill-payers. Investing in our domestic resources is a key part of this. More domestic energy production can re ... read more »

Designing fair and equitable market rules for demand response aggregation

12 March 2015 - Demand response (DR) will be one of the building blocks of future wholesale and retail markets, offering electricity customers the opportunity to reap the full benefits of their flexibility potential. The development of innovative demand response services will empower customers, giving them more choice and more control over their electricity consumption. Phasing out regulated retail prices and rolling out smart meters continue to be key prerequisites to advance demand response further. Suppliers ... read more »

Lobby: The SNP view

12 March 2015 - While many aspects of infrastructure are already devolved to Scotland, the result of this election will determine what powers the Scottish Parliament gains and the scope of the Scottish government’s responsibilities in the years ahead. The SNP recognises that investing in infrastructure is a vital part of stimulating economic growth which is why in 2015/16 we have committed to investing £4.5 billion in infrastructure in Scotland. However the Scottish government’s scope to act i ... read more »

Switching rockets up by 100,000

12 March 2015 - One hundred thousand more households switched electricity provider in February compared with January. This is an increase of around 50 per cent from month to month. The latest switching data shows that 317,000 households chose a new deal, well above the monthly average for 2014. Net switches to small suppliers also increased to 82,000. 25 per cent of all switches in February were moves to smaller electricity providers. Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK said: “This increase in th ... read more »

Cox sets out five year vision for 'diverse and differentiated' water sector

12 March 2015 - In a speech to a London audience yesterday, Cox reflected on the past two years and set out his agenda for the next five, following the recent conclusion of the price review. He looked forward to a more fragmented, diverse and differentiated water sector. In reference to the upcoming opening of the water market to competition for non-household customers in April 2017, Cox said: "The logic of vertical integration no longer works." He emphasised the importance of service delivery in a fr ... read more »

Information flows between suppliers and TPIs

11 March 2015 - Energy suppliers, third party intermediaries, consumer groups and other interested parties. Read the main document here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

£3 million funding to boost low carbon heating

11 March 2015 - An extra £3 million of funding to set up heat networks is being awarded to 55 local authorities across England and Wales today. More people will have their homes and businesses heated by renewable, sustainable or recoverable energy sources thanks to extra £3 million of funding awarded to 55 local authorities across England and Wales today. The new funding will support 74 low-carbon heat projects designed to provide more efficient heat to buildings and potentially lower heating bills ... read more »

Eon to detail business split plans in Q2, says chief exec

11 March 2015 - Eon chief exeuctive Johannes Teyssen says in the company’s latest financial report that plans to create a spin-off energy company to divide Eon’s focus on innovative and conventional technologies is “making good progress”, and promised further details within the next few months. "We’re taking a proactive approach and laying the groundwork for Eon to seize the many opportunities of the new energy world and for the new company to play a key role in the convention ... read more »

Ineos expands shale interest with IGas acquisitions

11 March 2015 - The deal also includes IGas’ Scottish shale site near Ineos’ Grangemouth refinery, and will see the chemicals giant take the remaining stake in the licence to give the company 100 per cent ownership. Ineos Upstream chief executive Gary Haywood said the “significant step” is part of the company’s plan to become “the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry”. The deal follows on from October last year when Ineos acquired a 51 per cent stake in the Scott ... read more »

Yorkshire gas-fired power station given green light

11 March 2015 - Plans to build a gas-fired power station in East Knottingley in Yorkshire has been given the go-ahead by the UK Government. The Knottingley Power Project will feature a 1,500MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) and is expected to create around 1,000 construction jobs. Around 50 full-time positions are also estimated to be created once the project is operational in 2018. The power plant will generate enough electricity to supply around two million homes, according to developer Irish energy firm E ... read more »

Ofgem Certification arrangements in Great Britain following amendments to the ownership unbundling

10 March 2015 - The government recently made some changes to the ownership unbundling provisions of the Electricity Act 1989 and Gas Act 1986. The amending regulations, the Electricity and Gas (Ownership Unbundling) Regulations 2014, came into force on 15 January 2015 (‘the 2014 Regulations’). The Authority is responsible for administering the certification process in Great Britain in accordance with the unbundling requirements of the Third Package. This document outlines the changes introduced by t ... read more »

Sir Patrick Brown announced as new chair of the OGA

10 March 2015 - Energy Secretary Ed Davey has announced that Sir Patrick Brown will take up the role of chairperson of the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA). Sir Patrick will work closely with Chief Executive Andy Samuel as he continues to build the senior leadership team for the new regulator. The first three directors were announced in February and further recruitment is ongoing Announcing the appointment, the Secretary of State said the establishment of the OGA was a key recommendation of the Wood Review and point ... read more »

Good Energy to trial UK’s first renewables trading platform

10 March 2015 - The company has teamed up with digital services provider Open Utility to create Piclo which offers businesses an ‘ebay style’ trading platform to buy renewable energy directly from specific generation sites. “Renewable generators will be able to sell their electricity directly to their neighbours, local businesses or schools for the best price,” a statement from Good Energy explained. Good Energy chief executive Juliet Davenport added that the platform will put customers ... read more »

Npower operating profits fall 26 per cent

10 March 2015 - The UK arm of German energy giant RWE saw its operating result fall to €227 million (£162.5 million), 22 per cent below the previous year’s results and as much as 26 per cent lower when currency effects are taken into account. “The UK supply business had to cope with a number of burdens,” RWE’s report said, including historically mild weather over the last year and “higher than expected” costs relating to a customer service restructuring. The suppli ... read more »

Energy sector needs ‘200k skilled workers by 2023’

10 March 2015 - The energy industry must recruit around 208,000 skilled people in the next eight years. That’s according to energy firm SSE, which claims around half of the sector’s workforce are expected to retire by 2023. It is warning of a skills shortage and calling on businesses to invest in apprentices now to ensure the UK has the skilled workforce needed to deliver major investment required for the future. The Big Six supplier’s research found investing in apprentices reaps rewards for ... read more »

Offshore wind industry can compete with gas and coal within a decade

10 March 2015 - The European offshore wind industry must shed 26% of outlays to reach cost-competitiveness with conventional forms of energy by 2023, according to a study by EY. Offshore Wind Industry The report states that the industry must significantly reduce costs over the next five years through a number of key actions, outlining where savings can be found. These include deploying larger turbines to increase energy capture (9%); fostering competition between industrial players (7%); commissioning new proje ... read more »

Cap and floor regime: Initial Project Assessment for the FAB Link, IFA2, Viking Link and Greenlink interconnectors

09 March 2015 - Electricity interconnectors can offer significant benefits to existing and future consumers, but interconnection between GB and other markets remains limited. To facilitate the delivery of more interconnection in a way that’s economic, efficient and timely we put in place our cap and floor regime for new electricity interconnectors. Our first cap and floor application window closed in September 2014. We received five eligible project applications. We consulted on the Initial Project Assess ... read more »

20% of businesses ‘not aware they can switch’

09 March 2015 - Nearly half (47%) of businesses have never switched suppliers or tariffs, with one in five not aware switching is an option for them. That’s despite 75% – or 3.9 million – of firms thinking they pay too much for gas and electricity and almost the same number knowing savings could be made, according to a new survey. Switching energy suppliers or tariffs are seen as a “hassle” by 28% of businesses, it found. Nearly half (46%) fear costs and fees attached to moving to ... read more »

MPs condemn UK government for 'failing to resolve' smart meter issues

09 March 2015 - In a report published today, the Energy and Climate Change (ECC) committee urged the government to address technical, logistical and public communication issues, which have delayed the national smart meter rollout programme, to ensure the scheme is not a "costly failure". Committee chair Tim Yeo said: "Smart meters could generate more than £17 billion in energy savings for the country yet a series of technical and other issues have resulted in delays to the planned rollout. ... read more »

Brits unaware of home’s energy efficiency

09 March 2015 - When it comes to energy efficiency, it seems Brits are all talk and no action. A new survey revealed 71% of householders are unaware if they own an energy efficient boiler while 83% don’t know the energy efficiency rating of their windows and doors. That’s despite a majority (89%) claiming energy efficiency is “extremely important” to them. Nearly half (44%) of the 1,000 people surveyed also admitted to never looking at their energy use on bills every month. Ian Blackhurs ... read more »

£250,000 to unlock Scotland’s geothermal potential

09 March 2015 - Geothermal Energy Challenge Fund launched. A fund to support research into exploring Scotland’s geothermal capacity to meet the energy needs of local communities is launched today by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing. The Challenge Fund is open to organisations working together to benefit local communities, achieving carbon reductions which are sustainable and commercially viable on a long term basis and the development of future viable delivery models. Mr Ewing said: “Heat is estimated t ... read more »

2014 Annual Report of the Council of European Energy Regulators

09 March 2015 - 2014 Annual Report of the Council of European Energy Regulators: Fostering energy markets, empowering consumers. Read the main document here Source: CEER Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

5p fuel price discount for rural UK

09 March 2015 - The European Union has approved a five pence per litre cut on fuel prices in rural areas in England and Scotland. Residents across 17 of the “most rural areas” with the highest fuel prices will benefit from the reduction from 31st May. Retailers can claim back the discount on unleaded petrol and diesel and pass on the savings to consumers. Around 125,000 people are said to be paying some of the highest prices in the country due to the expense of transporting fuel to filling stations ... read more »

Diamond's Second Report is now available

06 March 2015 - On Tuesday of this week (3rd March 2015), Prof. Sir Ian Diamond launched his second report into the procurement and collaborative efficiency of the Higher Education sector. Having been seen as a shining light in collaboration with a mention in the first so-called Diamond Report, TEC continue to be at the heart of collaboration, and improved efficiency in establishing and managing energy supply contracts through our frameworks. Energy is a significant spend area for all HE Institutions and hence ... read more »

OFGEM’s TPI progress towards a mandatory Code of Practise for Third Party Intermediaries stalls

06 March 2015 - Today’s announcement that energy regulator OFGEM has postponed the implementation of a mandatory code of practise for largely private sector “third party intermediaries” (TPI’s), sometimes called brokers or consultants, is hugely disappointing. The fact that there was a need to take action in response to the surprisingly (for OFGEM at least) vehement call from non-domestic energy users, who found the information they were being provided when considering using a TPI, is ev ... read more »

Scottish Energy Minister opens UK’s largest Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant in Fife, Scotland

06 March 2015 - Fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions cut by up to 250,000 tonnes annually 500 jobs safeguarded at papermakers Tullis Russell £multi-million investment including £8.1 million from Scottish Government A major addition to the Scottish Government’s plan for a more sustainable energy future in Scotland was reached today with Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, opening RWE’s Markinch Biomass Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant in Glenrothes, Fife. Const ... read more »

Open letter: Next steps on our project for a code of practice for the non-domestic third party intermediary (TPI) sector

06 March 2015 - Our TPI Programme is considering the appropriate regulatory framework for TPIs covering household and business consumers. To address some of the key issues relating to TPIs in the non-domestic market, Ofgem consulted with industry in June 2013 and February 2014. Specifically we have been developing a code of practice for TPIs in the non-domestic retail energy market with input from industry and consumer bodies. This document sets out the next steps in the non-domestic TPI code of practice projec ... read more »

Smart Meter Delivery Plan

06 March 2015 - Following a proposal from the Data and Communications Company (DCC) to adopt an alternative delivery plan, I have today approved the DCC’s plan as provided for under powers in the DCC’s licences – which were granted under sections 7AB(2) of the Gas Act 1986 and section 6(1A) of the Electricity Act 1989. Under this revised plan, the DCC will plan to deliver operational services from April 2016 rather than its current target of December 2015. The Data and Communications Company i ... read more »

CEER Advice on customer information on sources of electricity

05 March 2015 - This document (C14-CEM-70-08) presents recommendations on how to make the system for disclosing how electricity has been produced more coherent and reliable. It also outlines how to make information on disclosure more transparent, so that customers can make decisions based on information they can trust. As we seek to put customers at the centre of CEER’s work, we analysed the disclosure system from the customers’ perspective. The recommendations developed in this Advice aim to empowe ... read more »

Independent energy firm cuts gas prices by 5.6%

05 March 2015 - Independent power supplier Utilita Energy has announced it is reducing gas prices by 5.6%. The energy firm supplies gas and electricity to more than 180,000 homes across the UK. The price cut, which comes as a result of the recent fall in wholesale costs and applies to its ‘Smart Energy’ prepayment tariff, will come into effect on 1st April 2015. Customers currently pay an average of £1,205 per year for their energy. Bill Bullen, Director and founder of Utilita said: “We ... read more »

British Gas appeals against Ofgem’s power price rules

05 March 2015 - Two UK energy companies have appealed against electricity price rules imposed by Ofgem. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it has received requests from Centrica’s British Gas Trading (BGT) and Northern Powergrid for permission to appeal against the regulator’s ‘RIIO-ED1’ ruling on the price control for network operators. It sets the amount they can charge for their up to 2021, expected to provide value for money to consumers. Last year Ofgem announced five ... read more »

£70 million for home energy efficiency through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund Release 3

05 March 2015 - More people will enjoy a warmer home for less thanks to the third release from the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) worth up to £70 million. From midday, Monday 16 March, the popular scheme will open to new applications for the new release of funding, with up to £5,600 available to households in England and Wales to help with the cost of installing certain energy saving measures such as solid wall insulation, double glazing, boilers, cavity wall and floor insulation. Energy a ... read more »

Gas to the West moves a step closer

05 March 2015 - The prospect of bringing gas to up to 40,000 new customers in the west of Northern Ireland moved closer today. At a launch in Enniskillen it was announced that two companies, Mutual Energy and SGN, have now been awarded conveyance licences to extend the natural gas network. Jenny Pyper, Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator, which ran the competition to award the licenses, said: “We are delighted to have reached this stage and I congratulate Mutual Energy and SGN on being awarded the li ... read more »

Utilita reduces gas prices

05 March 2015 - It is with great pleasure that we can announce an average 5.6% gas price reduction, which will come into effect from 1st April 2015. We have been able to reduce our prices due to a drop in energy wholesale costs, ensuring our prepayment prices remain highly competitive against the Big Six and other independent suppliers. We continually review industry tariff prices to ensure ours are as competitive as overheads will allow. This is just one example of how we ensure customer expenses are kept to a ... read more »

Eurelectric: a reference model for European capacity markets

05 March 2015 - Energy markets today are evolving as Europe continues to pursue its ambitious low-carbon agenda. Amid the fundamental changes taking place, EURELECTRIC believes that the full execution of an efficient integrated European energy market, i.e. the completion of the Internal Energy Market (IEM), is the cornerstone on which all further market developments should rest. This includes the implementation of the Third Energy Package and the integration of wholesale markets across all timeframes. Energy-on ... read more »

ScottishPower hit with 12-day sales ban

05 March 2015 - Ofgem has hit ScottishPower with a sales ban for failing to meet the regulator’s targets on handling customer complaints. The Big Six supplier will not be allowed to engage in “proactive sales” for 12 days starting today. Ofgem’s investigation found the energy company’s customers were experiencing long call waiting times and receiving late bills. ScottishPower failed to clear up all outstanding Energy Ombudsman decisions regarding customer complaints, More than 2,00 ... read more »

Conservative plans to exempt Starter Homes from zero carbon standard “incredibly short-sighted”, warns UK Green Building Council

04 March 2015 - The Conservative’s plans to exempt 200,000 Starter Homes for young first-time buyers from the zero carbon standard have been branded “incredibly short-sighted” by the UK Green Building Council. Prime Minister David Cameron is set to announce today that the homes will be available at a 20 per cent discount because they will be exempt from a range of obligations, including the zero carbon standard. The Conservative Party first aired its plan to exempt 100,000 Starter Homes from t ... read more »

Transmission charges warning must be heeded

04 March 2015 - Warnings from a senior power industry figure over the damage that current transmission charging policy is doing to Scotland must be heeded by Westminster the SNP has said today. Today’s National reports that Keith Anderson, Chief Corporate Officer at Scottish Power, has warned transmission charges are a barrier to new electricity generation in Scotland, making clear that “there needs to be a fair and level playing field with the rest of the UK in order to develop new power generation ... read more »

Caroline Flint comment on Ofgem’s decision to ban Scottish Power from proactive sales for 12 days

04 March 2015 - Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, commenting on Ofgem’s decision to ban Scottish Power from proactive sales for 12 days because of their failure to clear a backlog of customer complaints, said: "It is right that energy companies are held to account for poor customer service. Companies must know that if they fail to treat their customers properly there will be a heavy price to pay. “Ultimately, the only way to restore trust ... read more »

Independent suppliers: Ofgem Enduring information request - Retail Market Review

04 March 2015 - As part of Ofgem's retail market review monitoring, in June 2014 we requested suppliers to regularly report information relating to customer numbers and switching activity. This is mainly aimed at those suppliers with at least 100,000 customers in the domestic gas or electricity market segments and non-domestic suppliers with a market share of at least 1% in the non-domestic gas or electricity market segments. Nonetheless, Ofgem would also welcome voluntary submissions from smaller suppliers ... read more »

Response to Ofgem ECO2.2 Consultation

04 March 2015 - Ofgem have now published a document which summarises the responses we received from stakeholders on the Energy Company Obligation 2015-2017 (ECO2): ECO2.2 Consultation. The response document sets out how we have taken into account the submissions that we received, and explains the changes we have made to Ofgem's proposed policies. Ofgem have also published the Energy Company Obligation 2015-2017 (ECO2): Guidance for Suppliers and associated documents. This document includes the ECO 2.1 Guida ... read more »

Cutting the cost of keeping warm

04 March 2015 - Cutting the cost of keeping warm: A fuel poverty strategy for England Read the main document here Source: DECC Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Use smart technology to cut peak demand rather than coal

04 March 2015 - The Government’s electricity Capacity Market - designed to meet peaks in demand and help keep the lights on – could result in higher than necessary energy costs and emissions because its design has been skewed in favour of fossil fuel generating capacity rather than innovative new demand-side response technology, according to analysis by the Energy and Climate Change Committee. Tim Yeo MP, Chair of the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee said: "Every consumer in the cou ... read more »

Subsidies for wind power fourteen times less than people think

03 March 2015 - A new survey by OnePoll, commissioned by RenewableUK, reveals that the UK public think that subsidies for wind power are over fourteen times the amount they actually are. OnePoll questioned 2,000 UK adults and found that the average estimate was £259 from a typical £1,300 annual domestic dual-fuel energy bill. In fact, subsidies for wind power amount to as little as £18 per household a year. The polling also revealed that over 90% of people underestimate public support for wind ... read more »

Party leaders urged to set end date for dirty coal

03 March 2015 - Survey shows strong support for coal pollution phase-out by 2020s Leading environmental, development, and health organisations have warned Britain’s political leaders that coal pollution risks derailing the UK’s climate targets unless they agree on a clear deadline and concrete measures to phase out dirty coal by the early 2020s. The call comes as a YouGov survey published today shows a majority of British people (56%) would back a move to push unabated coal off the system by the ear ... read more »

National Grid spends £30m on spare capacity “just in case”

03 March 2015 - Utility Week can exclusively reveal that around £30 million of the £32 million total payouts were made to old thermal plants which were paid to carry out thorough monthly testing to ensure their reliability. National Grid moved to secure extra capacity last winter following a string of unplanned outages which eroded already tight supply margins to levels only previously expected in the winter 2015/16 ‘capacity crunch’. Margins could have shrunk to as little as 5 per cent ... read more »

UK green bank invests in waste-to-energy plant

03 March 2015 - The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) is investing £30 million in a waste-to-energy gasification facility in Hertfordshire. The £60 million project in Hoddeson, developed by AssetGen Partners, will have a total capacity of 10MW – equivalent to powering more than 7,000 homes. It will be able to process 90,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste, which will be supplied by two waste management companies. The facility is the first commercial-scale, refuse-derived fuel gasificati ... read more »

UK rejects calls for higher diesel tax to cut pollution

03 March 2015 - The UK Government has rejected calls to raise taxes on diesel vehicles to reduce air pollution but said it would consider a national network of low-emission zones. Last year the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on air quality called for a tax regime for diesel cars and for further National Planning Policy Framework guidance to protect schoolchildren in air pollution “hotspots”. The government has also been criticised for failing to meet European Union limits on nitrogen d ... read more »

Tidal Lagoon Cardiff could power all Welsh homes for 120 years

03 March 2015 - Tidal Lagoon Power will today take a first significant step towards the delivery of full-scale tidal lagoon infrastructure in the UK with the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment scoping report for a tidal lagoon between Cardiff and Newport. The project will have an installed capacity, dependent on final design, of between 1,800MW and 2,800MW, giving a reliable annual output of 4 TWh to 6 TWh, comfortably enough low carbon electricity to power every home in Wales throughout its 120 y ... read more »

Ofgem: Supplier objections - a call for evidence

02 March 2015 - It is vital that energy consumers can easily and confidently change their energy supplier. Ofgem has proposed to lead the industry towards reliable next day switching by 2019. As part of the journey, we want to take a fresh look at whether objections should be part of a redesigned switching process or whether suppliers should develop other ways of managing risk. We are kicking off this work with a call for evidence. The call for evidence: sets out the role that objections have played and outline ... read more »

‘Back to the Future’ engine shares green fund

02 March 2015 - A biogas engine that uses a concept similar to the technology featured in the classic movie ‘Back to the Future’ is one of the projects that has won funding from the government. The system, which uses untreated gas from landfill sites to power a self-supercharged biogas engine, was one of 40 projects chosen to share a £24.5 million fund. Others include windows that act as solar panels and Europe’s biggest battery storage – all expected to help tackle the so-called e ... read more »

UK won’t OK sale of oil fields to Russian billionaire

02 March 2015 - The UK Government said it won’t approve the sale of North Sea oil and gas fields to an investment fund backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. The 12 oil and gas fields are owned by German utility RWE and the deal to buy them would be part of LetterOne’s (L1) acquisition of Germany’s oil firm DEA. Mr Fridman’s company L1 Energy is said to have agreed to a €5 billion (£3.6bn) deal with RWE last year but its completion has been slowed by regulators’ ... read more »

MPs attack Ofgem's 'hands-off' approach to switching sites

02 March 2015 - In a report published today, the Energy and Climate Change committee slammed commission-led comparison sites for "damaging trust" in the switching process, and demanded that consumers who have been "duped" receive compensation. The report blamed Ofgem's current voluntary code of practice and called on the regulator to establish either a new licence-based system for sites, or a licence requirement on suppliers to use only accredited sites. Last month, Ofgem said it had str ... read more »

New study concludes increases in energy costs are unlikely to have much effect on European businesses and trade

02 March 2015 - A large increase in energy prices in the European Union would have only a very small effect on exports by European industry and the balance of trade, according to a new academic paper published today (2 March 2015) by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at London School of Economics and Political Science. The authors of the paper, Dr Misato Sato and Dr Antoine Dechezleprêtre, analysed 62 business ... read more »

GB and Belgium power link comes a step closer

02 March 2015 - National Grid and Elia , the Belgian electricity transmission system operator, will today sign a joint venture agreement to move ahead with the Nemo Link – the first electricity interconnector between the two countries. When completed the interconnector will provide 1000 MW of capacity – enough to power half a million homes. The link will run 140 kilometres between Richborough on the Kent coast and Herdersbrug, near Zeebrugge with a combination of undersea and underground cables. Ele ... read more »

Oil & Gas UK Appoints New Chief Executive

02 March 2015 - The Board of Oil & Gas UK, the leading trade association for the UK offshore oil and gas industry, is pleased to announce the appointment of Deirdre Michie as the organisation’s new Chief Executive, following a comprehensive search led by The Curzon Partnership. Deirdre Michie will take up her position from 1 May 2015, replacing the current Chief Executive Malcolm Webb who formally retires on 31 May 2015. She will be based in Oil & Gas UK’s Aberdeen office and will also have ... read more »

Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index March 2015

02 March 2015 - UK’s top 10 spot in renewable energy attractiveness index at risk as it falls to 8th place for the first time in 12 years Lack of clarity over the role of renewable energy post May’s election and uptake of recent Contract for Difference (CfD) regime cited as main reasons. France overtakes the UK as French government works to introduce ambitious targets on energy consumption from renewable sources and streamline project approvals. London 2 March 2015: The UK’s appeal as a destin ... read more »

Global investor interest in UK renewables slumps

02 March 2015 - A global renewables investment survey found that the UK’s continuing lack of clarity over the role of renewables in the future energy mix as well as the “policy hiatus” caused by the upcoming election has damaged the UK’s international competitiveness. Analysts at consultancy EY said in their latest report on global renewables investment that the UK has slipped to seventh place on their investor attractiveness index, its lowest ranking in 12 years. “The very slow pa ... read more »

Incentive on Connections Engagement (ICE) Guidance Document decision

27 February 2015 - Connecting customers to the electricity network is very important. It allows new businesses to open, new housing to be made available and generators to export electricity. To drive electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) to understand and meet the needs of larger customers we decided to introduce the Incentive on Connections Engagement (ICE). The ICE Guidance Document outlines the scope of the incentive, the reporting requirements, the submission process and our assessment process. Thi ... read more »

NW Green Energy Conference: next Govt must champion community energy, says Friends of the Earth

27 February 2015 - The next Government must remove barriers to the development of the UK’s huge community renewable energy potential and make this sector a top priority, Friends of the Earth said today (Thursday 26 February) ahead of a major green energy conference in Manchester. The environmental charity said that despite introducing the UK’s first community energy strategy in January 2014, too many Government policies were actively discouraging local people and businesses from developing green power ... read more »

Thames Tideway names companies set to take £2.3bn in contracts

27 February 2015 - The preferred bidder for the west section of the project worth £300-£500 million is BMB, a joint venture of BAM Nuttall, Morgan Sindall, and Balfour Beatty Group. The contract for the central section worth £600-£900 million is expected to be awarded to FLO, a joint venture of Ferrovial Agroman UK, Laing O’Rourke Construction. Finally, the eastern section contracts worth £500-£800 million have been extended to CVB a joint venture of Costain, Vinci Constru ... read more »

National Grid to sign deal on Nemo power link to Belgium

27 February 2015 - The final agreement between National Grid and Elia will bring forward the UK’s first power link to Belgium, and the first interconnector project to be built under Ofgem’s cap and floor funding regime. The regulator approved the plans in December last year, setting the annual revenue floor for Nemo at £50.4 million over the 25 year duration of the scheme while the annual revenue cap was set at £80 million. These levels could be adjusted following a final assessment of cost ... read more »

Cost of offshore wind energy falls sharply

27 February 2015 - A report issued today reveals that the cost of energy from offshore wind farms has fallen by almost 11% over the past three years, ahead of schedule on its path to delivering the UK Government’s target of £100/MWh by 2020, and providing clear evidence that offshore wind can play a significant role in the UK’s sustainable energy mix in the coming decades. The report charts progress between 2011 and 2014 on cost reduction and is measured in lifetime costs. The results closely mir ... read more »

New report: Boosting finance in energy efficiency investments in buildings, industry and SMEs

27 February 2015 - Energy performance certificates of buildings should be improved and funds for energy efficient investments at EU and national level should be streamlined, according to a new report on boosting finance in energy efficiency investments in buildings, industry and SMEs. The report by the Energy Efficiency Financial Institution Group (EEFIG), which was published on 26 February 2015, contains recommendations on a range of actions that could help overcome the current challenges to obtaining long-term f ... read more »

Domestic energy consumers hit hard by Treasury energy taxes

27 February 2015 - Domestic energy consumers hit hard by Treasury energy taxes as charity warns that cold homes could kill 100,000 vulnerable people over the next 15 years and cost the NHS £22 billion A new report by charity National Energy Action (NEA) has warned that 100,000 vulnerable people could perish needlessly over the next 15 years due to an inability to adequately heat their homes. The report: A Manifesto for Warmth has been released on Fuel Poverty Awareness Day [27th February] and claims the NHS ... read more »

Water sector criticises ‘difficult’ divisions in social tariffs

27 February 2015 - Vulnerable customers receiving water and wastewater services from different companies are not offered consistent social tariffs for both, as the different companies operate different tariffs with different requirements. Speaking at the Consumer Council for Water’s (CCWater) London and South East public meeting on Thursday afternoon, Affinity Water director of customer relations and business services Vincent Muldoon, said there needs to be “joined up thinking” between the compan ... read more »

Ofgem, Non-traditional business models: Supporting transformative change in the energy market

26 February 2015 - Recently, there has been a wave of new entry to the energy market and many of these entrants have new and non-traditional business models (NTBMs). This is a trend we expect to continue. Some of these NTBMs could in the future transform the energy market and deliver desirable outcomes for consumers. These include: lower bills; lower environmental impact; improved reliability and safety; better quality of service; and better social outcomes. We want to ensure that regulation does not stand in the ... read more »

New EU Energy Union is here

26 February 2015 - A new EU ‘Energy Union’ officially launched today has been welcomed by Ed Davey. The new proposals are to create a single energy market to help the EU lower prices, improve interconnectivity, move towards a lower carbon future, increase energy efficiency and counteract Russia’s ‘monopoly’ on gas supplies to the continent. The EU announced its new strategy policy framework for an Energy Union today after many years of discussion. It is yet to be formalised by Ministe ... read more »

NHS prescribes green measures for sustainability

26 February 2015 - The NHS is encouraging its staff to take part in its national campaign that aims to promote sustainability in the organisation. It is challenging people to do “one thing differently” on the 26th of March as part of the NHS Sustainability Day to achieve better sustainability practice across its facilities. Some of the pledges made so far include clinical and household recycling, running paperless meetings, making short journeys on foot rather than using a car as well as reducing energ ... read more »

PM refuses action which could help save Longannet

26 February 2015 - Prime Minister David Cameron has refused to take the action requested by the First Minister, in the wake of last week’s news that Longannet power station could soon face premature closure due to the effect of UK Energy Policy – especially transmission charging. The Scottish Government understands that unless National Grid agree a deal, Scottish Power will be forced to take a decision on the plant’s future next month and thus the need for UK Government action is now urgent. Afte ... read more »

Government invests £25 million in game-changing green technologies

26 February 2015 - Forty new technologies have won funding through the first round of Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst. Windows that act as solar panels, an engine which runs on landfill emissions and Europe’s biggest battery are all a step closer to reality after receiving a share of £24.5 million of government funding. These projects are among 40 new technologies which have won funding through the first round of Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst, which is designed to help tackle the so-called en ... read more »

Next steps to improve the market for new connections to electricity distribution networks

26 February 2015 - In January 2015 we published the findings of our review of the market for new connections to electricity distribution networks. Because of the problems identified in the market, we proposed to implement a new licence condition and enforceable Code of Practice (CoP) for distribution network operators (DNOs) to follow. DNOs have written to us to confirm that they will work together to develop the Code of Practice. This letter acnowledges the DNOs commitments and reiterates the next steps for imple ... read more »

Press release Lancashire County Council turns down Cuadrilla planning application

26 February 2015 - Responding to the news that Lancashire County Council has rejected Cuadrilla’s application for shale gas exploration activities at Singleton in Lancashire, Friends of the Earth’s Energy Campaigner Donna Hume said: “This decision is yet another blow for Cuadrilla. Refusing the application was the right decision by Lancashire County Council, as it is clear that the people of Lancashire do not support shale gas extraction. “The council must say no to fracking anywhere in Lan ... read more »

Solar industry slams DECC for ‘favouring big players’

26 February 2015 - The solar energy industry has expressed its disappointment at the lack of PV projects allocated under the UK Government’s renewable energy auction. DECC awarded the Contracts for Difference (CfDs) for 26 green projects, which includes two offshore wind farms, 15 onshore wind projects and five solar projects. The Solar Trade Association (STA) said the Government’s auction “favours big players”. CEO Paul Barwell added: “Is a policy that trips up the UK’s emergin ... read more »

World-leading auctions to provide major green electricity boost

26 February 2015 - World-leading competitive auctions have led to contracts being offered to 27 renewable electricity projects, which together could power 1.4m homes, comparable to the number of households in Wales. The green energy auction has driven down prices, by as much as 58% for one technology. The projects will lead to the UK emitting 4m fewer tonnes of CO2 into our atmosphere each year. That’s the equivalent CO2 savings of taking up to 2 million cars off the UK’s roads. The auctions have succe ... read more »

Statoil awards NOK 8bn for oil platform

25 February 2015 - Statoil has awarded a contract worth NOK 8 billion (£0.7bn) to build an offshore drilling platform. Aibel won the contract which includes engineering work, procurement and construction for the Johan Sverdrup field. The region has recoverable resources of 1.7 and 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent, according to Statoil. The field will account for roughly 40% of the total oil production on the Norwegian continental shelf, it added. Arne Sigve Nylund, Vice President of Development and Produc ... read more »

Learning from fracking and Heathrow

25 February 2015 - The current infrastructure planning system is failing. The public feels shut out which results in protest and delay, as seen most recently with fracking, High Speed Two, and the proposed third runway at Heathrow. The UK think tank Green Alliance is calling for a new body, ‘Citizen Voice’, to be set up to give cities, counties and the public a say in the biggest infrastructure decisions, and reduce the likelihood that the best projects are delayed by public protest. The UK has £ ... read more »

Energy UK Energy Manifesto

25 February 2015 - Read the whole document here Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

New North Sea regulator issues urgent call to action

25 February 2015 - Responding to the Secretary of State’s commission to assess the impact of the sharp decline in global oil prices on the UK oil and gas industry, Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) Chief Executive, Dr Andy Samuel today published his initial findings and issued an urgent call to action for industry, Government and the regulator. One year since Sir Ian Wood completed his Maximising Economic Recovery Review, the marked reduction in global oil prices has brought into even sharper focus the significant ... read more »

Russia threatens to cut Ukraine gas supply

25 February 2015 - Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom warned today it could cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in two days if it fails to pay for the deliveries. Last year Gazprom switched Ukranian energy firm Naftogaz to a pre-payment scheme for failing to pay its bills. According to analysts, the payment deadline for the next chunk of gas supply ran out on Sunday and failure to pay could threaten supplies to the rest of Europe. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller has been reported as saying: “It takes abou ... read more »

Report calls for new approach to funding for UK's wave & tidal energy sector

25 February 2015 - RenewableUK is highlighting a new study which calls for a fresh approach by the UK Government and devolved administrations to the way funding is allocated to the wave and tidal energy sector, to ensure the industry realises its enormous potential. The report “Capitalising on Capability” by the Marine Energy Programme Board, which advises the Government on how to develop the industry, was launched today in Edinburgh at RenewableUK’s Wave and Tidal 2015 conference. It says Britis ... read more »

Global power and utilities deal activity reaches five-year high in 2014

25 February 2015 - Global power and utility (P&U) deal value and volume reached four- and five-year highs, respectively, in 2014, according to EY’s quarterly Power Transactions and Trends report released today. Deal value grew 41% to US$177.1b while deal volume increased 19% to 474 deals. Year-on-year deal value grew 41% to US$177.1b and volume grew 19%. US megamergers and a strong appetite for renewables led M&A activity as European utilities continued to face headwinds. Confidence in the global eco ... read more »

Drax beats expectations but warns of challenges ahead

24 February 2015 - Drax reported its 2014 earnings at £229 million, in line with its 2013 results and ahead of consensus expectations of £219 million. Meanwhile net profit also beat expectations at £96 million compared to the £87 million anticipated by analysts. In addition, the company’s final dividend of 7.2 pence per share was ahead of Bloomberg forecast of 6.2p. The generator’s results were bolstered by higher sales through its Haven Power retail arm at £1.1 billion co ... read more »

Solar firm eyes UK rooftops for £125m investment

24 February 2015 - Solar energy company Lightsource has announced plans to invest more than £125 million in rooftop projects across the UK. It aims to deliver 120MW of installations on households, commercial buildings and social housing this year. The company has invested more than £1.5 billion in four years and aims to reach 1GW of operational UK projects by the end of March 2015. Nick Boyle, CEO at Lightsource said: “Now that we have allocated the funds, relationships with installers will be ke ... read more »

Solar Energy emerging as the cheapest

24 February 2015 - By 2025, solar power in sunny regions of the world will be cheaper than power from coal or gas / Success depends on stable regulatory conditions In a few years, solar energy plants will deliver the most inexpensive power available in many parts of the world. By 2025, the cost of producing solar power in central and southern Europe will have declined to between 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt hour, and to as low as 2 to 4 cents by 2050, according to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy ... read more »

Mergers: Commission opens in-depth investigation into General Electric's proposed acquisition of Alstom's energy businesses

24 February 2015 - The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether General Electric's (GE) proposed acquisition of the Thermal Power, Renewable Power & Grid businesses of Alstom is in line with the EU Merger Regulation. The Commission’s preliminary investigation indicates potential competition concerns in the market for heavy-duty gas turbines which are mainly used in gas-fired power plants. The transaction would bring together the activities of GE, the world's larg ... read more »

Joint Statement on the Energy Union a fresh push for the internal Energy market

24 February 2015 - EURELECTRIC, Eurogas, EPIA and EWEA are pleased to see the new European Commission’s increased focus on energy issues. We hope this new momentum will reinforce policy in favour of a better functioning market and a positive investment climate for companies, as well as contribute to achieving a secure and affordable energy mix for a low-carbon economy. A competitively priced, secure and sustainable supply of energy is essential for economic growth, European competitiveness, and the well-bein ... read more »

Lightsource announces a £125million commitment to rooftop solar deployment for 2015

24 February 2015 - Lightsource has announced a dedicated investment of more than £125million into the UK rooftop solar market in 2015 as it strides towards its 1 Gigawatt target of operational assets. The company believes that its partnerships with PV installers will be key to unlocking the potential of the rooftop market. After deploying £1.5 billion in just four years, Lightsource is set to become the first solar energy company to break the Gigawatt milestone by the end of March 2015.The investment o ... read more »

Fife Council calls for urgent intervention by UK government to safeguard Longannet's future

24 February 2015 - Fife Council Leader David Ross has written to Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change requesting that the UK Government intervene in negotiations to ensure the future role of Longannet in the UK Energy Supply Business. At a meeting of Full Council yesterday (Thursday) councillors unanimously backed plans to save the power station. Cllr Ross commented: “It is clear that coal fired power stations are increasingly uneconomic under the current transmission charging regime ... read more »

Report paints bleak picture of high-potential industry but the solution is clear, says Oil & Gas UK

24 February 2015 - Oil & Gas UK’s new report on offshore exploration, investment and production published today (24 February) provides striking evidence of how rising costs, taxes and inadequate regulation have taken their toll on the UK industry’s international competitiveness. The Activity Survey 2015 highlights the urgency with which measures are needed to secure new investment and address the collapse in exploration, if the UK is to maximise economic recovery of its still significant untapped r ... read more »

Public bodies may have to report on climate change

23 February 2015 - The NHS, local authorities and educational institutions in Scotland could be required to report on climate change. The Scottish Government has launched a public consultation on plans to introduce the requirement. It is seeking views on introducing a standard reporting form, the impact of the changes in reporting climate change performance and how reports should be annually monitored. If approved, around 150 large public bodies including the Scottish Government would have to report on climate cha ... read more »

Ofgem failing to keep network costs down for energy consumers

23 February 2015 - Ofgem has not yet delivered value for energy consumers in its regulation of transmission and distribution networks, according to a new report. The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee raises concerns about the profits of network companies, that have been greater than expected after the first year of a new regulatory framework introduced by Ofgem to keep costs down. Energy and Climate Change Committee Chair, Tim Yeo MP: "The costs charged by the companies that have a near monopoly over ... read more »

Fuel Poverty Advisory Group 12th Annual Report

23 February 2015 - Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (for England) 12th Annual Report here Source: Fuel Poverty Advisory Group Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Climate change reporting

23 February 2015 - Proposals for required reporting by public sector bodies. Major players in the public sector, may be required to report climate change information, subject to a public consultation, Climate Change Minister Aileen McLeod said. The consultation seeks views on: • the introduction of a requirement for public sector bodies to report climate change information • the introduction of a standard reporting form to improve data quality and consistency • the impact of the changes in reporting ... read more »

Minister Alex White welcomes Electric Ireland price reductions

23 February 2015 - Minister for Energy, Alex White T.D., welcomed Electric Ireland’s announcement that it is to reduce its residential gas prices by 2.5% from April 1st 2015. The company’s announcement follows recent earlier announcements by BGE and SSE in January that they were to cut their domestic gas prices, by 3.5% and 4% respectively. Today’s announcement comes after Minister White concluded a series of separate meetings with the energy companies to discuss the speed with which wholesale en ... read more »

Cash boost for oil, gas apprentices

23 February 2015 - Money is being made available to help redundant apprentices continue training. The Scottish Government is providing additional support to Skills Development Scotland (SDS) to improve its existing ‘Adopt an Apprentice’ initiative. Employers will receive £5,000 to help cover the costs of taking on Modern Apprentices (MA) who have been made redundant in the oil and gas sector. Public or private sector companies are eligible to apply for the funding and must take on an MA for at le ... read more »

Hefty pollution fine for South West Water

23 February 2015 - South West Water has been ordered to pay more than £40,000 in fines and costs for polluting a watercourse in Devon. Exeter Crown Court was told a combination of plant breakdown and poor management led to the contamination of Woodbury’s Polly Brook with poor quality sewage in August 2013. This led to the death of a number of fish, according to the Environment Agency. South West Water admitted to two charges – allowing untreated sewage to pollute the stream and failing to notify ... read more »

Final proposals on the treatment of white label providers in the domestic retail market

23 February 2015 - A white label provider is an organisation that does not hold a supply licence and instead partners with a licensed supplier to offer gas and electricity using its own brand. In September 2014, we consulted on a package of proposals applying to new and existing white labels to replace the existing temporary arrangements. After considering the consultation responses, which can be accessed below, we think those proposals strike the right balance by upholding the key protections afforded to consumer ... read more »

UK nuclear site declared fuel free

20 February 2015 - UK regulators have confirmed a nuclear site in Suffolk to be fuel free. Sizewell A is located near Leiston and is a twin reactor site. It was fully operational in 1966 and shut down in December 2006. The final flask of fuel was sent to Sellafield in Cumbria for reprocessing last summer. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) accepted 99% of the radioactive hazard has now been removed from the former power station, operator Magnox said. “Confirmation of the reduction in hazard allows the s ... read more »

Men vs women – who racks up the energy bills?

20 February 2015 - Taking longer showers and leaving household appliances on standby all contribute to rising energy bills but – who is to blame? Men or women? According to a recent poll, around 64% of women confessed to taking long “luxurious” showers on a regular basis compared to only 17% of men. 78% of female respondents said they would gladly nudge up the heating without their partners knowing. That’s compared to only 14% of their male counterparts who said they would turn up the therm ... read more »

Energy Efficiency should be a ‘National Mission’

20 February 2015 - A new joint report by E3G and the Fabian Society has called for government to get tough on the sale or letting of energy wasting properties. Where next for household energy efficiency policy in the UK’ authored by Ingrid Holmes, Rebecca Lawson and Ed Wallis, calls for a carrot and stick approach to improving energy efficiency that would see low income households being given full grants to undertake renovations to bring their homes up to energy efficiency standards. And for those who don&rs ... read more »

Domestic RHI installations smash 20,000 milestone

20 February 2015 - New figures released from the Department of Energy and Climate Change show that the uptake of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive has reached 21,932 The statistics from DECC also show that there has been a total of 6,244 new accreditations since April 2014, when the Domestic RHI was officially launched. A breakdown of the figures showed that the Domestic RHI is mainly being used by homeowners but 8 per cent of all accreditations were to social landlords. Paul Thompson, Head of Policy at the RE ... read more »

State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into UK public measures in favour of Lynemouth power plant

20 February 2015 - The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether UK plans to support the conversion of the Lynemouth coal power plant to operate entirely on biomass were in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission will investigate further to make sure that the public funds used to support the project are limited to what is necessary and do not result in overcompensation. It will also assess whether the positive effects of the project in achieving EU energy and environmental obj ... read more »

New peel gas&oil business to unlock the north's supply chain

20 February 2015 - The Peel Group has launched a Gas & Oil business looking to maximise the economic and supply chain benefits to the North of England from the emerging shale gas industry. Peel Gas & Oil works alongside current and prospective onshore license holders as a development partner, providing integrated property solutions for the industry. With close links to other subsidiaries within the Group – such as Ports and Logistics - Peel Gas & Oil is encouraging investment in the infrastructur ... read more »

Quicker and more efficient distribution connections

20 February 2015 - We have published an open letter outlining the existing arrangements for obtaining an electricity connection and how new capacity can be created on the network in anticipation of future connection requirements. We want to know how these arrangements can be improved. We also describe various options to enable further anticipatory investment. These include new funding mechanisms proposed to us by our stakeholders and highlight what barriers there may be and ask what could be done to address them. ... read more »

Domestic Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation in Great Britain, Monthly report

19 February 2015 - This release presents the latest statistics on the Green Deal (GD) up to the end of January 2015 and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) up to the end of December 2014. Domestic Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation in Great Britain, Monthly report Source: DECC Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Natural Gas Storage Licence

19 February 2015 - The CER has today, 18th February 2015 published a Decision Paper on a revised Natural Gas Storage Licence. The current natural gas storage licence was issued in 2006 prior to the establishment of the Gas Safety Regulatory Framework. To date the Natural Gas Storage Licence has primarily consisted of economic conditions. The modifications take into account legislative developments with respect to safety regulation and the CER’s enforcement powers along with a modification regarding Directive ... read more »

CMA energy probe a ‘watershed moment’

19 February 2015 - The findings from the investigation into the energy market is a “watershed moment” for the industry, according to the head a consumer body. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today revealed the UK’s Big Six energy companies could be overcharging customers by up to £234 a year. Richard Lloyd, Executive Director of Which? said: “This is a watershed moment for the energy market as the CMA confirms what we’ve known all along: that competition is not worki ... read more »

IBERDROLA RECORDS €2,327 MILLION NET PROFIT IN 2014, DRIVEN BY INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

19 February 2015 - Total shareholder return in 2014 was 30.1%, ahead of the company's principal European competitors and the relevant indices (Ibex 35 and Eurostoxx Utilities) Ebitda was 3.1% higher at €6,965 million with performance in the UK, US, Brazil and Mexico compensating a 7.4% drop in Spain The Company further progressed towards meeting objectives in the 2014-2016 Outlook and beat projections for the year Operating efficiency improved more than 2% due to control of net recurring operating expense ... read more »

British Gas owner Centrica profits tumble by 35%

19 February 2015 - The owner of British Gas has reported a huge fall in profits after being hit by warmer weather and the plunge in oil and gas prices. Centrica’s profits slumped by 35% to £1.75 billion last year while operating profits at British Gas fell 20% to £823 million as customers used less gas for heating. British Gas also lost 368,000 customers last year, ending 2014 at 14.8 million. The energy giant claims the average customer bill was down by around £100 and average profit per c ... read more »

Chair reacts to statement by Competition and Markets Authority

19 February 2015 - The Chair of the Committee has today commented on the updated issues statement published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The committee Chair,Tim Yeo MP, said: "The Energy and Climate Change Committee has repeatedly highlighted the need for greater competition in the energy market since the last general election. We did not need the Competition Market Authority to spend months and probably millions of pounds examining the market to tell us that more people need to switch ener ... read more »

RWE UK Response to publication of the CMA’s updated Issues Statement

19 February 2015 - RWE is pleased to note that although CMA are clear that they have drawn no firm conclusions as yet, their initial views are that the major electricity generators do not have market power which would give them the ability to charge higher prices, nor do the generation businesses of the six large energy companies make excessive profits. In addition, CMA note that there appears to be sufficient liquidity in the wholesale market and that vertically integrated companies do not harm the competitive po ... read more »

Philips backs action to turn energy waste into increased productivity and economic growth

19 February 2015 - Report reveals how household energy bills could be reduced by one-third when deploying more energy efficient technology Europe could double its energy productivity performance by better use of existing technologies by 2030 Globally, doubling the rate of energy productivity improvement from close to 1.5% to 3% per year would reduce the global fossil fuel bill by more than EUR 2 trillion by 2030 and could create more than 6 million jobs already by 2020 Brussels, Belgium – The ‘2015 Ene ... read more »

BP Energy Outlook 2035: Growing Gas and Shifting Flows

18 February 2015 - Despite the dramatic recent weakening in global energy markets, ongoing economic expansion in Asia – particularly in China and India – will drive continued growth in the world’s demand for energy over the next 20 years. According to the new edition of the BP Energy Outlook 2035, global demand for energy is expected to rise by 37% from 2013 to 2035, or by an average of 1.4% a year. The Outlook looks at long-term energy trends and develops projections for world energy markets ove ... read more »

Hundreds of jobs could be created in Yorkshire and Humberside by a major wind farm

18 February 2015 - An offshore wind project has today been given the go ahead by the Government and is expected to support up to 900 green jobs in Yorkshire and Humberside and millions of pounds’ worth of investment to the UK’s economy. Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A and B wind project will include up to 400 wind turbines, around 130km off the coast of the East Riding of Yorkshire. With a maximum capacity of 2400MW it will generate enough electricity to power almost 2 million homes once built. Energy and Cl ... read more »

Ofgem Renewables Obligation (RO) Annual Report 2013-14

18 February 2015 - The Renewables Obligation annual report for the year ending 31 March 2014. Key areas of interest may include: Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) issued and renewable generation We issued 62.8 million ROCs compared to 44.3 million in 2012/13. We issued more ROCs than the total supplier obligation (61.9 million), this is the first time this has ever happened , and is due to extremely windy months between October 2013 and March 2014. This represented 49.6 TWh of renewable generation, equival ... read more »

Renewables successfully driving down carbon emissions in Europe

18 February 2015 - Without the deployment of renewable energy since 2005, greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 could have been 7% higher than actual emissions, according to the EEA report 'Renewable energy in Europe – approximated recent growth and knock-on effects'. Renewable technologies also increase energy security, the report found. Without the additional use of renewable energy since 2005, the EU's consumption of fossil fuels would have been about 7% higher in 2012. The most substituted fuel wa ... read more »

Energy investigation: 95% of Big Six customers missing huge savings

18 February 2015 - A staggering 95% of householders that buy their gas and electricity from the Big Six energy companies have paid hundreds of pounds more by failing to switch. An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) revealed loyal customers have been paying higher prices between 2012 and 2014 when they could have saved between £158 and £234 a year by switching tariffs or suppliers. The watchdog launched an investigation in July last year following allegations the Big Six were m ... read more »

World wasting trillions in energy

18 February 2015 - The global fossil fuel bill could be cut by more than €2 trillion (£1.48tn) if we stopped wasting energy. That’s according to a new study commissioned by Philips, which says 98% of all energy produced globally is wasted through inefficiency. The 2015 Energy Productivity and Economic Prosperity Index report urges policy makers to set more ambitious targets to improve energy productivity. Energy productivity is defined as the volume of services or products that can be generated pe ... read more »

First Minister calls on Prime Minister David Cameron to order an assessment of Scotland’s electricity capacity

18 February 2015 - UK energy policy compromising energy security. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is calling on the UK Government to review security of electricity supply following energy experts’ concerns over the future of thermal generation plant in Scotland. Scotland is a substantial and reliable net exporter of power to the rest of the UK, with 28 per cent of all Scottish generation exported in 2013, helping to keep the lights on and bills down across these islands. However, Scotland’s energy secur ... read more »

SNP calls for ‘urgent action’ over possible Longannet closure

17 February 2015 - Scottish First Minister and leader of the party Nicola Sturgeon has written to UK Prime Minister David Cameron calling for a review into the UK’s energy supply after reports surfaced that talks between Scottish Power and National Grid over the future of the plant have stalled. The Iberdrola-owned utility has warned that the plant may need to shut down because National Grid’s high transmission charges in Scotland have made it uneconomic for it to bid Longannet into the UK’s capa ... read more »

Business Secretary announces £60m boost for UK community-scale renewable energy projects

17 February 2015 - Vince Cable, Business Secretary, visits UK Green Investment Bank headquarters in Edinburgh to announce a new source of finance for community-scale renewables projects across the UK. New finance will fund up to 30 projects generating c.24 MW of new renewable energy, enough to power 17,500 homes. The first project to be announced is a new hydro-electric power scheme near Crianlarich, north of Loch Lomond. The new finance will be the largest single source of equity funding available for UK communit ... read more »

Almost a quarter of consumers switched gas or electricity supplier in 2014, EY survey reveals

17 February 2015 - Inaccurate bills stated as the main reason (39%) behind consumers’ decision to leave their current supplier Of those consumers that switched in 2014, 81% would consider switching again in the near future New entrants are the preferred choice for 37% of consumers that intend to switch compared to 24% who would move within the ‘Big Six’ Almost a quarter (24%) of UK consumers have switched gas or electricity supplier in the last year, according to the results of an EY survey publi ... read more »

Linking emissions trading systems - Energy and Climate Change Committee

17 February 2015 - The rise of emissions trading 1. Carbon pricing, and emissions trading in particular, is an effective method for reducing emissions. Emissions trading systems are increasingly popular and spreading around the world. These systems can provide a new revenue stream for governments which can offset other taxes or support innovation. We were surprised that the Government had not yet considered the best use of revenue generated from emissions trading. We were pleased to hear that the Prime Minister th ... read more »

Ofgem: Investigation into Spark Energy's compliance with its gas and electricity supply licences and the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008

17 February 2015 - We have been investigating whether Spark Energy Supply Ltd ("Spark") complied with the requirements of Standard Supply Licence Conditions (SLCs) 14, 21B, 22, 22C, 23, and 27 of its gas and electricity supply licence, and with the Gas and Electricity (Consumer Complaints Handling Standards) Regulations 2008 (CHSR). • SLC 14 sets out the provisions around domestic customer switching. The only permissible reasons for objecting to a request to switch a domestic supply (SLC14.4) are re ... read more »

British Gas snaps up ‘smart’ tech firm

17 February 2015 - British Gas is to buy a UK-based company that helps consumers control their heating and hot water remotely. The Big Six supplier, a subsidiary of Centrica, already owns a 21% stake in AlertMe and is set to pay £44 million for the remainder. British Gas said the new deal would allow AlertMe to boost the development of new services “that will put people in control of their homes in a way that’s simply never been possible before”. The supplier is already using the ‘sma ... read more »

Procurement and System Management Documents

17 February 2015 - National Grid current procurement and system management documents for both Distribution and Transmission can be found below. Find the documents here Source: National Grid Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Use your Power to Switch – and save ‘£200 a year’

16 February 2015 - Millions of households across the UK are missing out on a total of £2.7 billion of potential saving by failing to switch energy suppliers. More than 13 million homes are paying £200 a year too much for their energy, according to latest figures released by DECC. It has launched a new ‘Power to Switch’ campaign, which will run for four weeks and aims to encourage people to shop around, switch and save. It comes amid criticism the Big Six energy firms – British Gas, E. ... read more »

Revised Credit Cover for Exporting Supplier BM Units

16 February 2015 - P310 proposes to use the Balancing Mechanism Credit Assessment Export Capability (BMCAEC) value instead of the Balancing Mechanism Credit Assessment Import Capability (BMCAIC) value with regards to the Credit Assessment Energy Indebtedness calculations when a Supplier Volume Allocation Balancing Mechanism Unit contains embedded generation and no consumption. Source: Elexon Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

ECO Compliance Update – February 2015

16 February 2015 - This compliance update shows overall progress towards the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO). It includes an Annex showing individual energy company progress. The update now also includes measures that were eligible to be included under CERT and CESP, but were surplus to suppliers’ delivery of the previous obligations. Source:Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Ofgem's determinations on Tier 2 Contracts for Difference & Capacity Market disputes

16 February 2015 - This page details the determinations Ofgem has made in relatThis page details the determinations Ofgem has made in relation to EMR Tier 2 disputes. Any determinations made regarding either Contracts for Difference (CfDs) or Capacity Market (CM) Tier 2 disputes will be made available on this page. Read all the determinations here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Decisions on fracking in Wales will be devolved under Labour

16 February 2015 - Decisions on fracking in Wales would be devolved to the Welsh Assembly under Labour, it has been announced. In the meantime, there will be a moratorium on fracking in Wales. Speaking in the Vale of Glamorgan, the Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith said that “it is right that decisions like these are taken close to the communities that might be affected.” The Planning Minister in Wales, Carl Sargeant, welcomed the move towards devolution as he announced the moratorium on Welsh fracking ... read more »

Nicola Hodson appointed to Gas and Electricity Markets Authority

16 February 2015 - Nicola Hodson has been appointed to the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA) for 5 years, DECC today confirmed. placeholder Nicola Hodson has been appointed to the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA) for five years, the Department of Energy and Climate Change today confirmed. The appointment will run until 28 February 2020. Nicola is the General Manager of Marketing and Operations at Microsoft UK and has worked on transforming businesses throughout her career. Prior to joining M ... read more »

Switch to save - £2.7 billion up for grabs by switching energy supplier

16 February 2015 - 13.5 million households across the UK are missing out on their share of £2.7 billion by sticking with their energy company. By shopping around and taking advantage of the best energy deals on the market, millions of people can save around £200 - and some can save even more. The ‘Power to Switch’ campaign, launched today, encourages people to switch supplier and save money by visiting www.BeAnEnergyShopper.com. With 26 energy companies on the market and some fixed deals &p ... read more »

More CCS investment needed, says World Coal Association

16 February 2015 - The World Coal Association (WCA) is calling for more investment in cleaner coal technologies. Technologies such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and high-efficiency, low emissions (HELE) coal plants could make a “significant” contribution to cutting emissions and helping meet global energy demand. Increasing the average efficiency of coal-fired power stations globally from the current level of 33% to 40% can be done with technology that is currently available, according to the WCA ... read more »

Infrastructure Act will get Britain building

13 February 2015 - Energy price cuts need to be bigger and take effect now says Citizens Advice Households are losing an estimated £47 million in total because cuts to energy bills are delayed by up to three months. New analysis from Citizens Advice highlights how small and delayed price reductions made by the largest energy suppliers in the last few weeks will do little to help people afford to heat their homes over the winter months. Today, Wednesday 11th February, EDF’s 1.3% price cut comes into for ... read more »

The Renewables Obligation (RO) buy-out price and mutualisation ceilings 2015-16

13 February 2015 - The buy-out price for the 2015-16 obligation period is £44.33 per Renewables Obligation Certificate (ROC). This is the amount suppliers will need to pay for each ROC they do not present towards compliance with their 2015-16 obligation. The mutualisation ceilings for the 2015-16 are £267,035,558.91 in England and Wales and £26,703,555.88 in Scotland (mutualisation does not apply in Northern Ireland). Mutualisation will be triggered in the unlikely event of a relevant shortfall1 ... read more »

Changes to the Non-Domestic RHI regulations (February 2015)

13 February 2015 - On 12 February 2015, the government introduced a number of changes to the RHI Regulations. We have provided further detail on our operational approach to these changes in our Guidance, including Guidance Volumes 1 and 2 and other relevant publications including Easy Guides. These updated Guidance documents are now live on our website. The changes are summarised below: Overground piping: For overground piping, the reference to the standard BS EN ISO 12241:2008 has been removed. The Ofgem Heat Los ... read more »

Ofgem grants licence for £352 million Gwynt y Môr offshore transmission link

13 February 2015 - Transmission link connects world's second largest windfarm to the onshore grid Over £2.2 billion of new transmission investment delivered by the regime to date EIB’s innovative Project Bond Credit Enhancement product helps deliver lower costs for consumers Ofgem today granted Gwynt y Môr OFTO plc a licence to own and operate the £352 million transmission link to the Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm. Competitive tendering for ownership of the assets has driven down ... read more »

Consultation on Capacity Market supplementary design proposals and changes to the rules

13 February 2015 - Read the main document here Source: DECC Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

E.ON kickstarts its turbine project

12 February 2015 - Energy giant E.ON has sucessfully installed its first 80 turbines in the North Sea off the coast of Germany. The Amrumbank West offshore project installed the turbines 35 kilometres to the north of the island of Helgoland. With a total capacity of 288MW the wind farm can supply electricity to as many as 300,000 households, the company said. The turbines are being prepared for operation and will soon feed electricity into grid, said Project Manager Dominik Schwegmann. Source: Energy Live News Fol ... read more »

EDF Energy sees 25% fall in UK profits

12 February 2015 - EDF Energy has reported a 25% fall in annual profits at its UK operations. The French-owned company said it made pre-tax profits of £649 million in the UK last year compared to £863 million in 2013, “reflecting challenging market conditions”. The figure includes a one-off charge of £136 million relating to the fall in value of gas generating and storage assets, it added. The Big Six firm’s earnings in Britain fell after it suffered unplanned outages at its Hey ... read more »

Display Energy Certificates: current regime and how it could be streamlined and improved

12 February 2015 - Read the main document here Source: DCLG Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Government proposal to scrap energy ratings for over 50,000 public buildings “beggars belief”

12 February 2015 - The Government has announced proposals which could see Display Energy Certificates (DECs) for 54,000 public buildings in England and Wales abolished. In a consultation published today, the Department for Communities and Local Government said it was considering “removing the legal requirement” for DECs in public buildings such as town halls, swimming pools and schools. John Alker, Acting Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, said: “Any suggestion of scrapping DECs fo ... read more »

Offtaker of Last Resort (OLR): Upcoming determination of mandatory suppliers for the first OLR year

12 February 2015 - In autumn 2014 the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) finalised the provisions for Offtaker of Last Resort (OLR). As administrators, we must determine which licensed electricity suppliers are to be mandatory licensed suppliers for the OLR in any given OLR year. This letter sets out: what an OLR mandatory licensed supplier is the timetable for determinations how we intend to determine mandatory suppliers for the first OLR year. It also requests contact details from each supplier to ma ... read more »

Utility Regulator welcomes lower electricity bills for domestic and small business consumers

12 February 2015 - The Utility Regulator today welcomed the 9.2% decrease in Power NI’s regulated electricity tariffs. Commenting on the announcement by Power NI, Utility Regulator Chief Executive, Jenny Pyper said: “The Utility Regulator continues to regulate the prices Power NI can charge to domestic and small business consumers*. Today’s announcement is one of the biggest decreases to date by any electricity supplier in either the UK or RoI. I am delighted that domestic and small business cons ... read more »

Feed-in frenzy: How a wind farm subsidy loophole is short-changing billpayers and damaging Britain's clean energy market

11 February 2015 - This paper exposes a loophole in the feed-in tariff scheme for onshore wind farms. The scheme is designed to support small-scale providers, but the practice of under-reporting or 'derating' turbines' generating capacity to earn a higher subsidy is costing the taxpayer dearly and undermining the competitiveness of Britain's clean energy sector. The role of onshore wind energy in meeting Britain’s future energy needs is deeply contentious, with both the Conservative party and ... read more »

Three more water companies accept Ofwat price controls

11 February 2015 - The three water companies each told Utility Week that they will join the majority of the sector in accepting the final determinations from the regulator ahead of the 12 February deadline. “We have looked at this carefully and on balance we have decided that it is in our customers’ best interests to focus on delivering the required performance for the period 2015-20,"South East Water said. Meanwhile, Southern Water said it will not make an announcement until Thursday (12 February ... read more »

UK must cut water use to avoid water bill rise, warns Green Alliance

11 February 2015 - The research warns recent reductions to water bills may be counteracted by mounting costs of dealing with long-term water shortages, with water companies forced to build expensive infrastructure in response to increasing pressure on water supply. Green Alliance recommends combining water efficiency with existing energy efficiency programmes, such as the Green Deal and ECO, and calls for better use of the consumer water label. Sue Armstrong Brown, policy director of Green Alliance, said: “T ... read more »

Renewable UK statement on IPPR report on de-rating onshore wind turbines

11 February 2015 - RenewableUK has drawn them to the attention of Government and regulators so that we can work together to find solutions. As the independent regulator, Ofgem oversees the system to ensure compliance. "De-rating is a complex issue - for example, it may be necessary because of limits in the capacity of the grid to cope with the amount of electricity that's being generated, or because a site where the wind is lower needs a turbine with longer blades to make the best use of it. The IPPR repo ... read more »

Decision on moving to reliable next-day switching

11 February 2015 - Ofgem has expressed it is willigness for consumers being able to reliably switch supplier the next day. Ofgem believes that this should be achieved by replacing the existing network run gas and electricity switching services with a new centralised switching service, run by the Data and Communications Company (DCC). Ofgem proposes to lead a programme of work to deliver these policy proposals for consumers by 2019. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Moving to reliable next-day switching: Consultation on Target Operating Model and Delivery Approach

11 February 2015 - Ofgem want consumers to be able to reliably switch supplier the next day. Ofgem believes that this should be achieved by replacing the existing network run gas and electricity switching services with a new centralised switching service, run by the Data and Communications Company (DCC). Ofgem propose to lead a programme of work to deliver these policy proposals for consumers by 2019. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

IEA report sees a transformed market, with supply more responsive to prices than in the past – and demand less so

11 February 2015 - The recent crash in oil prices will cause the oil market to rebalance in ways that challenge traditional thinking about the responsiveness of supply and demand, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its annual Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR) released today. The US light, tight oil (LTO) revolution has made non-OPEC production more responsive to price swings than during previous market selloffs, the report said, adding that this would likely set the stage for a relatively swift reco ... read more »

Annual market grows by 44%, passes 50 GW for the first time

11 February 2015 - After a slowdown in 2013, the wind industry set a new record for annual installations in 2014. Globally, 51,477 MW of new wind generating capacity was added in 2014 according to the global wind market statistics released today by the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). The record-setting figure represents a 44% increase in the annual market, and is a solid sign of the recovery of the industry after a rough patch in the past few years. Total cumulative installations stand at 369,553 MW at the end ... read more »

Can the UK oil & gas industry find opportunities in adversity?

11 February 2015 - UK oil and gas industry faces risk of an economic triple whammy Sustainable cost reduction strategy can make them fit for $50… and the future Biggest challenge is to halt knee jerk panic, turning negatives into positives for the long term benefit of the wider industry According to a new PwC report, the UK oil and gas industry would have been in a much better place to weather the oil price maelstrom had it heeded 30-40% cost reduction warnings 12-18 months ago. But it also states that thos ... read more »

Cardiff is oh so energy savvy

11 February 2015 - People from Cardiff are amongst the most energy savvy in Britain. That’s according to new research by British Gas who said over half the people surveyed in the Welsh capital, try to save on energy at home. A staggering 87% said they would change their energy habits if it meant saving money on their bills and 37% said they would like energy saving to become a priority at home. The good folk of Cardiff also seem clued in on smart metering with a third saying they knew what a smart meter was ... read more »

Ecotricity backs 'Green Labour'

10 February 2015 - Britain’s leading green energy company, Ecotricity, is donating £250,000 to the Labour Party’s election campaign. Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: “We’re putting our money where our hearts are – and that’s the care of the environment. We’ve watched the coalition government systematically undermine not just the renewable energy industry in Britain but the whole green economy and by de facto – efforts to combat climate change. We feel compel ... read more »

Sutton and East Surrey accepts Ofwat price controls

10 February 2015 - Late on Monday the water company said “following careful consideration” it would accept the plans which will see its customers’ average water bill fall by three per cent from the current £186 per year to £180 a year by 2019/20. The UK’s water companies have until Thursday 12 February to accept Ofwat’s controls or request a referral to the Competition and Markets Authority to review Ofwat’s determinations. So far Thames Water, South Staffs Water, Af ... read more »

Hinkley Point nuclear deal delayed until October: reports

10 February 2015 - Late last month energy secretary Ed Davey said a final investment decision on the £16 billion nuclear power station is expected within “weeks, or months”. But a report from The Times this weekend suggests that a deal can only be expected by September or October. The report says the Chinese companies are refusing to invest unless the French government promises to bail out reactor developer Areva, if necessary, and cover cost overruns. The article claims the French government wil ... read more »

GDHIF release 1 vouchers to be extended to 31 March 2015

10 February 2015 - Late on Monday the water company said “following careful consideration” it would accept the plans which will DECC is extending vouchers from the first release of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) until Tuesday 31 March 2015, allowing more time for millions of pounds worth of installations to be carried out. The one-off voucher extension applies to GDHIF vouchers that have an expiry date before 31 March and have not yet been redeemed – affecting around 3,900 voucher h ... read more »

Decision on extending the smart meter framework for data access and privacy to Remote Access Meters

10 February 2015 - On 29 August 2014 Ofgem consulted on proposals to extend the supply licence smart meter rules to ensure that domestic and micro business consumers with Remote Access Meters have the same control of their energy consumption data as consumers with smart meters. Ofgem have reviewed the consultation responses. This document sets out our final decision. Ofgem have decided that consumers’ interests will be best served by: extending the supplier obligations, in full, for suppliers to domestic con ... read more »

Call for Evidence: Tackling NonFinancial Barriers to Gas CHP

10 February 2015 - Read DECC main document here Source: DECC Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Industry body warns over future of onshore wind as election nears

10 February 2015 - The UK’s onshore wind industry could have an uncertain future depending on the outcome of May’s General Election, according to a green energy trade body. RenewableUK warned that the future of onshore wind had become a “touchstone” issue in the House of Commons. The organisation pointed to the Department of Energy & Climate Change’s (DECC’s) own polling data, which shows 68% of the public support wind power. But the body highlighted the political stance tow ... read more »

Essential supplies to be guaranteed during business rescue

10 February 2015 - Business Minister Jo Swinson has announced that the Government is proceeding with plans to secure continuation of essential IT and utility supplies to failing but viable businesses while they are being rescued, following consultation. Under proposals laid in Parliament today, essential suppliers of IT, water, gas, electricity and communications services will be prevented from cutting off supply or charging premium rates while insolvency practitioners seek a viable solution to rescue a business. ... read more »

Review of the non-domestic gas metering market in Great Britain

09 February 2015 - This is an open letter announcing the launch of a review of the market for gas metering products and services in respect of non-domestic gas customers in Great Britain. These products and services include provision and management of meters and provision of advanced metering equipment and services. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Environment Agency grants shale gas permit for Roseacre Wood

09 February 2015 - The Environment Agency has today (6 February) granted the environmental permits Cuadrilla need to carry out operations safely at their proposed shale gas exploration site at Roseacre Wood near Elswick in Lancashire. The permits set out the requirements Cuadrilla must meet to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and to ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of wastes. The Environment Agency has carried out a thorough assessment of Cuadrilla’s applications and carried ... read more »

Keystone XL Pipeline “could increase carbon emissions”

09 February 2015 - The Keystone XL Pipeline could emit more carbon emission (CO2) because of the drop in oil prices. In a letter to the International Energy Affairs department, the Environmental Protection Agency said the proposed pipeline would emit up to 27.4 million metric tonnes more of CO2 every year. That’s equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 5.7 million cars or building eight new coal-fired power stations. The letter said while the project will be driven by long-term oil prices, the ... read more »

Oilfield giant ‘to cut 8,000 jobs

09 February 2015 - One of the world’s biggest oilfield service companies reportedly plans to lay off 8,000 employees. Reports claim Weatherford International is trying to reduce costs amid lower oil prices and budget cuts. There have been speculation that while most of the company’s US operations will be affected, jobs in Aberdeen would also be reduced. The company has been quoted as saying: “Due to the quickly changing market conditions, we are aligning and reducing our cost as well as organisat ... read more »

Thames Water accepts Ofwat’s final determination

09 February 2015 - The company was one of three significant outliers during the price review process, alongside United Utilities and Bristol Water, which were collectively asked to cut back their bsuiness plans by £1.3 billion and were considered the most likely to reject Ofwat's controls. Although United Utilities accepted the final determination from Ofwat, Bristol Water has rejected the price control and the case is set to be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In its draft determ ... read more »

UK Government must act now on North Sea

09 February 2015 - The SNP is today calling on the UK Government to bring forward immediate support for the North Sea oil industry – after Sir Ian Wood warned that 6bn barrels of oil reserves could be abandoned without reform of the tax regime for offshore drilling. The Scottish Government has proposed three key measures to support the industry - an investment allowance to provide support for fields that incur higher costs to develop, an immediate reversal of the increase in the Supplementary Charge implemen ... read more »

Utility Regulator publishes its conclusions on introducing entry charges for Gas

09 February 2015 - The Utility Regulator today published its conclusions on the introduction of entry charges into the Northern Ireland postalised regime for gas. The conclusions reflect the changes necessary to implement European Network Code requirements under the European Gas Regulation. The paper explains the conclusions taken following consideration of the responses received to the consultation paper which was published on 16th October 2014. The responses to the consultation are available below. Copies of all ... read more »

New record in worldwde wind installation

09 February 2015 - More than 50 GW Additional Wind Power Capacity, Wind Power Worldwide Close to 370 GW Bonn, 5 February 2015 (WWEA) – According to preliminary figures gathered by WWEA, the year 2014 brought a new record in wind power installations: More than 50 Gigawatt of capacity were added during the year 2014, bringing the total wind power capacity close to 370 Gigawatt. The market volume for new wind capacity was 40 % bigger than in 2013, and significantly bigger than in the previous record year 2012, ... read more »

Project Nexus – Strengthening project governance, management and assurance

09 February 2015 - The UK Link system, operated by Xoserve for energy settlements, supply point administration and other functions for the GB gas market, is scheduled to be replaced. Project Nexus aims to ensure that the replacement systems meet the current and anticipated requirements of market participants. The new systems are due to be implemented on 1 October 2015. Given the importance of Project Nexus, we expect all parties to make every effort to meet the 1 October implementation date. However, we have recei ... read more »

£20 million fund to keep homes warm

06 February 2015 - Major investment to tackle fuel poverty. An additional £20 million will be invested to cut fuel poverty and improve the energy efficiency of Scotland’s housing, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil confirmed today. £6 million is earmarked for home energy efficiency programmes that will support measures such as solid wall, cavity or loft insulation. An additional £14 million will be invested in low cost home energy efficiency loans available to households in the private sect ... read more »

B Team Leaders Call for Net-Zero Greenhouse-Gas Emissions by 2050

06 February 2015 - Today, Leaders of The B Team running some of the world’s largest companies, called upon world leaders to commit to a global goal of net-zero greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 – and urged business leaders to match this ambition by committing to bold long-term targets. The B Team’s ambition builds on recent talks at the COP20 climate summit in Lima, and is grounded on an assessment of the latest scientific research, business risks and the economic costs of failing to keep wi ... read more »

Renters and landlords to enjoy warmer properties and cheaper bills

06 February 2015 - Up to 1 million tenants renting from a private landlord can look forward to warmer homes that cost less to heat, under new government plans. This is welcome news for tenants, especially low-income and vulnerable households, many of whom are paying over the odds to heat their homes. From April 2018, landlords will be required by law to get their leakiest properties to an energy efficiency rating of at least Band “E”. Estimates suggest that on average the difference in a heating bill f ... read more »

Planners agree more time for shale gas decisions

06 February 2015 - Lancashire County Council has agreed with Cuadrilla to extend the time allowed to decide the planning applications for shale gas development to 30 April 2015 to allow for consultation on new information mainly relating to noise and traffic. The county council's Development Control Committee decided last week to defer decisions on applications by Cuadrilla to develop two sites in Lancashire after the company asked them to consider new proposals to reduce the impact of noise and traffic. The a ... read more »

Modifications to special conditions of the electricity distribution licences held by WPD licensees to incorporate DPCR5 closeout provisions

06 February 2015 - In May 2014 we amended the special conditions (Charge Restriction Conditions) of the electricity distribution licences held by the four licensees owned by Western Power Distribution plc (WPD) for RIIO-ED1. We are now making further changes in order to incorporate provisions for the closeout of DPCR5 schemes. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Channel Energy Limited - Notice of Revocation of an Electricity Generation Licence

06 February 2015 - Read the main document here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

ONS to measure UK ‘green economy’

06 February 2015 - How many UK businesses are involved in the production of low carbon and renewable energy and how much does the sector contribute to the economy as a whole? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is launching a major new survey that will assess the value of the ‘green economy’. The Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Economic Survey is part of ONS’s work to value areas of the economy not captured by traditional indicators. Its findings can help to inform policies on jobs, growth a ... read more »

DONG Energy takes full control of Hornsea Project One offshore wind farm

05 February 2015 - DONG Energy has today (4th February 2015) acquired the remaining 66.66% in the UK offshore wind development Hornsea Project One, taking full control of the project. Hornsea Project One has a total capacity of up to 1.2GW, which will make it the world's largest offshore wind farm once completed. Hornsea Project One is located 120km off the Yorkshire coast and covers approximately 407 square kilometres. When completed, Hornsea Project One will be able to meet the electricity needs of around 80 ... read more »

Councils struggle to identify leaky homes

05 February 2015 - A study by Energy Saving Trust (EST) indicates that housing managers lack the data required to develop retrofit strategies and bids for funding programmes such as ECO, Green Deal and EU Funds. EST undertook the study because councils are often identified as the organisations to take the lead in helping householders that live in hard-to-heat homes. Most political parties have indicated that ‘local delivery’ of energy efficiency schemes will be one of their election pledges. EST will s ... read more »

Decision on Data Assurance Guidance and licence changes

05 February 2015 - Ofgem makes its decision following the statutory consultation on proposed new data assurance requirements for electricity transmission, gas transmission, and gas distribution companies. The requirements are set out in the Data Assurance Guidance (DAG) including associated reporting templates. Ofgem are also publishing our decision on proposed modifications to the electricity transmission and gas transporter (transmission and distribution) licences, to enable us to require the companies to provid ... read more »

Enabling EU Compliant Interconnection Agreements

05 February 2015 - Find the EU Compliant Interconnection Agreements, European Modifications and Harmonisation of Reference Conditions at Interconnection Points here Source: Joint Office Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Sir David Bell: efficiency is crucial for serving universities’ core mission

05 February 2015 - As we anticipate the publication of the efficiency review, vice chancellor Sir David Bell explains to Rosie Niven that a university’s core mission is learning and research, and that efficiency is never an end in itself. As someone who has worked at senior levels in central and local government as well as higher education, Sir David is no stranger to public sector efficiency programmes. Prior to joining the University of Reading as vice-chancellor, Sir David was permanent secretary at the D ... read more »

Could biomass energy help us to reach our 2050 targets?

05 February 2015 - Biomass energy could be a big player in getting the UK to reach its 2050 climate change targets. That’s according to a recent paper that claims biomass heating could be a long-term, low-carbon heating solution and it should be supported more by the Government. Biomass heating systems burn wood pellets, chips or logs to provide warmth to a single room or to power central heating and hot water boilers. The level of which the energy source could be deployed is uncertain because of a number of ... read more »

Commission launches work on Energy Union

05 February 2015 - The Commission today launched work on the Energy Union; a fundamental step towards the completion of single energy market and reforming how Europe produces, transports and consumes energy. The Energy Union with a Forward-looking Climate Change Policy is one of the key political priorities of the Juncker Commission. After more than 60 years from the founding of the Coal and Steel Community, the Commission today drew a plan for reorganising European energy policies and kicked off work for European ... read more »

Organisations benefit from UK’s first ever auction to reduce demand on electricity

05 February 2015 - Overall, the pilot auction will help reduce demand by at least 1,855,548 kWh across the country during the winter peak, which is equivalent to making over 37 million cups of tea (i) - one for every person in Great Britain over the age of 35! (ii) Organisations will reduce their demand in a number of ways, for example by changing their light bulbs to LED bulbs. A list of the successful organisations with the minimum amount of capacity they were offered contracts to save is at the bottom of this n ... read more »

Second UK workplace wins low carbon standard

05 February 2015 - An organisation that supplies high-technology systems to customers in the oil and gas sector has been awarded a standard for being energy efficient. KONGSBERG’s offices in Guilford, Surrey has become the second recipient of the Carbon Trust’s ‘Low Carbon Workplace Standard’. Located in a 160-year old former printing press, the office has installed a range of energy efficient technologies, including one that provides efficient heating, cooling and ventilation as well as a ... read more »

iGT066 - Aligning UNC with Licence conditions relating to European legislative change and Alternative Modification Proposals

05 February 2015 - This Modification was raised by ESP on 8th July 2014 and was considered by the Modification Panel on 16th July 2014. The Panel agreed that the Modification should proceed to development by workgroup. The first workgroup is to be convened as part of the iGT Shipper Work Group meeting on 11th August 2014. An amended version of the Modification was circulated on 5th August 2014, and again on 7th October 2014, with Workgroup Report and proposed Legal Text, to be considered at the Modification Panel ... read more »

RIIO-ED1: Modifications to the standard conditions of the electricity distribution licences

05 February 2015 - In May 2014 Ofgem made changes to some of the standard licence conditions (SLCs) of the electricity distribution licence for RIIO-ED1. Ofgem are now amending the remaining SLCs which could not be finalised in May 2014. The Standard Licence Conditions will come into force on 1 April 2015 and apply to all holders of an electricity distribution licence. Source:Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Energy-saving auction: DECC awards ONLY £1.28m

04 February 2015 - DECC has awarded only £1.28 million from a £10 million pot it had offered as part of an energy-saving initiative. The first auction for the Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) scheme, which provides financial support for projects that cut demand at peak times, was held last week. The £1.28 million fund has been offered to 18 organisations with 22 projects – a majority of which include switching to energy efficient LEDs – “subject to signing a Participant Agreem ... read more »

BP Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2014 Results

04 February 2015 - BP today reported its results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2014. Underlying replacement cost profit1 for the fourth quarter was $2.2 billion compared with $2.8 billion for the same period in 2013. Full year underlying replacement cost profit was $12.1 billion compared with $13.4 billion reported for 2013. BP took a $3.6 billion post-tax net charge for non-operating items in the quarter, mainly relating to impairments of Upstream assets reflecting the impact of the near-term lower oil pri ... read more »

Sizewell B safe to operate for another 10 years

04 February 2015 - The UK’s nuclear power stations have to renew their license to operate every 10 years and Sizewell B has received the regulator’s approval for continued safe operation. The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has approved the Periodic Safety Review of the safety case for Sizewell B. This allows the UK’s only Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) to operate for a further 10 years. The industry regulator confirmed Sizewell B meets its safety case to continue delivering low carbon power ... read more »

Energy companies must answer over prices

04 February 2015 - The Scottish National party has said energy companies must answer over prices following a Which? report which shows bills could have been slashed further and sooner than the recent round of cuts, costing consumers a massive £2.9 billion over the last year. The UK has seen the highest increase in domestic electricity and gas prices in the EU both excluding and including taxes, between 2011 and 2014. Commenting, SNP energy spokesperson Mike Weir MP said: “The analysis by Which? shows t ... read more »

Energy efficiency support for fuel poor plummets 80%

04 February 2015 - 80% decrease in help to make cold homes more energy efficient 4 million poor families left out in the cold with no support in next decade Energy Bill Revolution demands that the next Government makes home energy efficiency the UK’s priority infrastructure spending priority Inefficient and unambitious Government programmes have resulted in a dramatic 80% decrease in help available for those with freezing homes. Fuel poor households will be some of the worst hit, with the number of major ene ... read more »

Utility Regulator decision on AGU - DSU licensing arrangements

04 February 2015 - The Utility Regulator today publishes its decision on Aggregated Generator Unit (AGU) and Demand Side Unit (DSU) licensing arrangements. An AGU refers to a collection of generators, who each have a capacity of no greater than 10MW, and each of which are either: - on generation sites covered by more than one connection agreement; or - where one or more of those generator sites which does not have a connection agreement and are not located on contiguous sites. A DSU is a demand site (typically a m ... read more »

“Flying start" to 2015 for wind power in Scotland

04 February 2015 - January got 2015 off to a “flying start” when it came to wind power output in Scotland new figures published today (Wednesday 4 February) reveal. Analysis by WWF Scotland of data provided by WeatherEnergy found that for the month of January: • Wind turbines alone provided an estimated 1,307,629MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough to supply, on average, the electrical needs of 146% of Scottish households (3.5 million homes) - This represents an increase of 27% compared ... read more »

Business Minister announces new £50m fund for UK waste infrastructure during visit to new advanced-technology waste-to-energy plant in Birmingham

03 February 2015 - Business Minister, Matthew Hancock MP, announces £50m investment from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) in a new fund targeting smaller-scale, innovative, recycling and waste projects across the UK. Minister launches new fund at £47m Birmingham BioPower plant – a beneficiary of GIB funding – currently under construction in Tyseley, Birmingham. The Birmingham BioPower project is supporting more than 100 engineering, construction and project management jobs, and will creat ... read more »

National Grid Gas Transportation Transmission Planning Code

03 February 2015 - The Transmission Planning Code describes National Grid's approach to planning and developing the NTS in accordance with its duties as a gas transporter and other statutory obligations relating to safety and environmental matters. The statement is prepared in accordance with the obligations placed on National Grid by Special Condition 7B of its Gas Transporters Licence in respect of the NTS. This licence condition requires National Grid to prepare and consult on a Transmission Planning Code, ... read more »

Energy suppliers 'overcharged' customers by not cutting bills sooner, says Which?

03 February 2015 - Which? executive director Richard Lloyd says the report places a “massive question mark” over how suppliers have been setting prices over the last two years. He said: “While the competition inquiry should establish beyond doubt whether the price people are paying today is right, consumers will now look to politicians of every party to set out how they’ll deliver fair and affordable energy prices in the future.” Which? calculates that the failure of energy retailers ... read more »

DECC Public Attitudes Tracker Analysis

03 February 2015 - DECC set up a tracking survey in early 2012 to understand and monitor public attitudes to the Department’s main business priorities. The survey runs four times a year and consists of one longer, annual survey and three shorter, quarterly surveys which focus on a subset of questions where we think attitudes might shift quickly or be affected by seasonal changes. This summary note presents headline findings from the twelfth quarterly wave of the survey. This wave of data was collected betwee ... read more »

Modification to Special Condition 3I (The Network Innovation Competition) in National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc’s electricity transmission licence

03 February 2015 - Modification notice amending Special Condition 3I (The Network Innovation Competition) in National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc’s electricity transmission licence. Read the main document here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Ofgem Licences Granted notices

03 February 2015 - These are notices of Ofgem decision to grant gas or electricity licences, and extension or restriction of licences. Find all the notices here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Uniform Network Code (UNC) Modification 0489: EU Gas Balancing Code

03 February 2015 - Ofgem says " this decision document has two purposes. First, it sets out our decision on UNC489. This is done in the first part of the decision document. Second, it provides notice of our decision to designate National Grid Gas plc (NGG plc)3 as the forecasting party for Great Britain’s (GB’s) balancing zone (as required by the Network Code on Gas Balancing of Transmission Networks4 (BAL)). This is set out in the last part of the decision document". Read the main document h ... read more »

Record-breaking January for wind energy

03 February 2015 - New official figures from National Grid for January show that wind energy broke new records for weekly, monthly and half-hourly generation, highlighting the central role wind now plays in our energy mix. January was the most productive month ever for wind energy, providing 14% of Britain’s electricity (4.13 terawatt hours) - enough to power the equivalent of 8.7 million UK homes. The weekly record was also broken in January with 1.119 gigawatt hours generated, and the half-hourly record wa ... read more »

EU market reform to quadruple carbon price within 15 years

02 February 2015 - The prevailing €7/mt market rate for emitting carbon offers little market incentive to decarbonize but plans to remove a 900 million allowance glut, currently weighing on pricing levels, through a market stability reserve from 2018 could help give a clearer price signal. Anaylsts at Thomson Reuters’ Point Carbon team expect the carbon price will rise gradually from now on as a result of the assumed market reform which is currently being debated by policy makers in Brussels. “The ... read more »

Good Energy to cut both gas and power bills from April

02 February 2015 - The cuts of 3.2 per cent from its gas tariff and 2.1 per cent from its electricity offering follows similar cuts offered by big six and rival independent suppliers on their standard gas tariffs following almost a year of steadily falling wholesale prices which have helped reduce company costs. But unlike other suppliers Good Energy said it will bring down the price for electricity as well as for gas. Good Energy said that its dual fuel customers will save an average of £33 per year compare ... read more »

National Grid notice of Gas Transmission Transportation Charges

02 February 2015 - National Grid notice of Gas Transmission Transportation Charges Effective from 1 April 2015. Read the full document here Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Confidence Code review - January 2015 policy decision

02 February 2015 - In 2013 Ofgem took over responsibility for the Confidence Code, a voluntary code of practice for domestic energy price comparison sites, from Consumer Focus. The Code insists that its members follow key principles, providing reassurance to consumers about the independence, transparency, accuracy, and reliability of the service. Ofgem have reviewed the Code’s requirements and in August 2014 we consulted on a package of changes to strengthen the protections it provides consumers and to refle ... read more »

Gas Transmission Charging Review: Part II - Ofgem assessment of potential impacts

02 February 2015 - On 12 December 2014 Ofgem published our policy position on Great Britain’s (GB) gas transmission entry charging regime, proposing two key changes: 1. introducing 'fully-floating' capacity charges for long-term capacity products; and 2. changing the charging arrangements for short-term capacity products. Ofgem's December document set out our policy proposals in full, together with the reasons why we think they would improve the current charging regime. Publishing our policy posi ... read more »

Carbon price to average €13/t in next five years on expected market reform

02 February 2015 - The level of ambition so far demonstrated by EU lawmakers will likely lead the EU carbon price to an average of €13/t between 2015 and 2020 and an average of €24/t from 2021 to 2030, according to the Point Carbon team at Thomson Reuters. Read the main document here Source: Thomson Reuters Follow TEC on Twitterand LinkedIn ... read more »

Oil and Gas Summit

02 February 2015 - Joint meeting with oil and gas industry leaders. The oil and gas industry will continue to be an enormous asset to Scotland for many years to come – but urgently needs action on its tax regime in order to protect jobs and investment in the short term, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said. Speaking ahead of the Oil and Gas Summit in Aberdeen where the Scottish Government will meet with the UK Government, industry leaders and trade unions, the First Minister said: “Energy is an area ... read more »

Irish marine renewable energy sector ‘could be worth €9 billion’ says Minister Alex White

02 February 2015 - Minister White said Ireland had the potential to become the international focal point of the international marine renewable industry. He was in Ringaskiddy to perform the ‘topping out’ ceremony at the UCC Beaufort Building, which will be the hub of the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI)from summer 2015. With up to 135 researchers, the Beaufort laboratory will house the world’s largest group of marine renewable energy researchers. Minister White said: “Ireland has a l ... read more »

Business Stream names new chief executive

02 February 2015 - Business Stream has named its new chief executive as Johanna Dow. She replaces on a full time basis former chief executive Mark Powles who stood down in October last year, after filling the role on an interim basis since then. Dow has been with the company since its creation in 2007. The company says the appointment of Dow has been made as the business prepares for the opening of the non-domestic retail market in England in 2017. Business Stream chairman Ronnie Mercer said: “No-one knows B ... read more »

Troubled outlook for the UK Oil and Gas Industry

02 February 2015 - Oil & Gas UK’s Business Sentiment Index published today (2 February) reveals that in the fourth quarter of 2014 optimism in the oil and gas industry fell dramatically, dropping 16 points to -23 points on a -50/+50 scale. The decline continues the downward trend seen over the last seven quarters and the overall index has slumped further into negative territory for the second quarter in a row. Oonagh Werngren, Oil & Gas UK’s operations director, said: “Unsurprisingly figu ... read more »

Energy price comparison websites give evidence

30 January 2015 - The Energy and Climate Change Committee will hold a one-off evidence session on energy price comparison websites next Tuesday. The Committee will looking at: The role of energy price comparison websites and how they operate. Transparency of commission received for different energy plans. Consumer trust in energy price comparison websites. Arrangements for oversight of these websites, for example through the ‘Confidence Code’, a Code of Practice that governs independent energy price c ... read more »

Key hires made to drive new Severn Trent strategy

30 January 2015 - Severn Trent Water has made two new leadership appointments in order to drive a “greater customer and commercial focus”, the company said. The water company has hired Sarah Bentley to join as chief customer officer and Helen Miles to take up the role of new group commercial officer. Bentley will take charge of customer care, group technology and business transformation, which are three areas the company consider “inextricably linked” as part of satisfying customer behavio ... read more »

Yeo: ‘politicians must be honest - they can’t control energy bills’

30 January 2015 - There is little politicians can do about the cost of household energy bills and they should be bold enough to be honest and admit it, Tim Yeo has warned. The chair of the Commons energy and climate change committee said that there is “a very limited amount” that parliamentarians can do to stop energy providers from raising consumer bills because “the biggest components are outside the control of any government, as the biggest component is the wholesale price of gas”. Spea ... read more »

Fracking amendments “were already government policy", says Truss

30 January 2015 - Labour succeeded on Monday evening to get a total of 13 amendments added to the Infrastructure Bill to “tighten up” the regulations on fracking, including making water companies statutory consultees and banning fracking from taking place in groundwater protection zones. However, in a debate on Thursday morning in the House of Commons, environment secretary Liz Truss said: “The majority of the proposals the government accepted were already government policy”. She added tha ... read more »

Profit estimate makes inadequacy of price cuts clear

30 January 2015 - Profit estimate makes inadequacy of price cuts clear Citizens Advice has said today that recent price cuts are clearly inadequate and major suppliers must deliver further and deeper reductions. Ofgem’s Supply Market Indicator, an estimate of energy firm profit margins for the next 12 months, has anticipated an increase on average to £114, up £9 from November 2014 and £37 year on year. Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “The inadequacy of recent e ... read more »

Supply Market Indicator for January 2015

30 January 2015 - Today Ofgem has published its latest Supply Market Indicator (SMI). The SMI is published on the last Thursday of each month. The SMI is a 12-month forward look at cost trends in the domestic energy market. It looks at the average annual household bill and estimates the annual cost per customer faced by a typical large supplier to deliver gas and electricity. Ofgem’s goal in producing the SMI is to make the relationship between the costs faced by energy suppliers and household consumer bill ... read more »

Offshore wind installations stabilise in 2014 following record figures the previous year

30 January 2015 - In 2014, 408 new offshore turbines were fully grid connected, adding 1,483 MW to the European system. The total installed capacity for Europe now stands at 8,045MW in 74 offshore wind farms in 11 European countries. Justin Wilkes, deputy chief executive officer of the European Wind Energy Association, said: "It is not surprising that we see a levelling-off of installations in 2014 following a record year in 2013. The industry has seen exponential growth in the early part of this decade and ... read more »

Energy trends and prices statistical release: 29 January 2015

30 January 2015 - The latest provisional monthly energy statistics produced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change were released on 29 January 2015 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority. Highlights for the 3 month period September 2014 to November 2014, compared to the same period a year earlier include: Petrol and diesel prices down sharply, reflecting lower crude oil price. Primary energy consumption in the UK fell by 7.5%, on a temperature adjusted basis it fell by 5.6%. ... read more »

Lancashire council defers Cuadrilla fracking decision

29 January 2015 - A decision on whether to allow Cuadrilla to frack in Lancashire has been delayed by county councillors following the company’s plea earlier this month. The fracking firm had submitted applications to explore for shale gas at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. Lancashire County Council planners had previously recommended rejecting the application due to concerns over excessive noise and traffic disruption. County Councillor Munsif Dad, Chair of the Development Control Committee said: &ldqu ... read more »

RBS finds a new green idea

29 January 2015 - Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is giving small businesses and companies the chance to test their green energy efforts on 2,500 buildings across the UK. SEaB Energy, which develops waste into energy technologies, is one of a handful of successful companies chosen for the RBS Innovation Gateway trial. The scheme is an opportunity for companies to test new ideas for saving energy, water and waste and help local inventors take their ideas to market. Sandra Sassow, CEO of SEaB Energy said: “Our m ... read more »

EU energy markets must become more flexible said Arias Cañete

29 January 2015 - In recent years the EU's energy sector has seen significant technological change – households and businesses are increasingly able to fine-tune their energy use, electric vehicles are coming on to the market, and the wide-spread uptake of renewable energy is a reality across the continent. "Many developments have come to the fore that a few years ago seemed only a remote possibility," Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, told the Council of ... read more »

RHI - introducing third party ownership models - call for evidence

29 January 2015 - On 28 January 2015 the RHI launched a call for evidence is to seek information and evidence to inform the development of policy to amend regulations to allow additional financing options into the domestic renewable heat incentive (RHI). The precise nature of the policy will depend on the nature of the responses received to this call for evidence, in addition to other inputs from government, industry and other stakeholders. There are also a small number of questions on the non-domestic RHI, seeki ... read more »

National Grid Urges Customers to Stay Safe After Winter Storm

29 January 2015 - After two days of blizzard conditions, which led to significant snowfall, the region is digging out and National Grid is in the process of restoring the remaining customers who were affected by power outages. Overall, relatively few National Grid electric customers experienced service interruptions during the storm with the exception of Nantucket. Yesterday morning the entire island lost power when severe icing conditions knocked out the island’s main substation and damaged several main po ... read more »

UR consults on its proposals for Retail Energy Market Monitoring (REMM)

29 January 2015 - Retail Energy Market Monitoring (REMM) is one of three flagship projects aimed at delivering our strategic approach to energy retail markets and consumer protection. The ultimate objective of REMM is to implement an effective and proportionate enhanced market monitoring framework for the electricity and gas supply sectors in Northern Ireland. This will involve improved data flows between the regulated companies and the UR. The companies will benefit from further clarity around information requir ... read more »

MEPs mull pollution cap for mid-sized power plants

29 January 2015 - EU lawmakers planning to cap pollution from medium-sized power plants must avoid “double regulation”, say MEPs. In a draft report, MEPs on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy welcomed the “important” rule for plugging a “gap” in rules for combustion plants with thermal input between 1 and 50 MW. Air pollution is estimated to lead to more than 400,000 premature deaths per year and health costs of up to €940 billion, according to the Commission. ... read more »

EDF Energy cuts standard gas price by 1.3%

29 January 2015 - EDF Energy’s new standard dual fuel price will be £1,155 a year – cheaper than all but one of the major suppliers and takes effect within days. EDF Energy will write to its vulnerable customers offering support including help to move to a fixed price deal. If falling wholesale gas costs allow further price reductions, these will be passed to customers as soon as possible Today’s cut follows four price reductions in short-term fixed tariffs during 2014. EDF Energy has anno ... read more »

Why didn’t we have two days to fracking talk? MPs ask

28 January 2015 - MPs kicked up a fuss yesterday at the “inadequate” length of time pencilled in to debate new laws for fracking. The government decides the amount of time allocated for debating bills and a window of less than three hours was scheduled for hydraulic fracturing yesterday, before MPs voted against a fracking ban. Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Rhondda complained: “It would have been far better if we had gone through the process properly and had a two-day debate on the important matte ... read more »

Going Further having already been Higher

28 January 2015 - TEC’s partnership with CPC announced this week BIRMINGHAM, West Midlands; January 28, 2015 –The Energy Consortium is pleased to announce its partnership agreement with Crescent Purchasing Consortium. TEC, with a significant member base in the Higher Education sector, provides access to energy supply and support services frameworks. Over £400 million of energy (natural gas and electricity) is spent by members each year with a range of suppliers, either using a flexible, risk man ... read more »

Investment gap is threatening low-carbon energy transition, EURELECTRIC tells policymakers

28 January 2015 - As Europe advances to a decarbonised economy, a new energy landscape is emerging. In 2013, for the second year running, more than half of the electricity generated in Europe came from low-carbon sources. The share of renewable electricity continued to grow: from 24% is 2012 to 27% in 2013. As a result, 2013 also saw a marked decline in CO2 emissions. At the same time, however, investment in renewables substantially declined between 2011 and 2013. These are some of the key findings of a new repor ... read more »

Future Offshore Projects Information

28 January 2015 - This is an open version of a letter we recently sent to offshore developers seeking information about future offshore projects. We would welcome any information developers are able to provide by completing the table (subsidiary document). Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

OVO Energy's 5.8% variable price decrease

28 January 2015 - OVO is today announcing a drop in the price of its Standard Variable Tariff – Simpler – by 5.8% (for dual fuel, 10.4% drop for gas) to reflect falling wholesale costs, resulting in an average saving of £65 per year1. Following the price drop OVO’s price for a dual fuel customer on a Standard Variable Tariff will now be £1,051 (down from £1,116)2 . OVO’s Standard Variable Rate Tariff, Simpler, has been in the top five cheapest variable rate tariffs for th ... read more »

World-leading auctions for low carbon projects to begin in UK

28 January 2015 - The government is making an extra £25 million of funding available in world leading auctions for low carbon support, following high levels of demand for contracts. The auctions, which will start on 29 January, will see only the most competitive projects receive contracts – helping to drive down the cost of renewables support. Projects are set to compete for £325 million in support from new Contracts for Difference (CFD) – an increase of £25 million from the budget p ... read more »

UK confirms fracking ban in ALL national parks

28 January 2015 - The UK Government has confirmed fracking will be banned in all national parks, reversing a policy announced last year. It comes after MPs called for fracking to be banned completely and voted in support of Labour’s 13 new conditions for tighter controls on shale gas exploration earlier this week. A government spokesperson said: “Today we are committing to formalise the safeguards, including a new ban on fracking in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Spec ... read more »

Giving a lift to elevator energy saving

28 January 2015 - When you step through the sliding doors, do you think about how much energy it takes to get you to the top floor? Probably not – and you aren’t alone, suggests a new study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) which says not enough information is about for building owners on the topic. They say more energy-efficient elevators can significantly reduce the costs of operating a building – and call for new standards such as the Energy Star rating for heati ... read more »

Smart meter “extras” to boost business energy saving

28 January 2015 - Smart meters could help businesses become more intelligent with their energy saving – not just with accurate data but because they make using more added extras possible. A new smart metering report commissioned by DECC looked at how different innovative products and services could give customers “actionable advice”. They looked at thing such as: – non-domestic energy switching groups (so-called Power of Attorney services), – automated checks of a building’s id ... read more »

Greener power mix for the UK

28 January 2015 - In 2014 renewable sources of energy rose, while coal generation fell. The levels of generation from renewable plants were up at 16.9%. This is a 2.7% increase on the previous year a new report found. Coal fired power generation fell by 23%. Meanwhile there was a 9% year-on-year drop in the levels of nuclear output, as a result of long term outages at Heysham 1 and Hartlepool nuclear plants. This rise of renewables and the reduced levels of coal-fired generation, meant that carbon emissions were ... read more »

National Grid undertakes Consultations in respect of the C16 Statements

28 January 2015 - On an annual basis, National Grid undertakes Consultations in respect of the C16 Statements. These are carried out in accordance with Special Condition C16 of the Transmission Licence. This page contains the latest Consultation carried out, together with Consultations from previous years which can be found in the archive. Source: National Grid Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Environmental Audit Committee calls for halt to fracking

26 January 2015 - That is the conclusion of MPs on the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee who will attempt to amend the Government’s Infrastructure Bill in Parliament today. Joan Walley MP, chair of the Committee, said: “Ultimately fracking cannot be compatible with our long-term commitments to cut climate changing emissions unless full-scale carbon capture and storage technology is rolled out rapidly, which currently looks unlikely. There are also huge uncertainties around the impact that frac ... read more »

Decision on British Gas Trading Limited request for a temporary derogation

26 January 2015 - This letter sets out the Authority’s decision to grant British Gas Trading Limited a temporary derogation from certain Standard Licence Conditions of its gas supply licence in respect of its Standing Charge Rebate offered to low-consuming vulnerable gas customers. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Revision of publication of the changes in the relevant Gas Transporters’ single supply point

26 January 2015 - Ofgem published the changes in the relevant Gas Transporters’ single supply point charge and Retail Price Index on the 10th December for 2014, however we have since detected an error in the calculation. This letter sets out the revised charges which iGTs will apply to their January billing cycle. Special Condition 1 of the Independent Gas Transporters’ (IGTs) licences sets out the arrangements for determining the maximum charge that licensees may levy on premises subject to the Relat ... read more »

SSE reduces its bills

26 January 2015 - SSE will cut household gas prices in Great Britain, saving customers 4.1% or £28 a year on a typical gas bill*, and is guaranteeing these low prices until at least July 2016. It last reduced household energy prices in March 2014 and this latest price cut means the typical gas bill will be 7% lower than this time last year. It will take effect from 30 April 2015. SSE’s unique freeze on standard household energy prices will be extended until at least 1 July 2016 and covers gas at the n ... read more »

Regulator consults on proposed licence modifications to implement the Energy Efficiency Directive

26 January 2015 - The Utility Regulator today publishes a consultation paper on proposed licence modifications to implement aspects of the Energy Efficiency Directive. The Energy Efficiency Directive (The Directive) establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the EU in order to ensure that the EU achieves its overall target of a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020. The Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment is the lead department for implementing Arti ... read more »

A million warmer homes thanks to ECO deal

26 January 2015 - More than a million homes in Britain have been kept warmer this winter because of a government scheme, it was claimed yesterday. By the end of November 2014, the ECO and Green Deal schemes delivered new boilers, windows and insulation to 1,021,000 homes. The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) gets suppliers to pay for measures in vulnerable and low income households, including rural hard to treat areas, which should keep them warm and “damp-free”. The Green Deal gives up-front loans for ... read more »

Europe needs Energy Union says IBERDROLA boss

26 January 2015 - The boss of Spanish energy firm Iberdrola believes Europe needs the Energy Union make its economy more competitive with other regions. Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos yesterday, Ignacio Galán declared: “Europe needs an Energy Union with a single regulatory body and a common set of rules.” The chief executive of Iberdrola, which owns British supplier ScottishPower, shared his hope that Europe’s new Commission, which has appointed a specific vice-presid ... read more »

Will US-EU trade deal affect EU energy markets?

26 January 2015 - Could a secretive and controversial trade deal between the US and European Union affect European energy markets, the competitiveness of its businesses or its renewable energy sector? That’s the question behind a study commissioned by MEPs on the EU’s energy and trade committee (ITRE) who wanted to know what the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP will mean for the EU. The answer, according to the authors, is that it could “bolster” Europe’s energy ... read more »

Brits get bright with solar panels

26 January 2015 - We’re getting smarter when it comes to greener sources of power in the UK. New government statistics out yesterday show more than 125,000 homes put solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their rooftops last year. Around 700 megawatts (MW) of solar power was also installed on buildings and in ground-mounted solar farms because of the Feed in Tariff scheme (FiT). The FiTs give money back to households and businesses for electricity generated from their renewable sources such as solar. Schools, vi ... read more »

Cuadrilla seeks delay to fracking planning decision

26 January 2015 - Cuadrilla has asked that decisions on its applications to explore for shale gas in Lancashire be delayed. The announcement comes just days after planning officers recommended they should be rejected due to concerns over excessive noise and traffic disruption. Cuadrilla said it would apply a further sound barrier around the major parts of the drilling rigs to reduce night-time noise levels. It claims to have also “agreed in principle with the Ministry of Defence to route all HGV traffic dur ... read more »

Early CfD for biomass plant gets state aid clearance

23 January 2015 - The European Commission has given state aid clearance to the the Investment Contract offered by the UK government to the 299MW Teesside biomass plant. MGT Power’s combined heat and power station was one of eight projects awarded contracts by DECC last year as part of its Final Investment Decision Enabling for Renewables programme. In a statement on Thursday 22 January, the Commission said that the Teesside project would contribute to reaching the EU’s 2020 targets for renewable energ ... read more »

Energy market abuse penalties could start in April

23 January 2015 - New penalties including prison time for rigging wholesale gas and electricity prices could come into force in April, DECC announced yesterday. Last year the Government proposed sanctions to protect consumers from unfair practices and give regulators new powers, including sending people to jail for up to two years. Under the proposals, it would also be a criminal offence to make misleading claims or hide facts about wholesale energy prices. Following a consultation on the proposals, DECC said: &l ... read more »

Ed Davey outlines Lib Dems’ five ‘green’ laws

23 January 2015 - With the General Election just a few months away, Energy Secretary Ed Davey outlined the five laws his party – the Liberal Democrats – is planning to propose for a greener Britain. He told ELN his idea is to go “a bit further than we’ve been able to in the Coalition with our Conservative colleagues”. They proposals are: a Nature Bill, Green Transport Bill, Zero Waste Bill, Green Homes Bill and Zero Carbon Britain Bill. Mr Davey said: “We want a programme for G ... read more »

Fresh trade groups for solar and energy storage

23 January 2015 - The Renewable Energy Association has formed two new trade groups, UK Solar and UK Energy Storage. Until last year, the REA was linked with the Solar Trade Association but they parted ways and with the new group, it seems, will speak more for solar firms itself. REA Chief Executive Dr Nina Skorupska said: “Solar power is one of the first major renewable energy technologies set to compete with traditional energy sources without subsidy. The integration of solar as a major player in the UK en ... read more »

Energy market manipulation to face criminal sanctions

23 January 2015 - DECC confirmed on Thursday 22 January that insider trading and manipulations of the energy market were to face new criminal sanctions. The government consulted on the proposals last August, saying that the measures were necessary to ensure the full implementation of the REMIT regulations. Regulators will be required to produce guidance for market participants regarding the approach to prosecuting the new offences, though the timing for the development of this guidance remains undetermined. The r ... read more »

DECC considers CfD support for tidal lagoon project

23 January 2015 - The department issued a policy paper on Friday 23 January on its proposed approach to negotiating support, through contracts for difference (CfD), for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project in South Wales. The government confirmed in December that it was considering the potential for a programme of tidal lagoon development in the UK. In the paper, DECC said it did not believe that a competitive process for the project was, at present, feasible, and that a bilateral approach for a CfD was better su ... read more »

All-party promise of new powers for Scotland delivered

23 January 2015 - The Scottish Parliament will be able to license onshore oil and gas as well as gaining a number of other energy-related powers, a Command Paper issued by the UK government has confirmed. Published on Thursday 22 January, the reforms, outlined in Scotland in the United Kingdom: An Enduring Settlement, are in line with the recommendations made by the Smith Commission, which has been backed the three main Westminster parties. The Scottish Parliament will also gain a formal consultative role in the ... read more »

Ofgem approves licence modification for Caithness Moray project

23 January 2015 - The regulator published its decision on Thursday 22 January to approve the proposed modification to Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission’s electricity transmission licence. The modification, issued for consultation on 16 December, received no representations and Ofgem deems the modification necessary to implement its decision to approve the Caithness Moray project, a reinforcement of the transmission system in the northeast of Scotland. The licence modification will amend SHE Transmission& ... read more »

GEMA minutes published

23 January 2015 - Ofgem published the minutes for the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA) meeting held on 11 December. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Licensing update

23 January 2015 - Ofgem gave notice on Thursday 22 January that Arco British has had its gas shipper licence revoked. This follows the licensee’s application for a revocation to the regulator on 5 August. The revocation will take effect from 21 February.. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

RWE npower cuts standard gas price

23 January 2015 - Npower today announces an average 5.1% or £35 average annual reduction to its standard domestic gas tariff. This will be effective from Monday 16 February. This is the largest percentage price cut by any major energy supplier announced recently. The reduction means that on average the annual standard npower domestic gas tariff is now £667 per year, down from £702. This reduction has been made possible by the reduction in the wholesale price of gas, balanced against increases in ... read more »

Government schemes make winter warmer for one million homes

23 January 2015 - By the end of November, the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and Green Deal package had delivered new boilers, windows and insulation to 1,021,000 homes. A substantial part of work under ECO helped people with chilly, damp homes at risk of fuel poverty and also had an impact in rural areas where leaky properties can cost over the odds to heat. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said: “Helping to make one million homes in Britain warmer through energy efficiency is gre ... read more »

Smaller suppliers leading on customer service: Which?

22 January 2015 - Smaller energy suppliers have scored significantly higher than the Big Six in Which?’s annual customers satisfaction survey for the fourth year in a row. Top spot in the survey, issued on Thursday 22 January, was occupied by Ecotricity (84%), followed by Good Energy (82%), Ebico (81%) and OVO Energy (80%). RWE npower posted the lowest overall score (35%), while among the Big Six SSE and E.ON UK were the best performers (both 50%). Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said that smaller s ... read more »

MPs back end to onshore wind subsidies

22 January 2015 - The Commons has narrowly voted in favour of a backbench Bill that would prohibit the use of public funds for subsidising the development of onshore wind turbines. The proposed legislation was introduced on Wednesday 21 January by Conservative MP Nigel Adams, who argued that renewables subsidies should focus on more reliable forms of power, such as biomass. “If wind power really is the cheapest form of renewable energy, as its supporters claim, it should now be able to stand on its own two ... read more »

CBI urges next government to aim high on energy efficiency

22 January 2015 - The next UK government will need to adopt a “refreshed approach” to improving energy efficiency in the UK’s existing housing stock, according to a new policy briefing by the CBI. Published on Wednesday 21 January, Effective Policy, Efficient Homes, said that policy-makers would need “swiftly to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority, building consensus around a long-term, coherent approach”. It argued that progress in the sector had, in recent yea ... read more »

Clean energy investment up 12% in 2014

22 January 2015 - New investment in the global clean energy sector totalled $274.2bn in 2014, up 12% on the preceding year, according to new research. Analysis issued by Clean Energy Pipeline on Tuesday 20 January suggested that, despite a reduction in European renewables subsidies and “very competitive” natural gas prices, investment in the sector had registered its first annual increase since 2011. In Q414 specifically, new investment in the global clean energy sector reached $67.9bn––up ... read more »

ACER gives opinion on ENTSO-E scenario outlook and adequacy forecast

22 January 2015 - The Agency issued its opinion on Tuesday 20 January on ENTSO-E’s draft scenario outlook and adequacy forecast 2014-2030. This aims provides a pan-European overview of generation, demand and system adequacy and scenarios used as background assumptions for use within the Ten Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP). ACER acknowledged the use of a scenario approach including diverging assumptions on various parameters, the extensive engagement of stakeholders and the current ENTSO-E process of r ... read more »

Cuadrilla “very disappointed” by decision on fracking proposals

22 January 2015 - Planners at Lancashire County Council have recommended that Cuadrilla plans to frack at two sites in Lancashire should not be allowed to proceed. A report published by the council’s planning officer on Wednesday 21 January said that it had “not been satisfactorily demonstrated that noise impacts would be reduced to acceptable levels and would therefore unnecessarily and unacceptably result in harm to the amenity of neighbouring properties by way of noise pollution”. Cuadrilla s ... read more »

EDF Energy confirms life extension for Dungeness B

22 January 2015 - EDF Energy has extended the life of its Dungeness B nuclear power plant, meaning that it will continue generating until 2028. In a statement on Tuesday 20 January, the company said that the move had been made possible by a £150mn investment programme, and came after extensive work with the Office for Nuclear Regulation. It explained that the case for investment in the plant and the broader programme of life extensions being pursued by EDF Energy had been supported by the capacity market. T ... read more »

Global wind power to nearly double by 2020

22 January 2015 - Global installed wind power capacity is set to grow from 364.9GW in 2014 to 650.8GW by the end of the decade, research from consultancy GlobalData has found. The analyst’s report, Global Wind Turbine Value Chain, published on Tuesday 20 January, said that global investment in wind power projects would increase over the same period from $70bn to $101bn. Prasad Tanikella, GlobalData's senior analyst covering power, said: “Overall, component costs are decreasing as a result of reduc ... read more »

Small firms continue to beat big six on customer service

22 January 2015 - Npower was rated the worst for complaint handling and customer service, scoring a meagre 35 per cent, closely followed by Scottish Power with a score of 41 per cent. EDF and British Gas scored slightly higher with 49 per cent, while Eon and SSE both scored 50 per cent. Spark Energy was the only small supplier to score as low as the big six with 50 per cent. Meanwhile, Ecotricity ranked highest with a score of 84 per cent, followed by Good Energy (82 per cent), Ebico (81 per cent), Ovo Energy (80 ... read more »

Eon’s community heat network scheme gains government funding

22 January 2015 - The project will be based at the utility’s energy centre in Exeter and will demonstrate how solar panels and heat pumps can work alongside the existing district heating scheme in Cranbrook “to provide a lower cost and significantly lower carbon heating and hot water source”, Eon said. Eon’s head of community energy Jeremy Bungey said that by migrating the heat network from gas-fired combined heat and power to renewable sources the project could achieve a “significan ... read more »

Ecotricity cuts gas price

22 January 2015 - New and existing Ecotricity customers are to benefit from a 6.1% cut in gas prices, the company announced on Wednesday 21 January. Ecotricity only operates one gas tariff so all customers will save £42/ year on average, when the price reduction is introduced on 1 May. The company said that the last of its hedges would come to an end in April, giving it access to lower wholesale prices that it could pass onto customers––and it expected to be able to pass on more savings later in ... read more »

Capacity market won’t jeopardise low-carbon transition, says Davey

22 January 2015 - Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has rejected concerns that the capacity market could undermine the UK’s progress towards its long-term emissions goals. In an appearance before the energy and climate change select committee on Wednesday 21 January, Davey stressed that old coal plant would only receive one- or three-year contracts, and that long-term decarbonisation targets would therefore not be jeopardised. He said: “If you add together the environmental regulations from ... read more »

Ofgem strengthens Confidence Code for price comparison websites

21 January 2015 - Ofgem has today set the gold standard for energy price comparison websites with the announcement of its new Confidence Code. The revised code requires accredited sites to meet tighter standards on how tariffs are displayed. This is so consumers can be confident that deals aren’t hidden from view. Sites will also have to list prominently which energy companies they have commission arrangements with, and make it clear that they earn commission on certain tariffs. Comparison sites are current ... read more »

DECC boosts heat industry innovation

21 January 2015 - Super insulated pipes, advanced algorithms and heat recovered from industrial waste are among the winning ideas in a million pound government-run competition to drive down energy bills and boost low carbon heat supplies in the UK. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey is set to officially unveil the 17 winning entries at the Association for Decentralised Energy Parliamentary Reception this afternoon (20 January). The winners are spread across the country, from a project combining solar an ... read more »

ScottishPower becomes third the of Big Six to cut gas price

21 January 2015 - Standard domestic gas prices for ScottishPower’s customers are to be cut by 4.8%, the company announced on Tuesday 20 January. The price cut, which will be effective from 20 February, will see the average annual gas bill fall by £33. On the same day, ScottishPower confirmed the launch of a new fixed-price tariff with an average dual fuel bill value of £930. Neil Clitheroe, ScottishPower’s CEO of retail and generation, said: “Today’s decision has been made to b ... read more »

Big Six price cuts falling short of expectations: Citizens Advice

21 January 2015 - Citizens Advice has said that the reduction in gas bills announced by Scottish Power has fallen short for consumers, just as E.On and British Gas’s reductions did. Scottish Power announced a 4.8 per cent cut to its gas prices today. Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “All energy firms have a duty to pass on savings to their customers. Just as with British Gas and E.On, Scottish Power’s gas bill reduction has fallen short for consumers after rocketing prices. ... read more »

Demand side investments delivering major economic benefits, report says

21 January 2015 - Investment in decentralised generation, demand reduction and demand response are saving business and public sector consumers £37.2bn/ year, according to a new report. Launched on Tuesday 20 January by the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), the report said that the energy intensity of industry had almost halved over the past 30 years, and that without the demand-side actions taken by the industry and service sectors gas imports would be twice as high. Through to 2020, the ADE said ... read more »

Wind investment risk not inevitably lowered by CfDs, warns academic

21 January 2015 - In a paper published last week in the Energy Policy journal, Derek Bunn from London Business School provides model-based evidence that the investment risks for wind generation were not necessarily reduced by moving from Renewables Obligation certificates to contracts for difference (CfDs). The opening argument for CfDs within Electricity Market Reform was to de-risk projects and thereby stimulate more investment. But this proposition was, the article argues, flawed in the case of wind, because h ... read more »

Ofgem proposes new licence condition to improve electricity connections market

21 January 2015 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Wednesday 21 January based on its review of the electricity connections market. The regulator found that competition within the market had grown quickly in recent years, but that not all sections had developed well. Many of the issues that restricted competition related to the distribution network operator’s (DNO’s) role in the competition process, the report said. Ofgem also found that there were inconsistencies between the different DNOs in how they m ... read more »

Regulator to investigate SSE over possible breach of competition law

21 January 2015 - The regulator announced on Wednesday 21 January that it has launched an investigation into SSE in regards to the electricity connections market. Ofgem will explore whether the company has infringed on chapter two of the Competition Act 1998 and article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union by abusing a dominant position, and put its competitors at a disadvantage in the electricity connections market. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Hinkley Point deal ‘weeks away', says Davey

21 January 2015 - Speaking to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, Ed Davey said that the final deal on the £16 billion nuclear power station was imminent. The government and EDF Energy have agreed a strike price of £92.50/MWh for the 3.2GW plant, which will fall to £89.50/MWh if they make a final investment decision to go ahead with another power station at Sizewell. Davey said the new power station, which is expected to be built by 2023, will help to “close the gap” ... read more »

Dungeness B nuclear power station given 10-year reprieve

21 January 2015 - Dungeness B nuclear power station is to stay open beyond its scheduled closing date of 2018, its owner, EDF, has announced. The ageing reactor, on the south Kent coast, had been due to decommission in 2018 but will now remain until 2028 as a result of £150m extra investment. Work on building Dungeness B began in 1965 and it began generating electricity in 1983. It employs 550 people plus 200 contract staff and six apprentices a year. The plant had initially been scheduled to close in 2008, ... read more »

Energy costs hitting those on low income hardest

21 January 2015 - The share of household income spent on energy by households in the lowest decile is nearly three times as high as households in the highest decile, according to new analysis. The UK Regulators Network (UKRN) explored the pressures of energy costs as part of its report Understanding Affordability Pressures in Essential Services, which was published on Tuesday 20 January. The report said that, on average, energy costs consumed 5% of a household’s expenditure, lower than the historic high of ... read more »

Consultation issued on P302 on smart meter settlement and meter reading improvements

20 January 2015 - Elexon issued the second assessment procedure consultation for P302 Improve the Change of Supplier Meter Read and Settlement Process for Smart Meters on Friday 16 January. P302 proposes to amend the change of supplier process to make use of the enhanced functionality that Data and Communications Company (DCC) serviced smart meters will provide and improve the passing of timely and accurate consumption data into settlement. The proposed solution will require both the old and new supplier to colle ... read more »

DECC details exemption from CfD supplier obligation costs for electricity-intensives

20 January 2015 - The department confirmed on Monday 19 January how it would seek to implement its planned exemption, for electricity-intensive industries, from the costs of the contracts for difference (CfD) supplier obligation and operational cost levies. It confirmed that BIS would assess the eligibility of EIIs wishing to apply for exemption certificates, and would determine the percentage of electricity to which the exemption would apply. The government has implemented a process whereby an EIIs exemption pro ... read more »

BIS plans EII relief from renewables costs

20 January 2015 - BIS has set out the intended design of a scheme that will provide relief, for electricity-intensive industries (EIIs), from renewables policy costs. The government consulted between July-October 2014 on proposals for a scheme that would cover compensation for the indirect costs of the Renewables Obligation and the small-scale feed-in tariff scheme, and an exemption from the indirect costs of contracts for difference. In its response, issued on Monday 19 January, BIS said that it would apply a se ... read more »

Interconnectors to compete for one-year capacity market contracts

20 January 2015 - Interconnectors will, later this year, be able to compete for one-year contracts in the government’s second capacity market auction. DECC said on Monday 19 January that the one-year agreements would provide the government with the scope to make legislative changes if it became apparent that participation in the capacity market caused interconnectors to behave in ways that created tensions with the implementation of market coupling. It further confirmed that the level of the obligation woul ... read more »

National Grid revises NTS entry capacity QSEC reserve and step prices

20 January 2015 - National Grid issued notice of revised NTS entry capacity Quarterly System Entry Capacity (QSEC) reserve and step prices for the next auction in March. The main changes compared to last year include that forecast peak demand has increased by around 1%. Most Aggregated System Entry Points have seen a decrease in their reserve prices which is mainly due to the change in forecast supplies and demand which has resulted in a lower adjustment factor that maintains an equal cost split between entry and ... read more »

Spark Energy reduces prices

20 January 2015 - Spark Energy announced on Monday 19 January that it was to cut its prices by 3.4%. The independent supplier, which specialises in the rental sector, said the change would apply from 1 March for all of its standard direct debit customers, and would represent an annual saving of £42 for the average dual-fuel user. Spark CEO Chris Gauld said: “Our supplies are hedged well in advance, and we bought the energy that our customers are now using about 18 months ago. At the same time industry ... read more »

British Gas to cut bills by 5%

20 January 2015 - British Gas is to reduce household gas prices by 5%, cutting annual energy bills on average by £37*. The 5% reduction in standard tariffs will benefit 6.8 million customers, including all customers on British Gas Fix & Fall tariffs, from 27 February. The price cut reflects the recent fall in wholesale gas prices. Though most of the gas being used in customers’ homes today was bought at higher 2013/14 prices, our wholesale costs for 2015 are now reducing to a level where we can pa ... read more »

ACER consults on retaining existing Gas Day for UK

20 January 2015 - The Agency issued a consultation on Monday 19 January following a joint submission from Oil & Gas UK and the Gas Forum for an amendment to the network codes on capacity allocation management and energy balancing. This seeks to enable the UK to keep its existing Gas Day from 6:00-6:00, rather than moving to 5:00-5:00 as required under the network codes. Oil & Gas UK said the financial costs of compliance in the UK are wholly disproportionate to any possible benefit and that the network co ... read more »

IEA releases Oil Market Report for January

19 January 2015 - Macroeconomic weakness continues to restrain global oil demand growth, the IEA Oil Market Report (OMR) for January told subscribers, with fourth quarter 2014 deliveries estimated just 0.6 million barrels per day (mb/d) above year-earlier levels. Despite lower prices, with Brent crude futures near a six-year low, demand growth is forecast to accelerate only 0.9 mb/d in 2015, unchanged from the outlook in the December report. The oil selloff has cut expectations of 2015 non-OPEC supply growth by 3 ... read more »

Davey and Ewing give “huge boost” to renewables on Scottish Islands

19 January 2015 - The Scottish and UK governments have reaffirmed their commitment towards the development of the renewable energy potential on the Scottish Islands. At a meeting on Thursday 15 January, energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said that DECC would in July announce the intended strike prices, from 2019-20, for onshore wind on the islands, and that it was already working with the European Commission in order to secure state aid approval. Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said that the annou ... read more »

Increasing wind generation would improve resilience, report claims

19 January 2015 - Wind power has the potential to make a significant contribution to the UK’s energy resilience by cutting “costly” fossil fuel imports, a report commissioned by RenewableUK has claimed. Published on Friday 16 January, the study, prepared by Cambridge Econometrics, said that in 2013 wind had reduced the UK’s need to import coal by an estimated 4.6mn tonnes, and had cut the need for imported gas by 1.4bn cm. Focusing on gas rather than wind within the energy mix would, the r ... read more »

Environment Agency grants shale gas permit for Preston New Road

19 January 2015 - The Environment Agency has today (16 January) granted the environmental permits Cuadrilla needs to carry out operations safely at their proposed shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road, Plumpton in Lancashire. The Environment Agency has over the last 6 months conducted a rigorous assessment of Cuadrilla’s applications and carried out 2 periods of extensive public consultation. The permits set out the conditions Cuadrilla must follow to protect groundwater, surface water and air qual ... read more »

Energy UK responds to Scottish government on wholesale prices

19 January 2015 - Trade association Energy UK has assured that GB suppliers face “significant competitive pressure” in the energy market, and that they cut their prices “as and when they are able”. The organisation responded on Friday 16 January to a letter from Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing, who enquired as to when consumers could expect to see the benefits of falling wholesale prices. In its letter, Energy UK emphasised the distinction between the falling oil price, and the price ... read more »

Ofgem approves UNC440 and UNC467 on iGT single service provision

19 January 2015 - The European Commission issued a consultation on Thursday 16 January on identifying revisions to the Gas Security of Supply Regulation 994/2010. It said a recent report following stress test exercises demonstrated the Regulation has already produced important beneficial effects on Europe’s gas security of supply situation, both in terms of preparation and mitigation––for example, through the requirement on member states to prepare and coordinate plans. However, it also highligh ... read more »

SSE accepts funding proposal for Caithness-Moray link

19 January 2015 - Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission (SHE Transmission) has accepted Ofgem’s proposals for the funding of the £1.1bn Caithness-Moray electricity transmission link. Following completion in 2018, the link will enable the connection of up to a further 1.2GW of renewable energy. David Gardner, SSE’s director of transmission, said: “The investment of around £600mn for financial year 2015-16 will see work commencing on the vital Caithness-Moray subsea link, along with fur ... read more »

British Gas to slash 5 per cent from gas bills

19 January 2015 - The UK’s biggest gas supplier said it will shave £37 from the price of the average annual gas bill despite the heightened political risk posed by the May General Election, and continued volatility in global energy markets. “We bear the responsibility of managing the risks of buying energy ahead on behalf of our customers, who value the predictability this brings,” said Centrica chief executive Ian Conn. “Taking this decision now, at a time of continuing uncertainty, ... read more »

Vacancies

19 January 2015 - TEC is always interested in potential new talent, if you work within Marketing / Events / Customer Service / Account Management we would love to hear from you. Please forward your CV onto Lisa Evans or Sarah Quiney ... read more »

CEER reviews renewable and energy efficiency support schemes

19 January 2015 - CEER issued its latest status review of renewable and energy efficiency support schemes in Europe in 2012 and 2013. This presents comparable data for European countries, following a survey conducted amongst CEER members in May 2014. It found that the proportion of electricity produced receiving support differs widely from one country to another, with an average of 12.6% in 2012. The weighted average cost of support also varied widely but across 21 countries was €110.65/MWh in 2013. It found ... read more »

Ofgem issues statutory consultation on licence modification to expand Elexon’s role

16 January 2015 - The regulator issued a statutory consultation on Thursday 15 January on its proposed modification to standard condition C3 of National Grid Electricity’s electricity transmission licence. The modifications have been proposed in order to allow the industry to explore options for the potential expansion of Elexon’s role, if and when appropriate. It is anticipated that the effects of the proposed modification will provide clarity in the licence regarding the role of the Balancing and Se ... read more »

Regulator provides factsheet on CCL exemption for renewables and REGO schemes

16 January 2015 - Ofgem published a factsheet on Thursday 15 January to answer frequently asked questions around the Climate Change Levy (CCL) exemption for renewables and the Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) schemes. The advice applies to applications, account functions, accreditation, submitting output data, receiving Levy Exemption Certificates (LECs) and REGOs. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Edward Davey asks new Oil and Gas Authority CEO to lead urgent commission into North Sea industry

16 January 2015 - Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon Edward Davey MP, is visiting Aberdeen this afternoon for talks with oil and gas industry leaders against a backdrop of the recent dramatic slide in world oil prices. The Secretary of State is announcing that he is asking Andy Samuel, CEO designate of the Oil and Gas Authority to lead an urgent commission, working with industry, to identify key risks to oil and gas production in the UKCS and identify what further measures might be taken by ... read more »

Funding awarded for safe and sustainable shale energy projects

16 January 2015 - 19 companies across the UK will share up to £2 million funding to develop innovative ideas that unlock the potential of shale oil and gas. The winning projects will explore everything from water treatment and monitoring techniques to well drilling and design technology, including: Glass-based beads to keep fractures open, removing need for high-volume water use new ‘photocatalyst’ technology for safe water treatment non-intrusive geophysical techniques to probe to depths of up ... read more »

North Sea project begins production

16 January 2015 - Total has started production from its West Franklin Phase Two project in the Central Graben area of the North Sea. The company confirmed on Thursday 15 January that the project would be supplying 40,000boe/d to the Elgin-Franklin hub. It involves the drilling of three new production wells and the installation of two new platforms. Michael Borrell, Total’s senior vice president exploration and production, Europe and Central Asia, said: “With the start-up of the West Franklin Phase 2 p ... read more »

Regulator issues guidance on HHCRO requirements under ECO2

16 January 2015 - Ofgem published guidance on specific Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) requirements for the second Energy Company Obligation period (ECO2) on Thursday 15 January. The guidance has been published ahead of the guidance on other changes in relation to ECO2, since some of the requirements will affect measures delivered under ECO from 1 January 2015 onwards. The guidance relates specifically to: demonstrating whether a premises is non-gas fuelled; qualifying warranties for boiler replace ... read more »

Regulator issues directions for second tier Low Carbon Networks Fund projects

15 January 2015 - Ofgem published its Low Carbon Networks funding direction on Wednesday14 January. The direction sets out the amounts for distribution network operators to include in their allowed revenue for 2015-16 and the amounts they will transfer to the companies implementing successful projects. The projects awarded funding are: Electricity Northwest’s Fault Level Active Response (£4.4mn); South Eastern Power Network’s Kent Active System Management (£3.3mn); Southern Electric Power ... read more »

Labour call for new regulatory powers defeated in Commons

15 January 2015 - MPs have voted against a motion, tabled by the Labour Party, that called for the regulator to be given the power to force energy companies to cut their prices. In a debate in the Commons on Wednesday 14 January, shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said that the “normal competitive pressures” that would be expected in a functioning market were absent in the energy sector, and that the government would never “stand up” to the energy firms for failing t ... read more »

MPs request improved reporting on low-carbon budget

15 January 2015 - The energy and climate change select committee has written to DECC to request greater transparency on the relationship between spending under the Levy Control Framework (LCF) and the UK’s progress towards its policy targets. The letter, published on Wednesday 14 January, suggested that future Annual Energy Statements provide a more detailed appraisal of how the objectives set for the LCF were being met against the costs involved. It said: “At present it seems difficult […] to ... read more »

EU power sector emissions see “staggering” fall in 2014

15 January 2015 - New analysis by environmental group Sandbag has suggested that emissions from the EU power sector dropped by a “staggering” 8% in 2014. The findings, posted on the organisation’s website on Wednesday 14 January, also suggested that electricity consumption for the year fell by 2.7%, and that it had dropped by more than 5% since 2010. Of the falls in fossil fuel generation in 2014, 36% was said to have been driven by a decline in gas generation, with the other 64% representing a ... read more »

Ofgem responds to consultation on ECO HHCRO requirements

15 January 2015 - The regulator published a response to its consultation on specific Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation (HHCRO) requirements within the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) on Wednesday 14 January. The October consultation covered: non-gas fuelled properties; qualifying warranties for replacement boilers; and warranties for replacement electric storage heaters. Based on stakeholders’ responses, the regulator has decided to expand its test in the guidance to clarify the different possible ty ... read more »

ACER finds slow progress on implementation of gas Congestion Management Procedures

15 January 2015 - ACER issued the first implementation monitoring report on gas Congestion Management Procedures on Tuesday 13 January. It found “incomplete implementation and limited application” across the EU of the guidelines for which most provisions were applicable from 1 October 2013. It said that while the majority of member states had implemented the guidelines, six implementations were after the legal deadline and in seven member states, as well as interconnectors with GB, implementation was ... read more »

Consumers prefer digital interaction with utilities

15 January 2015 - The results of a survey into customers' digital use found that almost a third, or 31 per cent, of utility customers would always prefer to use digital services to interact with their utility company, while between 70-75 per cent would ‘always or sometimes’ use digital services. However, the respondents indicated a relatively low satisfaction level of 48 per cent when using utilities' digital services compared to those offered by the retail and finance industries which both re ... read more »

Smaller supplier switching gains hit lowest level for a year

15 January 2015 - Figures issued by Energy UK on Wednesday 14 January have revealed that independent suppliers made a net gain of around 70,000 customers in December 2014––the lowest level since November 2013. The analysis revealed that the independents took a 21% share of overall switches during the month––the third consecutive month during which their share has fallen, having reached 44% in September. But Energy UK noted that the average share of switches taken by the smaller suppliers o ... read more »

Water industry pushes for fracking consultee status

14 January 2015 - Water UK told Utility Week that its members were “unanimously” in support of the government making them statutory consultees. However, MPs rejected an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill tabled by the Labour party yesterday, which would have introduced this clause onto the statute paper. Environment minister Amber Rudd said that the “expertise” of the environment agency would ensure that no permits are issued to a shale gas development if there were risks to groundwater ... read more »

New management arrangements implemented at Sellafield

14 January 2015 - Ownership of the Sellafield nuclear waste site is to revert to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) so as to simplify the clean-up programme and ensure value for money, DECC has confirmed. Private consortium Nuclear Management Partners had taken control of the site in 2008, but a year-long review determined that a new approach could drive further improvements in performance. The new arrangements will be put into place over the next 12-15 months, with a “strategic partner” brou ... read more »

Regulator consults on SPMW’s application for relief from DPCR4 penalty interest

14 January 2015 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Tuesday 13 January on its minded-to decision to provide Scottish Power Manweb (SPMW) with relief from the penalty interest relating to the fourth distribution price control (DPCR4) losses incentive mechanism. This follows the regulator’s recent decision on closing out the mechanism, where it indicated that it would consider applications from Distribution Network Operators in relation to penalty interest from over or under recovery of revenue. Ofgem stated tha ... read more »

Royal Society explores cost-cutting possibilities in offshore wind sector

14 January 2015 - Innovations that could cut costs in the offshore wind sector and make it more competitive have been set out in a new journal published by the Royal Society. The journal, New Perspectives in Offshore Wind Energy, was published on Monday 12 January, and explores a series of possibilities for cost-reduction, including screw-in turbine foundations, floating turbines, and the use of technology to spot damage to turbines rather than maintenance visits. The journal’s editors, Giuseppe Failla and ... read more »

Consultation issued for CMP240 on cancellation charge liability after judicial review

14 January 2015 - National Grid issued the draft modification report for CMP240 Amending the Cancellation Charge Liability within a CMP213 Judicial Review Period on Tuesday 13 January prior to the CUSC Panel voting on its recommendation to the Authority. The proposal seeks to remove the need for generators to provide a year’s notice of a reduction in Transmission Entry Capacity or of a disconnection and so avoid the Cancellation Charge in the period following the judicial review of Ofgem’s decision to ... read more »

Davey welcomes progress on switching speed

14 January 2015 - Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has lauded industry progress towards reducing the time necessary for consumers to switch between suppliers. The switching process is now expected to take 17 days––three days for customers to make the switch and two weeks to protect their legal cooling off rights. In a statement on Wednesday 14 January, Davey said: “We’ve introduced more competition in the energy market and made it much quicker for people to switch energy suppli ... read more »

DECC urges customers to take advantage of quicker switching

14 January 2015 - Just a day after Eon became the first of the big six energy suppliers to cut prices in response to falling wholesale costs the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) issued renewed calls for customers to take advantage of dramatically lower switching times secured last year. Energy companies committed to cutting their switching times in half, from five weeks to just 17 days by the end of 2014, following a challenge by energy secretary Ed Davey in October. Industry body Energy UK said 9 o ... read more »

Government’s water connection guidelines are ‘anti-competitive’, warns self-lay group

14 January 2015 - SLOs compete with the incumbent water companies to provide water connections for new developments, but Fair Water Connections managing director Martyn Speight told Utility Week a double standard in the government's guidelines is “anti-competitive”. The government’s Better Connected document compels water companies to connect new developments to the water mains within 90 days, but no such deadline exists in the guidelines when completing connections for self-lay companies. T ... read more »

Regulatory approach might be necessary to control company profits, says academic

14 January 2015 - Policy-makers must consider abandoning their focus on competition as a means of guarding against excessive energy industry profits if it continues to prove ineffective, an academic has said. In a blog posted on Tuesday 13 January, the University of Exeter’s Professor Catherine Mitchell said that Ofgem had, until now, failed to keep sufficient track of the profits being made by energy firms or whether prices were being kept as low as possible, as it had been assumed that this was the functi ... read more »

Westminster must commit to Highland renewables

14 January 2015 - Rob Gibson MSP has written to UK Energy Minister Ed Davey calling on him to make a firm commitment to the renewables industry in Scotland, following UK Government’s plans to construct interconnectors overseas. As reported in today’s The National, Mr Gibson, SNP MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, has highlighted the great progress made in the north of Scotland but says, that with of UK government chasing cheap overseas deals with interconnectors, assurances to retain confidence a ... read more »

Rural solar projects still offer “real chance” for landowners: Lightsource

13 January 2015 - Solar developer Lightsource Renewable Energy has said it remains “confident” that rural farmers and landowners could benefit substantially from the development of solar projects, despite recent government decisions to reduce subsidies for the sector. The Renewables Obligation will close to new solar projects of over 5MW from 1 April; however, Lightsource business development director Conor McGuigan, said: “There’s a real chance for farmowners and landowners across the UK& ... read more »

Ofgem approves Grid Code proposal GC0063 on Power Available signal

13 January 2015 - The regulator approved GC0063 Power Available on Thursday 8 January. This will introduce a requirement for wind generators to provide a new periodic signal of Power Available to National Grid, which would be a measure of the prevailing maximum output that could be delivered by the windfarm based on the current wind conditions. Ofgem considered the proposal, which will only apply to new generators, would improve the certainty surrounding the headroom provided by wind generators, which should incr ... read more »

Tamar Energy signs PPA with EDF

13 January 2015 - Tamar Energy has signed a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with EDF Energy for its first five anaerobic digestion (AD) plants. The agreement covers Tamar’s plants at Basingstoke, Holbeach, Retford, Halstead and Hoddesdon. Willie Heller, Tamar Energy’s chief executive, said: “Agreeing the PPA with EDF Energy, the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity, is a landmark commercial achievement for Tamar Energy, which has quickly grown to be the UK’s large ... read more »

New BSC proposal raised on BSC unmetered supply obligations

13 January 2015 - Electricity North West raised P317 Changes to the Unmetered Supply Obligations in the BSC on Friday 9 January. The proposal seeks to remove outdated wording from BSC Section S Supplier Volume Allocation that is no longer fit for purpose following changes to the obligations of the licensed distribution system operator (LDSOs) and the party agent role of meter administrator. The proposer said clear obligations already exist in BSCP520 for the Panel to approve Equivalent Meters, for parties to agre ... read more »

Businesses in Northern Ireland face energy cost burden

13 January 2015 - A survey has found that more than three fifths (62%) of businesses in Northern Ireland regard energy bills as the most burdensome cost facing them. The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s quarterly economic survey, published on Monday 12 January, found that significantly more businesses regarded energy as costly than telecoms (37%) or international transport links (30%). Around three in 10 (29%) firms said that energy costs acted as a potential deterrent to future investmen ... read more »

Helm criticises Labour energy proposals

13 January 2015 - Economist Dieter Helm has said that Labour’s plans for reforming the energy sector are likely to prove ineffective in improving the market for consumers. In a new paper, issued on Monday 12 January, Helm acknowledged that the status quo was failing to serve the bulk of customers who “just want to pay a fair price with the least hassle”, and he said that policy-makers would need to consider whether to pursue increased competition or the re-regulation of the supply market. He add ... read more »

Utility Regulator updates on electricity and gas tariff reviews

12 January 2015 - The Utility Regulator said on Thursday 9 January that, as the regulator of Power NI, it continuously monitors the components that make up the company’s electricity tariff and that this monitoring has led it to commence a review of Power NI’s regulated electricity tariffs. It expects the review will conclude during February to allow any changes to electricity bills to take effect from 1 April. It said separately it has also been progressing a review of regulated gas tariffs in respect ... read more »

Regulator sets out expected non-domestic RHI regulation changes

12 January 2015 - Ofgem published a factsheet to provide information on the government’s proposed changes to the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) on Friday 9 January. The changes to the non-domestic RHI regulations will take effect from February and include a new tiered biomethane tariff for those projects whose date of registration is after the date the amended regulations come into force. The overground piping reference number and the requirement to demonstrate that a biomass boiler has been sp ... read more »

Ofgem approves UNC487 on new advanced meter reading identifiers

12 January 2015 - The regulator approved UNC478V Introduction of an Advanced Meter Reader (AMR) Service Provider (ASP) Identified (ASP ID) and Advanced Meter Indicator on Friday 9 January. This will introduce new data items into central systems and place an obligation on gas shippers to populate and maintain them in respect of advanced meters. These are: the advanced meter indicator which will enable the incoming supplier to confirm that such a meter is present; and the Advanced Meter Reading Service Provider Ide ... read more »

Ecotricity reaches customer milestone

12 January 2015 - Independent supplier Ecotricity confirmed on Monday 12 January that it had nearly doubled its customer base in the past 12 months, reaching 150,000 customers. In a statement, the company attributed its recent growth to price stability, faster switching and customer satisfaction. Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “It’s been another watershed year for the industry. People have been fed up with the Big Six for a long time, that’s not new––it’s just that more ... read more »

ACER launches updated Gas Target Model

12 January 2015 - ACER published its updated Gas Target Model (GTM) on Thursday 8 January, which is intended to guide the development of the network codes and sets out steps to realise liquid and dynamic gas markets. The revised GTM recommends further enhancements of market-based measures to strengthen incentives for market participants to deliver supply security and an assessment of the functioning of wholesale markets at national level, with a revised set of criteria to assess whether a wholesale market is well ... read more »

M&G Investments boosts UK solar

12 January 2015 - Leading international investment manager M&G Investments has provided £60mn to Primrose Solar in order to finance five solar farms in the UK. The five developments, which have an overall installed capacity of 80MW, are all operational, and are part of Primrose’s portfolio of 175MW of solar farms in operation or under construction. Tim Huband, head of project & infrastructure finance at M&G Investments said: “These landmark transactions inject long-term institutional ... read more »

North Sea tax reforms “vital”

09 January 2015 - The Scottish government has called for “vital” reforms to the fiscal regime of the North Sea. An Oil and Gas Discussion Paper ––Challenges, Opportunities, and Future Policy, published on Thursday 8 January, proposed an investment allowance that would deliver support for fields that incurred higher costs to develop, a timetabled reversal to the Supplementary Charge, and the introduction of an exploration tax credit to help boost levels of exploration. Scottish energy minis ... read more »

Regulator outlines October SGF meeting

09 January 2015 - Ofgem published the minutes on Wednesday 7 January from the Smart Grid Forum (SGF) meeting held on 28 October 2014. The meeting discussed the ongoing and upcoming European initiatives that impact upon UK smart grid deployment, concluding that DECC and the regulator should consider further discussion on the risks and opportunities associated with European smart grid engagement. A report on system architecture from the Power Networks Joint Vision group was presented. National Grid introduced a pro ... read more »

Ofgem confirms FiT installations and provides levelisation sums for Q314

09 January 2015 - The regulator published its feed-in tariff (FiT) levelisation report on Thursday 8 January. The report for July-September 2014 provides a breakdown of total FiT payments paid by licensees for the quarter running from 1 July 2014-30 September 2014. E.ON Energy was due the greatest total FiT generation payments at £52,471,355.33, followed by SSE Energy Supply at £40,600,524.35. Alongside this, Ofgem published its quarterly Feed-in Tariff installation report covering 1 April 2010 to 31 ... read more »

Scottish government urges action on falling wholesale costs

09 January 2015 - Consumers should be benefitting from lower energy bills as a result of lower oil prices, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has said. Mr Ewing has today written to ScottishPower, SSE, E-on, EDF, RWE/Npower, Centrica and Energy UK to seek reassurance that lower wholesale energy costs, linked to the fall in the price of oil, will be passed on quickly to households and businesses. Mr Ewing will later today update Scottish Parliament on the issue of the current global oil price and the future of oil and g ... read more »

Think tank warns of fuel poverty funding gap

09 January 2015 - The government is providing less than half of the funding necessary to deliver on its strategy for tackling fuel poverty, according to Policy Exchange. In a report issued on Friday 9 January, the think tank said that, at present, spending on the government’s plans to move all fuel poor homes to a Band C energy efficiency rating by 2030 amounted to around £490mn/ year, far short of the estimated £1.2bn/ year necessary to achieve the objective. In order to meet this funding chall ... read more »

Study identifies which fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change

09 January 2015 - A third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80 per cent of current coal reserves globally should remain in the ground and not be used before 2050 if global warming is to stay below the 2°C target agreed by policy makers, according to new research by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). The study published in Nature today, also identifies the geographic location of existing reserves that should remain unused and so sets out the regions that stand to lose most from achieving the 2 ... read more »

Business energy customers benefit from falling oil price

09 January 2015 - BES said it is able to pass on the falling wholesale prices because it offers a market tracker product which reviews wholesale and other costs twice a year, with the next review in April. All the big six energy companies refused to announce price cuts on Wednesday following calls by Chancellor George Osborne for energy companies to “immediately” pass on savings following the considerable drop in oil price to five and a half year lows. BES Utilities’ managing director, Andy Pill ... read more »

Acquisitive dispositions: m&a prospects for 2015

09 January 2015 - The last year could be considered one of two halves. On the one hand, the renewables sector continued to be buoyant and see specialist funds acquiring operating assets, while utilities and private developers recycled capital into new projects or used the proceeds to strengthen their balance sheets. Interest also remained strong in intermediary companies during the year. On the other hand, deal activity in the traditional utilities sectors of water and thermal power generation was held back pendi ... read more »

DECC sets out network investment challenge

09 January 2015 - Around £34bn of investment into the electricity networks will be needed before the end of the decade, a new government has claimed. The DECC study, published on Thursday 8 January, said that the investment was needed as the UK’s ageing infrastructure would be “unable to cope with changing generation and needs”. In particular, it noted that the onshore network between Scotland and the rest of GB would need to be strengthened, while offshore it was expected that further con ... read more »

Local council to set up energy company

08 January 2015 - Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is to establish an energy supply company through which it will seek to offer “bottom of the market” tariffs to local residents. A report published by the council on Tuesday 6 January confirmed that it would enter into a partnership with OVO Energy, allowing the council to offer supply for 75,000 households initially, with the possibility of later expansion. In exchange for a minimum initial five-year partnership and a commitment to work to sign at leas ... read more »

Ofgem consults on benefits assessment for the Innovation Roll-out Mechanism

08 January 2015 - The regulator issued a consultation on Wednesday 7 January on the assessment of benefits from the roll-out of proven innovations through the Innovation Roll-out Mechanism (IRM). Transmission and distribution licensees will need to demonstrate that the roll-out of a proven innovation will deliver financial as well as low-carbon or other environmental benefits for it to be eligible for funding and Ofgem is inviting views on how to assess applications that it expects to receive under the IRM. The r ... read more »

Ofgem approves Green Deal Arrangements Agreement (GDAA) change on amended invoice date

08 January 2015 - The regulator approved GDAA0072 Amended Invoice Data on Tuesday 6 January, which sought to amend the date on which the GDAA self-funding provisions come into effect from 1 January 2015 to 1 April 2015. This will reflect that the government has agreed to extend its funding for the GDAA until 31 March 2015. Implementation will be immediate once both Ofgem and the secretary of state have consented. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

New UNC proposal on facilitating faster switching for shared supply meter points

08 January 2015 - National Grid Distribution raised UNC523 Supply Point Registration - Facilitation of “Faster Switching” for Shared Meter Points on Wednesday 7 January. This seeks to bring the shipper transfer timescales for shared supply meter points into line with that set out for all other supply points as implemented by UNC477 Supply Point Registration - Facilitation of Faster Switching. The proposer said UNC477 excluded shared meter points as the shipper user transfer process is dealt with manua ... read more »

Pickles approves energy from waste plant

08 January 2015 - Urbaser Balfour Beatty (UBB) has gained approval from communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles for a £500mn energy-from-waste facility in Gloucestershire. UBB was awarded a contract to build the facility in February 2013; however, later in the year, Gloucester County Council’s planning committee rejected permission for the project against the advice of planners, owing to concerns about its impact on a nearby Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. But, in his decision stat ... read more »

DECC defends ECO exemption for smaller suppliers

08 January 2015 - The department has challenged some of the concerns, expressed by industry stakeholders, about the current exemption for smaller suppliers from the cost of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). In a hearing held with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a summary of which was published on Wednesday 7 January, DECC rejected the idea that crossing the eligibility threshold acted as a disincentive for the independents to grow their customer base, noting that some had already done so. It argue ... read more »

Labour presses government on falling wholesale costs

08 January 2015 - Labour has called on the government to back its plans for a regulator that has the power to force energy companies to cut their prices when wholesale costs fall. In a letter sent to chancellor George Osborne on Wednesday 7 January, shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint accused the government of having “stood by” and allowed the Big Six to profit from changes in wholesale prices. Media reports on Tuesday suggested that the government had opened an investigation int ... read more »

Cameron backs tidal energy

08 January 2015 - Prime minister David Cameron has affirmed the government’s commitment to an expansion of Britain’s tidal energy market. Cameron was asked, during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday 7 January, about the Perpetuus Tidal Energy Centre planned for the Isle of Wight, which will provide the world’s first grid-connected tidal array test facility. He said: “The UK is now the most attractive market in the world for investment in offshore wind and marine renewables. We w ... read more »

Foresight acquires Dorset solar farm

08 January 2015 - Investment group Foresight announced on Tuesday 6 January the acquisition of the 13.2MW Homeland solar farm in Dorset from Trina Solar. Construction of the project began in December 2013, and it was connected to the grid three months later. The agreement follows the sale of Trina’s 10.6MW project to Foresight in September 2014. Jifan Gao, chairman and CEO of Trina Solar, commented: “The successful sale of our second UK solar power project […] demonstrates our growing presence ... read more »

DECC study backs planned EU ETS fix

07 January 2015 - The proposed Market Stability Reserve (MSR) is a “good starting point” towards addressing oversupply within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), but “careful review” will be essential to its success, a government-commissioned report has found. Published on Tuesday 6 January, the study by consultancy Ecofys assessed the various design options for the mechanism, both in terms of the choice of trigger type that could be employed and the trigger levels. It argued that a ... read more »

Regulator approves Green Energy (UK) derogation request to continue share scheme

07 January 2015 - Ofgem published its decision on Monday 5 January to issue Green Energy (UK) a similar derogation to the derogation from standard licence condition (SLC) 22B Restrictions on Tariff numbers and Tariff simplification that it has issued to the licensee’s affiliate, Green Energy. The decision follows the transfer of the electricity supply licence held by Green Energy to Green Energy (UK) on 22 December 2014. The derogation will enable Green Energy (UK) to continue operating the Green Energy sha ... read more »

Oil and gas industry urges swift reform

07 January 2015 - Oil & Gas UK has called on industry stakeholders to work collaboratively to maximise recovery of North Sea resources, but acknowledged that the industry was facing a “testing time” in light of the sharp decline in the oil price. Speaking on Tuesday 6 January, chief executive Mike Tholen said that fiscal reforms announced in last year’s Autumn Statement had been “welcome first steps” in reducing the overall tax burden facing the sector, but that further measures ... read more »

UK government causing uncertainty in offshore wind sector, says SNP

07 January 2015 - The Scottish National Party has warned that uncertainty caused by UK government policy could put the Offshore wind industry in jeopardy, putting at risk the potential to create a substantial number of jobs in Scotland as well as clean, sustainable energy. SNP Energy spokesperson Mike Weir MP moved a debate on the future of the industry due to the impact of the current Contract For Difference (CfD) regime. Speaking in the debate Mr Weir said: “Scotland has huge potential to provide a large ... read more »

Energy companies passing on lower costs, says industry association

07 January 2015 - Energy UK has said that consumers are already benefiting from falls in wholesale energy prices. In a statement issued on Wednesday 7 January, CEO Lawrence Slade said: “Energy suppliers are passing on price cuts to customers. When people shop around they can easily find deals that are over a hundred pounds cheaper than this time last year and in line with cuts in wholesale energy prices.” However, uSwitch energy expert Tom Lyon argued that it was “high time” for one of the ... read more »

Ofgem approves ENWL’s Low Carbon Networks Fund project extension

07 January 2015 - The regulator published its decision to approve the extension for completion of Electricity North West (ENWL’s) project, Capacity to Customers, from December 2014 to March 2015 on Tuesday 6 January. The project involves trialling managed connection agreements with at least ten new connection or existing customers seeking additional export or import capacity. Ofgem noted that while the extension will increase the project costs by £108,000, it is still forecast to be completed at &poun ... read more »

Scottish Water provides £4.5m to cut charities' water bills

06 January 2015 - The money forms parts of a £6.5 million initiative, run in partnership with the Scottish government - which is providing the rest of the money, to help registered charities and sports clubs with their water bills. The new scheme, which comes into force from April 2015, will mean that charities registered with the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and Community Amateur Sports Clubs, which meet the scheme requirements and which have an income of less than £200,000 will no longer need t ... read more »

Alternative UNC proposal raised on gas performance assurance framework

06 January 2015 - SSE raised alternative proposal UNC506A Gas Performance Assurance Framework and Governance Arrangements on Friday 2 January. This seeks to introduce a gas performance assurance framework to be used to facilitate assurance and incentivisation of settlement accuracy post implementation of Project Nexus. However, unlike the original proposal, this modification would only apply to energy and supply points within Local Distribution Zones and not to the NTS and supply points connected to it. The propo ... read more »

Ofgem suggests clarifying SEC4 terminology

06 January 2015 - The regulator published its response to DECC’s consultation on stage 4 of the Smart Energy Code (SEC4) content on Monday 5 January. The letter states that Ofgem agrees with the approach set out in the consultation and the proposed powers for members of the security sub-committee. The regulator is also supportive of the introduction of security-related requirements, post-commissioning obligations, and the extension of the liability of suppliers and the Data and Communications Company. Howev ... read more »

Regulator approves Interconnector (UK)'s access rules and charging methodology

06 January 2015 - Ofgem published its decision on Monday 5 January to approve the access rules and charging methodology submitted by Interconnector (UK) (IUK) in September 2014. IUK had proposed to introduce a new contractual framework to set out the rules for accessing IUK’s interconnector, and in parallel an amendment to modify the existing Standard Transportation Agreements (STA), which all existing STA users will be asked to execute. Alongside the rules and methodology, IUK also submitted proposed amend ... read more »

CMP238 on Statement of Works process issued for comment

06 January 2015 - National Grid issued the draft modification report on Monday 5 January for CMP238 Application of Statement of Works Process when a Modification Application is Made. This seeks to enable a change to the distribution connection application process. When a distribution network operator (DNO) receives a distribution connection application and it knows that this will impact the transmission system, the DNO may directly submit a modification application, omitting the Statement of Works process, whereb ... read more »

Wind generation reaches record levels

06 January 2015 - Renewable UK has welcomed new figures revealing that the amount of electricity generated from wind increased to a record 28.1TWh in 2014––up from 24.5TWh a year earlier. Overall, windfarms provided 9.3% of the UK’s electricity supply last year, up from 7.8% during the preceding year. Speaking on Monday 5 January, RenewableUK deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: “It’s great to start 2015 with some good news about the massive quantities of clean electricity we&rsquo ... read more »

Andy Samuel begins role as new Chief Executive of Oil & Gas Authority

06 January 2015 - The establishment of the OGA was an integral part of the recommendations made by Sir Ian Wood as part of the review into maximising the UK’s offshore oil and gas resources. The government fast tracked the recommendations of the Wood Review to maximise the potential of the North Sea and make sure the whole of the UK benefits. Andy Samuel’s appointment as Chief Executive is a major milestone in establishing the OGA. He has already been fully involved in some of the decisions vital to t ... read more »

MPs to debate plight of offshore wind under CfD regime

06 January 2015 - MPs will hold a debate in Westminster Hall this morning on the effect of the contracts for difference (CfD) allocation process on offshore wind development. The debate will be led by the SNP’s Mike Weir, who last month raised concerns that the level of the funding allocated for less established technologies in the first CfD allocation round would only be sufficient to support one offshore wind project. Weir told the backbench business committee: “If only one [project] gets the go-ahe ... read more »

Wessex Water installs solar panels at water treatment works

06 January 2015 - The Sutton Bingham water treatment works has been fitted with solar panels to help power the water treatment process, the company said. The installation follows a recent £13 million upgrade of the facility which was required to ensure the water treatment process continued to meet legislation enforced by the Drinking Water Inspectorate. Wessex Water’s energy generation analyst Julia Clark said: “Sutton Bingham is an ideal site for installing solar PV panels as there’s curr ... read more »

Oil extends crash into new year as glut fears deepen

06 January 2015 - The selloff in global oil markets showed little signs of slowing in the new year, with prices down as much as 6 percent on Monday, the lowest since spring 2009, as fears deepened a supply glut that has vexed the market for six months would continue. U.S crude crashed below $50 a barrel while benchmark Brent tumbled under $53 after data showed Russian oil output at post-Soviet era highs and Iraqi oil exports near 35-year peaks. U.S. driller Conoco Phillips (COP.N) added to the bearish mood by ann ... read more »

Authorities update Northern Ireland electricity security of supply position

05 January 2015 - The Utility Regulator published on Monday 22 December an update by itself and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment on security of electricity supply in Northern Ireland from 2016. This followed a paper issued the previous December that identified a number of risks to security of supply, including a delay to the completion of the second North-South interconnector, a fault on the Moyle interconnector and the impacts of the EU Emissions Directive. It said to mitigate the risk SONI had ... read more »

Southern Water to assess impact of potential £40m desalination plant

05 January 2015 - The company said that it is “looking at various options for the plant” and that environmental screening assessments are being carried out. The desalination plant, which could provide up to four million gallons of water a day during times of low rainfall, is one of a number of options being considered by Southern Water as part of its water resources management plan. Other options the company is looking at to help secure a reliable and sustainable future water supply include leakage re ... read more »

Energy firms urged to offer prepay customers a ‘debt holiday

05 January 2015 - Citizens Advice is calling on all energy companies to give prepayment customers a ‘debt holiday’ this winter. New evidence finds prepay customers spend more than twice as much topping up their gas in winter compared to summer. The national charity and consumer body predicts more people will seek help about fuel debt in the first three months of 2015. New statistics comparing energy advice sought in January to March 2014 to the rest of 2013/14 finds: a 66% increase in people seeking o ... read more »

Oil price plunge and clean energy -The real impact

05 January 2015 - The 45% fall in oil prices is being portrayed as a big blow to clean energy deployment. In fact, its impact will vary by sector and region, but will be modest in major electricity markets where renewables compete with gas and coal, and benefit from stable policy support The past five years have seen an average of $266bn per annum invested in clean energy worldwide. The majority of this has gone into renewable electricity generating capacity, which does not compete directly with oil. Wind and sol ... read more »

European Commission consults on update to Projects of Common Interest

05 January 2015 - The European Commission issued a consultation on Tuesday 23 December on an updated list of proposed Project of Common Interest (PCI). The first list of projects was adopted by the Commission in October 2013 under Regulation 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure. A PCI has to have significant benefits for a least two member states, contribute to market integration and further competition, enhance security of supply and reduce CO2 emissions. PCIs benefit from accelerated ... read more »

Global carbon market grew to €45bn in 2014, say analysts

05 January 2015 - Analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon said the value of the global market increased despite a traded volumes shrinking by 17 per cent due to higher prices on the EU ETS as well as in the North American markets. The ETS bucked a four year down trend last year to post the first gains seen since 2010 following policy decision taken in Brussels to reduce supply by ‘backloading’ the entry of new allowances into the market. By reducing the glut of supply within the market prices were ab ... read more »

BP Announces First Oil from Kinnoull Field in Central North Sea

05 January 2015 - BP, on behalf of the Kinnoull field co-venturers, is pleased to announce the start of production from the Kinnoull field in the central North Sea. Kinnoull is BP’s seventh and final major upstream project start-up in 2014. The Kinnoull reservoir, developed as part of a wider rejuvenation of the Andrew field area, is tied back to BP’s Andrew platform, 230 kilometres east of Aberdeen, and is expected to enable production there to be extended by a further decade. In order to access the ... read more »

Wind power output up 15 per cent in 2014

05 January 2015 - Official statistics from National Grid show the combined contribution of wind farms feeding into the grid and single turbines connected to local networks rose from 7.8 per cent in 2013 to 9.3 per cent of the UK’s total electricity supply in 2014. A new monthly high of 14 per cent of all electricity was generated by wind in December 2014, up from 13 per cent in December 2013. The quarterly record was also broken in the last three months of 2014, producing 12 per cent of electricity, up from ... read more »

ENTSOG submits network code on gas tariff harmonisation to ACER

05 January 2015 - ENTSOG submitted the draft network code on harmonisation of gas transmission tariffs together with a proposed amendment to the network code on capacity allocation mechanism for incremental and new capacity to ACER for its formal opinion on Friday 26 December. This sets out the required structure for gas transmission tariffs and options for cost allocation methodologies and seeks to ensure non-discriminatory and cost reflective pricing in order to contribute to market integration and promote comp ... read more »

The first ever Capacity Market auction official results have been released today

05 January 2015 - Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has now officially confirmed the results of the first ever Capacity Market Auction, which is great news for consumers as fierce competition drove costs down below expected levels. The result from the auction that closed late on Thursday 18 December ensures that enough of our existing capacity will remain open at the end of the decade, as well as unlocking new investment, including a large independent gas plant at Trafford. Ed Davey said ... read more »

CEER consults on future role of distribution system operators

02 January 2015 - CEER issued a consultation on Thursday 18 December on the future role of distribution system operators (DSOs). It said retail liberalisation, demand-side response arrangements, new technology, distributed electricity generation and distributed gas injection mean the role of the DSO will continue to change. The CEER looks at the different regulatory tools that may be used, stressing that it was not seeking to impose a single regulatory solution for DSOs across Europe. The consultation considers t ... read more »

National Grid updates gas transmission connection charging statement for PARCAs

02 January 2015 - Following the recent decision to implement UNC465V Introduction of the Planning and Advanced Reservation of Capacity Agreement (PARCA) Weighted Average PARCA Security, National Grid said on Monday 29 December that it has updated the statement of gas transmission connection charges to include the PARCA application fee. The new version of the statement will be effective from 2 February. It also noted that UNC465V introduces, for the purposes of calculating the security amount required under a PARC ... read more »

New Extra Energy tariffs may be a fitting end to the 'year of the challenger energy suppliers'

02 January 2015 - Households in some regions could pay less than £900 a year for their gas and electricity with these new tariffs. Challenger energy supplier Extra Energy has made a bid to take the New Year number one spot for the cheapest dual fuel energy tariff by launching two best buy table topping deals. Leaving aside cashback offers or reward points, these two tariffs are cheaper than any other dual fuel deal launched in 2014, including those offered recently by collective switching services The Big D ... read more »

Scotland's solar power capacity up by almost a third

01 January 2015 - The call by WWF Scotland, Lightsource Renewable Energy, and the Solar Trade Association came as the organisations published figures revealing that the total installed capacity of solar photo-voltaic (PV) systems in Scotland had now reached 140 Megawatts (MW) – a rise of 32% since last year. The groups said that the installations would help to prevent thousands of tonnes of climate-damaging carbon dioxide from being emitted every year. Analysis of updated figures from Ofgem [1] for December ... read more »

PM blusters “enough is enough” on wind

17 December 2014 - The prime minister has had “enough” of onshore wind farms and believes Brits are “fed up” of them too. David Cameron made the remarks yesterday in front of a committee of MPs, when he also let slip his frustration at the “religiosity” of green groups who oppose shale gas just because it is a fossil fuel. He told the Liaisons Committee: “The public are frankly fed up that so many onshore wind farms are built.” MP Joan Walley MP asked why 52 planning ... read more »

Brent oil price falls below $59 a barrel

17 December 2014 - The price of Brent crude oil has fallen below $59 a barrel for the first time since May 2009. After dropping below $60, the Brent price then fell to $58.50 a barrel, before recovering slightly to $59.01. Oil prices have now nearly halved since June as a result of waning demand and increased supplies. The latest fall was triggered by news of a fall in industrial activity in China, the world's second largest consumer of oil. The price of US crude fell by $1.86 to $54.05 a barrel. The drop came ... read more »

Coal consumption to grow despite climate change policies: IEA

16 December 2014 - Global coal demand will continue to escalate over the next five years and will exceed 9bn tonnes/ year by 2019, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). On Monday 15 December, the organisation issued its Medium-Term Coal Market Report. It said that, despite efforts to moderate its usage, China would continue to drive growth in coal consumption, accounting for three-fifths of demand growth over the next five years. China would be joined by other Asian countries as the “main engin ... read more »

Energy suppliers still putting customer service on hold

16 December 2014 - Consumer group Which? has branded as “unacceptable” the length of time that many energy companies are taking to respond to calls from their customers. Results from a mystery shopping exercise, issued on Monday 15 December, found that none of the Big Six managed to answer the phone in an average of less than two minutes, with RWE npower the closest to achieving this. Which? said that Scottish Power was the worst performer, with its customers waiting an average of 30 minutes to access ... read more »

DECC sets out thinking on non-domestic RHI tariff guarantees

16 December 2014 - The department issued a policy paper on 9 December on the possible introduction of tariff guarantees in the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The aim of the guarantee would be to provide greater clarity on the level of subsidy that a project would receive under the scheme, making the RHI more bankable for installations with long lead-in times. DECC is proposing that there should be three additional eligibility criteria for applications for tariff guarantees beyond the standard RHI cri ... read more »

ECO measures exceed 800,000 by November

16 December 2014 - The regulator published an Energy Company Obligation (ECO) compliance update on Friday 12 December. The update presented energy efficiency measures notified by energy companies to Ofgem by the end of October 2014 and approved by Ofgem by the end of November. A total of 801,991measures have been installed under the scheme, and by the end of October, suppliers had achieved 104% of the home heating cost reduction obligation (HHCRO), 50% of the carbon saving community obligation (CSCO), 43% of the c ... read more »

Three generation stations to be offered SBR contracts

16 December 2014 - National Grid announced on Monday 15 December that three power stations would be offered contracts under its Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR) mechanism in winter 2015-16. The announcement follows the first tender round for the SBR, which ran from 3 November to 5 December. The three plant offered contracts are: Centrica’s South Humber Bank CCGT (providing 40MW of extra capacity); Corby Power’s Corby CCGT (total capacity of 353MW); and Centrica’s Barry CCGT (total capacity of ... read more »

Regulator keeps 8% cap rate for IDC for offshore transmission assets

16 December 2014 - Ofgem issued its decision on Thursday 11 December to maintain the cap rate for Interest During Construction (IDC) for offshore transmission assets at 8% for 2015-16. The regulator determines the efficient cost of capital for construction offshore transmission assets built by offshore generators by allowing for the application of IDC. The value determined by Ofgem serves as a cap on the rate of the cost of capital. The regulator reviewed the IDC calculation for 2015-16 using an unchanged methodol ... read more »

Ofgem revokes majority of Economy Energy’s provisional order

15 December 2014 - The regulator issued a revocation order on Friday 12 December, confirming its proposal to revoke the majority of the provisions of the provisional order against Economy Energy, with two provisions remaining in place. The provisional order was issued to Economy Energy in May as Ofgem considered that Economy Energy domestic customers were at risk of being off gas supply during cold weather and being blocked from switching away from Economy Energy when they requested to do so, for non-compliant rea ... read more »

Government urged to boost community energy

15 December 2014 - The Co-operative Party and SERA have said that a future Labour government should implement reforms that can facilitate the establishment of a “Big Six Thousand” of community-owned energy suppliers. In a pamphlet published on Sunday 14 December, the organisations said that community projects currently operated at a significant disadvantage, and that policy-makers should introduce a feed-in tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive aimed specifically at the sector. They further said that the ... read more »

Water prices to fall 5% promises Ofwat

15 December 2014 - British water bills should drop 5% over the next five years, regulator Ofwat promised today. It asked companies to hand in their spending plans for 2015 to 2020 and claims average bills will fall by around £20, from £396 to £376 a year. Cathryn Ross, Chief Executive of Ofwat said: “Where companies stepped up to do the best they could for their customers we did not need to intervene. But where companies fell short we stepped in to make sure customers get a good deal. Now t ... read more »

SSE, ScotPower, GDF SUEZ latest to pick up fine for insulation fail

15 December 2014 - A trio of energy firms are stumping up cash for not putting insulation in enough low-income homes. The latest fines agreed with regulator Ofgem today are £1.75m from Scottish energy supplier SSE, £2.4m from ScottishPower and £450,000 from GDF SUEZ. The country’s largest energy companies were given targets for the number of people they needed to help. Many fell short and were lumbered with multi-million-pound fines. SSE was only able to meet 90.9% of its target by the dead ... read more »

Independent suppliers surge in household market

15 December 2014 - Independent suppliers have continued to see significant growth in the domestic retail market, according to a report by Cornwall Energy. The company’s latest survey of market shares found that, in the quarter to 31 October, the 20 companies outside the Big Six added 635,000 domestic energy accounts to reach a total of 4.35mn––giving them an 8.7% share of total accounts. More than 2mn households––equivalent to 10.4% of all households in GB––were buying dua ... read more »

OVO confirms partnership with local council

15 December 2014 - OVO Energy has confirmed that it will partner with Cheshire Council to launch a local energy supplier through the OVO Communities model. In a statement issued on Friday 12 December, OVO said that Cheshire East would be the first council to sell energy in the UK since the energy markets were nationalised in 1948. Founder Stephen Fitzpatrick explained: “From spring 2015 households in Cheshire East could save around £300/ year by switching from a Big Six energy company to their new loca ... read more »

Regulator consults on future gas transmission charging arrangements

15 December 2014 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Friday 12 December on its proposals to change the charging arrangements, following its Gas Transmission Charging Review. Changes include: introducing “fully-floating” capacity charges for long-term capacity products; changing the charging arrangements for short-term capacity products so that all users will pay the full “floating” capacity charge component to recover the historic network costs; and the reserve price discount on short-term cap ... read more »

Poll shows consumers ready for smart meters

15 December 2014 - Research by uSwitch has shown that nearly three quarters (72%) of UK consumers would be happy to have a smart meter installed in their homes. A survey by the organisation, published on Friday 12 December, found that nearly six in 10 (59%) would use the information from the new meter in order to reduce their energy usage and to become more energy efficient. Slightly more than four in 10 (42%) said they would use a smart meter in order to ensure they received more accurate bills. However, a quarte ... read more »

UN climate talks reach agreement

15 December 2014 - Negotiators at the UN climate change talks in Lima reached a deal on Sunday 14 December on the next steps towards addressing global warming. Diplomats settled on a text that affirmed their commitment to reaching an “ambitious” agreement in Paris in 2015, but said that this agreement would reflect “the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in light of different national circumstances”. The text urges developed countries to mobi ... read more »

Ofgem levies £1.75mn penalty on SSE over CESP shortfall

12 December 2014 - The regulator gave notice on Friday 12 December of its intention to impose a financial penalty on SSE following an investigation into the company’s compliance with the Electricity and Gas (Community Energy Saving Programme––CESP) Order 2009. The investigation follows the submission of the final CESP report on 30 April 2013, which provided details of the obligated parties’ achievements towards the targets set under the obligation. The report confirmed a shortfall from SSE ... read more »

TEC CONFERENCE 2015 – SAVE THE DATE!

12 December 2014 - Following on the highly successful TEC conference in June we are pleased to announce the date for our 2015 conference. Be sure to save the date and update your diary to include the TEC annual conference 2015 which will be taking place on Wednesday 17th June 2015 at Birmingham’s iconic Town Hall. The conference will again invite Members to attend to hear from a line-up of expert speakers who will tackle the latest issues on the energy sector agenda. As ever it will also be the ideal opportu ... read more »

VACANCIES ON TEC’S BOARD

12 December 2014 - You will be aware that TEC is undergoing quite a transformation at the moment as we look to become the natural energy services partner for Higher and Further Education in England and Wales as well as being a serious consideration for wider public sector energy users. It is only by staying connected with these sectors at the highest level that we can ensure that TEC is offering and delivering what Members want. The TEC board should be made up of a wide cross section of non-executive directors, ea ... read more »

Ex-Big Six boss Volker Beckers goes over to demand side

12 December 2014 - Former boss of npower Volker Beckers is the new chairman of energy tech firm Reactive Technologies. He picks up the role at the demand-side management firm – basically reducing businesses’ energy use – from ex-Nokia tech developer Dr Heikki Huomo. Touching on the “great opportunity” facing the energy industry at a time when “core business models are facing challenges”, Volker Beckers says: “Demand-side management is really starting to gain momentum ... read more »

New biomass conversion to lose RO grandfathering protection

12 December 2014 - DECC opened a consultation on Friday 12 December on proposals to remove grandfathering protection under the Renewables Obligation (RO) for certain types of biomass project. The department said that the move had been made necessary as market intelligence suggested that biomass deployment would be higher than had been anticipated, and that action was needed to lower the risk of the Levy Control Framework budget being exceeded. Grandfathering would, under the plans, be removed for new biomass conve ... read more »

DECC making “good progress” on smart meter roll-out

12 December 2014 - A report by DECC has confirmed that over 400,000 smart meters are now operating in homes across the UK. The department’s third Annual Progress Report on Smart Meters, issued on Thursday 11 December, said that the programme had continued to make “good progress” during the year, with much of the regulatory framework underpinning the programme having been implemented. Suppliers have projected that a further 2mn smart meters will be rolled out next year, followed by 6mm in 2016. Th ... read more »

Ofgem secures £450k from GDF SUEZ/IPM for failure over environmental obligations

12 December 2014 - Ofgem announced on Friday 12 December that it had secured £450k from GDF Suez/IPM for failing to meet its environmental obligation under the Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP). The company met only 3.8% of its reduced energy saving obligation by the required deadline. The failure resulted in around 1,000 households missing out on energy efficiency measures, the regulator said. It noted that the generator took prompt action to fully address the shortfall after the deadline by continu ... read more »

Regulator encourages greater electricity distribution stakeholder engagement

12 December 2014 - Ofgem published a report from its stakeholder engagement incentive scheme 2013-14 on Wednesday 10 December. The stakeholder engagement incentive is designed to encourage electricity distribution network operators (DNOs) to effectively engage with a range of stakeholders and financially reward those where their engagement has led to high quality outcomes. The scheme provides an annual reward of up to 0.2% of annual allowed revenues per DNO. Ofgem considered that the DNOs still need to engage with ... read more »

IEA lowers oil demand forecast

12 December 2014 - The International Energy Agency (IEA) has cut its outlook for 2015 global oil demand growth by 230kb/d to 0.9mb/d. The organisation’s monthly Oil Market Report, published on Friday 12 December, said that a strong dollar and the lifting of subsidies had so far limited supportive price effects on demand, which is now seen as reaching 93.3mb/d next year––from 92.4mb/d in 2014. Global production fell by 340kb/d in November to 94.1mb/d on lower OPEC supplies. Annual gains of 2.1mb/d ... read more »

Switching level drops in November

12 December 2014 - New figures have shown that slightly less than 300,000 customers switched supplier in November––a 13% fall on the level achieved in the preceding month. Energy UK’s monthly update, issued on Thursday 11 December, showed that switching last month was also sharply down on November 2013, when the number of customers changing supplier spiked to over 600,000. The rate of gains by smaller suppliers also dropped, to 36%––its lowest level since December 2013 and the first t ... read more »

ESOS Qualification Date 31st December - but do HEIs need to register?

12 December 2014 - As the registration deadline looms large, feedback from our recently held workshops suggests more than a degree of uncertainty about whether Higher Education Institutions are covered by the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). In response to this, and as a sign that TEC should provide clarity on key issues such as this, we have invested in a legal opinion on the key matters around ESOS which came out of the discussions at the workshops. These issues are: To provide clarity around the exempt ... read more »

Green Deal fund closes to solid wall insulation

12 December 2014 - The £24mn of funding made available for solid wall insulation through the latest phase of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) has been fully allocated, DECC confirmed on Thursday 11 December. The department said that the £6mn funding pot available for other home improvements remained available for application. DECC junior minister Amber Rudd said: “The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund has been incredibly popular––it’s helping thousands of people have ... read more »

Regulator grants OVO Energy’s Interest Reward derogation request

11 December 2014 - Ofgem published its decision on Wednesday 10 December to approve OVO Energy’s request for derogation in relation to its Interest Reward scheme. Under the scheme OVO Energy provides 3% interest to direct debit customers who pay for their energy one month in advance and whose monthly energy statement shows a positive credit balance. The regulator considered that the Interest Reward does not significantly increase complexity in consumer decision making as it is not linked to the unit rate or ... read more »

Southampton heads local authority league table on energy efficiency

11 December 2014 - Southampton has topped a league table that measures the work undertaken by local authorities (LAs) to promote energy efficiency. Published on Wednesday 10 December by Knauf Insulation, the Local Authority Energy Index explored the extent to which 25 LAs had sought to influence the local energy efficiency agenda, along with measuring and ranking their work in this area. Southampton was commended for having formally adopted an energy use reduction target and to have demonstrated its progress on en ... read more »

Ofgem pleased with gas distribution stakeholder engagement incentive results

11 December 2014 - The regulator published a report from its stakeholder engagement incentive scheme 2013-14 on Wednesday 10 December. The stakeholder engagement incentive encourages gas distribution network (GDN) operators to effectively engage with a range of stakeholders and financially reward those where their engagement has led to high quality outcomes. The scheme provides an annual reward of up to 0.5% of annual allowed revenues per GDN. Ofgem reported that it was pleased by the amount of collaboration betwe ... read more »

Ofgem accepts need for scrutiny of smart meter costs

11 December 2014 - The regulator has said it backs a recommendation by MPs that it should, along with DECC, set out how it intends to minimise the cost of installing smart meters and ensure that cost savings are passed onto consumers. Ofgem responded on Thursday 11 December to a report on preparations for smart metering, which was published earlier this year by the public accounts select committee. Ofgem vowed to monitor measures to protect and empower consumers in the roll-out of the technology, and to introduce ... read more »

'Resilience' is open to interpretation, says Ofwat

11 December 2014 - Speaking at a Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) event this morning, the regulator’s director of parliamentary and public affairs Nicci Russell said that by keeping the definition broad and open to interpretation it allows the water companies to meet their own relevant needs. She said that resilience has a “broad scope” and covers a number of issues and that the is leaving it open to interpretation for each of the water companies so that they ca ... read more »

Ofwat modifies Thames Water’s licence to separate out Thames Tideway Tunnel activities

11 December 2014 - The regulator has made the changes to the licence to create a “clear boundary” between Thames Water’s activities in the project and the Infrastructure Provider (IP), but also between Thames Water’s activities in the project and the rest of its activities. The move was said to be necessary because of the “scale of the activities for the TTT and the different risk profile for the TTT compares to the rest of Thames Water’s activities”. The separate price co ... read more »

Majority of Brits ‘unaware of solar energy support

11 December 2014 - A majority of people (61%) in Britain are not aware they can get financial support from the Government for installing solar panels, according to a new survey. With 81% of adults concerned about rising energy bills, nearly half said they would like to install rooftop solar as a way to mitigate them. Just under half (49%) of those who don’t already have solar panels said they would be encouraged to install them if they had the money to do so. The YouGov survey of more than 2,000 people, cond ... read more »

Move green levy costs into general taxation, says industry association

11 December 2014 - The cost of the government’s green energy policies should be funded through general taxation, the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) has said. Speaking on Wednesday 10 December, EUA Chief Executive Mike Foster said: “We need to make a change. The government’s official climate adviser [the Committee on Climate Change] has warned that households with electric heating face paying £360 a year in green levies by 2030, which is more than a quarter of the total energy bill. [Th ... read more »

Hornsea offshore project given go-ahead

11 December 2014 - DECC granted consent on Wednesday 10 December for the 1.2GW Hornsea Project One offshore development. The project, based 64 miles off the Yorkshire coast, was proposed by SMart Wind––a 50:50 joint venture between Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Project Ventures GmbH––and DONG Energy. Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said: “With around 2,500 local green jobs on the horizon, this is another great boost for Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.” The proj ... read more »

Off-grid households hit by LPG exclusion from Green Deal fund, says trade association

10 December 2014 - The trade association for the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) industry has urged DECC to reconsider the role of the resource in addressing the needs of off-grid households. In a statement, issued on Wednesday 10 December, UKLPG noted that LP gas condensing boilers had been excluded from the list of eligible measures for the government’s Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF), and said this was to the detriment of 4.6mn rural consumers. Rob Shuttleworth, chief executive of UKLPG, said: &ldq ... read more »

Homes with electric heating face paying £360 a year in green levies

10 December 2014 - Households with electric heating face paying £360 a year in green levies by 2030 - more than a quarter of their total energy bill, the Government’s official climate change adviser has warned. The 7 per cent of UK homes – almost 2 million households – who rely on electricity for their heating will be the hardest hit by the Government’s drive for green energy because subsidies for the technologies are levied solely on electricity bills, a report by the Committee on Cl ... read more »

Cost of low-carbon policies to drive up bills, says government climate adviser

10 December 2014 - The cost on household bills of the government’s low-carbon policies is set to increase by £55 through to the end of the decade, according to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). A report by the organisation, published on Wednesday 10 December, said that in 2013 support for low-carbon generation and the carbon price had added £45 to domestic bills, with a further £60 added through support for the government’s energy efficiency schemes and the smart meter roll-out. ... read more »

Capacity market procurement might be too low: Scottish Power

10 December 2014 - The level of capacity being procured through the first capacity market auction might be a “smidgeon on the low side”, MPs have been told. In evidence to the energy and climate change select committee on Tuesday 9 December, Scottish Power director of regulation Rupert Steele acknowledged that DECC had been faced with an “extremely difficult” decision in determining the appropriate level of procurement, but he added: “The UK economy is growing quite strongly and that ... read more »

DECC revises approach to biomethane RHI tariffs

10 December 2014 - The department confirmed on Tuesday 9 December how it intended to adjust the tariff available for biomethane injection to grid available through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). DECC first consulted on changes in May and said that, based on stakeholder responses, it had decided to implement a tiered structure as this would be less prone to “unintended consequences” than the alternative banding option. For annual output of up to 40,000MWh/ year, a tariff of 7.5p/kWh will be maintai ... read more »

UK consumers left in the dark ahead of smart meter roll out

10 December 2014 - The study of UK consumers by YouGov, shows there appears to be some confusion about the potential advantages of smart meters. Over a third (37 per cent) is convinced that smart metering will benefit energy suppliers the most; with just 28 per cent saying it’s the consumer. At the same time, respondents are looking to their energy supplier for better energy control and personalised treatment, among other things, many of which are enabled by smart metering. One in three (27 per cent) consume ... read more »

EU Energy Council urges timely adoption of European Network Codes

10 December 2014 - On 9 December 2014, the EU Energy Council called for the Third Energy Package to be fully implemented. EU Ministers particularly stress the importance of a timely adoption and implementation of network codes and guidelines. The adoption of CACM on Friday 5 December 2014 is a great success but eight network codes are still lined up to go through the European Commission's comitology process. ENTSO-E's network codes and guidelines are the foundations of Europe's internal market in elect ... read more »

Wind industry welcomes record generation levels

10 December 2014 - RenewableUK has hailed figures from National Grid revealing that, on Sunday 7 December, an average of 7.315GW of power was produced by windfarms––surpassing the previous record of 7.234GW. In a statement, the industry association said this meant that wind was powering the equivalent of 43% of GB homes on Sunday. The figures came as research conducted for New Power magazine suggested that more than six in 10 (61%) of people would accept wind turbines within five miles of their home, c ... read more »

Water companies need to renegotiate deals with creditors for PR14, warns Moody’s

10 December 2014 - In a report examining the impact of the regulatory changes as the industry shifts away from a capex/opex structure to a totex one, Moody’s said that this move will make the current financial agreements between the companies and their creditors “irrelevant”. The current arrangements are based upon Infrastructure Renewals Charges (IRC) and Current Cost Depreciation (CCD) and these will no longer be published under the new totex regime and will no longer link into the cash revenue ... read more »

Delivering better value through open data

10 December 2014 - Both public sector buyers and suppliers can experience long-term benefits from making their procurement data more open, Spendnetwork’s Ian Makgill suggests. The traditional view of procurement analysis in the public sector follows a familiar pattern; a group of similar organisations gather together and pass all of their accounts payable data to a supplier who, in turn categorises this data and then publishes it in a business intelligence tool so that anyone can interrogate the data. This m ... read more »

Trust still a big issue when it comes to bills

10 December 2014 - More still needs to be done to improve trust between customers and their experience of energy bills. That was the upshot of yesterday’s debate on the future for energy regulation hosted by Which? During a discussion involving energy suppliers First Utility and SSE, both agreed that more transparency and clearer bills would gain trust amongst their customers. According to Ian McCaig, Chief Executive Officer of First Utility, 40% of households have never switched tariffs and more than half o ... read more »

Fuel poverty in Scotland up in 2013

10 December 2014 - A new report has shown that the fuel poverty rate in Scotland increased by around four percentage points to 39.1% in 2013. The annual Scottish House Condition Survey, issued on Tuesday 9 December, showed that the number of households in Scotland in fuel poverty increased by 100,000 last year, reaching approximately 940,000 overall. It said that the key driver of the rise had been the 7% increase in fuel prices between 2012-13. Around 252,000 of the affected households were deemed to be in extrem ... read more »

Out of sight, out of help

09 December 2014 - In less than five months, local authorities in England will be legally bound to prevent the escalation of health and care needs. Warm homes will play a vital role in preventative health measures with guidance for the 2014 Care Act explicitly stating that ‘a healthy home would be dry, warm and insulated’. Statutory guidance also recommends that councils can boost people’s health and wellbeing by delivering affordable warmth measures. Examples include the Energy Trust’s Ene ... read more »

CMA sets out approach to profitability analysis

09 December 2014 - The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has described how it will assess the financial performance of the energy sector as part of its ongoing investigation. In a paper published on Monday 8 December, the authority said that it would not regard “excess” profitability in itself to be a problematic feature of the market, but “a market outcome that provides an indication that competition problems may exist”. The paper proposed that Return on Capital Employed would be use ... read more »

Government shale gas plans progress in Commons

09 December 2014 - The government’s Infrastructure Bill––which will streamline the underground access regime for shale gas developers––had its Second Reading in the Commons on Monday 8 December. MPs voted down a Labour amendment that expressed opposition to the proposed legislation on the basis that it did not “ensure that unconventional gas extraction could only happen in the context of robust safety and environmental standards, comprehensive monitoring and strict enforcement&r ... read more »

Energy, rail and water privatisation costs households £250/ year, report claims

09 December 2014 - An independent research group has claimed that households could save £250/ year on their utilities bills and train fares if the services were publicly financed. Analysis published on Monday 8 December by Corporate Watch said that while the move would undoubtedly increase the public sector debt, this would be balanced by an equivalent increase in public sector assets. “All else being equal, the newly-public utilities would still be able to cover the costs of the interest payments on t ... read more »

Energy complaints soar in November

09 December 2014 - Complaints to the Energy Ombudsman increased by 182% year-on-year in November, according to new figures. In a statement issued on Monday 8 December, the Ombudsman confirmed that it had received 5,102 complaints during the month––the third highest level on record, surpassed only by July (5,439) and October (5,160) of this year. Billing-related complaints in November were up by 1% on the level received in October, while complaints related the refunding of overpayments rose by 19%. Comp ... read more »

EU Energy Union should focus on market integration, says wind industry

09 December 2014 - The European Commission’s planned Energy Union must focus on the establishment of a functioning integrated market that can drive down costs for consumers, the trade association for the bloc’s wind industry has said. In its 5 priorities for a European Energy Union paper, published on Monday 8 December, the organisation accused member states of “lagging behind” in their interconnectivity objectives, meaning that some nations had a surplus of capacity while others faced the ... read more »

Consultation issued on SEM aggregator of last resort

09 December 2014 - The Single Electricity Market (SEM) Committee issued a consultation on Friday 5 December on the aggregator of last resort (AOLR) for the new Integrated-SEM market. The AOLR is intended to help mitigate the risks for smaller variable generation units in transitioning to the new market design and to facilitate participation in the day ahead, intraday and possible the balancing markets. The consultation considers a range of issues related to the AOLR including its functions, who would undertake the ... read more »

Bank of England investigates ‘carbon bubble’ risk

09 December 2014 - The Bank of England is conducting an investigation into the risk of fossil fuel companies causing a major economic crash if future climate change rules make their assets worthless. The concern around the so-called “carbon bubble” is that if governments across the globe meet their target of limiting global warming to 2°C by cutting emissions, fossil fuel firms won’t be able to burn their oil, gas and coal reserves. The losses in their value could lead to an economic crisis. ... read more »

DECC to push ahead on capacity market despite legal challenge

09 December 2014 - The capacity auction is due to begin 16 December to secure generation capacity for delivery in four years’ time, but new energy company Tempus Energy has lodged a legal challenge with the European Court saying the regime discriminates against demand-side response (DSR) technologies. If the legal challenge is successful, the auction result would be nullified retrospectively, which could take a heavy financial toll on developers that move forward on investment plans in the meantime. That in ... read more »

Yorkshire Water to trial water release to boost ecology

09 December 2014 - The trial period, which starts on 12 January and runs for five years, will see the company release water from its Grimworth reservoir to help improve the ecology in the River Dibb, in north Yorkshire. The flow through that river is inconsistent, preventing native wildlife from establishing itself and thriving in the area. The Water Framework Directive states that at least 32 per cent of water bodies will be required to reach ‘good’ classification by 2015, and for all water bodies to ... read more »

Licensing update

09 December 2014 - Ofgem gave notice on Monday 8 December that Universal Utilities have been granted an electricity supply licence. Read the main document here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

ENTSO-E announces CACM network code adopted in comitology

08 December 2014 - ENTSO-E said on Friday 5 December that the network code on capacity allocation and congestion management (CACM) was adopted by member states in comitology––the first text to be adopted as part of the electricity network codes programme. The network code sets out rules for capacity allocation––allocating the available cross-border capacity on the electricity transmission infrastructure in day-ahead and intraday timescales, and outlines the way in which capacity will be cal ... read more »

MPs call for fairer treatment of prepayment customers

08 December 2014 - A cross-party group of MPs has called for the establishment of a “national minimum standard for fair energy prices” for all prepayment meter customers. In a report published on Monday 8 December, the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty in Britain expressed concerns about the inability of prepayment customers to access the best deals on the market. It said that, along with the new standard, Ofgem should review the impact of standing charges on poorer household ... read more »

Scottish government urges action on climate change

08 December 2014 - The Scottish government has called on the international community to match Scotland’s “world-leading” ambitions in addressing climate change. Speaking on Monday 8 December ahead of UN climate talks in Lima in Peru, Scottish environment and climate change minister Aileen McLeod said: “The scientific evidence could not be clearer. The world is getting warmer and greenhouse gas emissions from mankind are extremely likely to be the dominant cause of climate change.” She ... read more »

UK fossil fuel investment soaring, think tank warns

08 December 2014 - Analysis by the Green Alliance has suggested that investments in fossil fuel projects will exceed investment in low-carbon energy in the current financial year. Published on Sunday 7 December, the analysis revealed that, since a detailed infrastructure pipeline was first unveiled by the government in 2012, spending on fossil fuel infrastructure had been revised up from 8% to 61% (£2.2bn to £15.2bn) of all energy infrastructure in 2014-15. At the same time, spending on low-carbon ener ... read more »

Regulator updates ECO guidance for suppliers

08 December 2014 - Ofgem published updated guidance for the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) on Friday 5 December to reflect the changes made to the ECO Order 2012. The guidance focuses on the requirements of ECO in accordance with legislation and administrative processes. Changes to the guidance cover the reduction of the overall Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation (CERO) target, minor clarifications on holding and retaining information for audit, definitions of wall insulation and roof-space insulation, and e ... read more »

Ofgem consults on minded-to positions on UNC Project Nexus iGT single service provision proposals

08 December 2014 - The regulator issued a statutory consultation on Thursday 4 December on a proposed licence to oblige independent gas transporters (iGTs) to use the common services of Xoserve, bringing them into line with the existing obligations on other gas transporters. It also seeks views on its minded-to position to accept two proposals that seek to extend the provision of certain services set out in the UNC to the iGTs. These are UNC440 Project Nexus- iGT Single Service Provision and UNC467 Project Nexus - ... read more »

Green Deal fund set for re-launch

08 December 2014 - The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund will re-open for applications on Wednesday 10 December, DECC has announced. Up to £5,600 will be available to households from an overall fund of £30mn––with £24mn available for solid wall insulation, and a further £6mn for two measures from a list of energy-saving improvements. Once the funding for each category has been committed, no further applications for that category will be taken, though applications will still be ta ... read more »

Ukraine urged to ‘self-limit’ power usage

08 December 2014 - The energy industry in Ukraine is being urged to “self-limit” power consumption during times of peak demand. Volodymyr Demchyshyn, Minister of the Energy and Coal Industry made the comment yesterday during a conference call with representatives of regional administrations and energy companies. Earlier this week a “technical damage” shut down one of the reactors at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which led to a cut in electricity production. Mr Demchyshyn ... read more »

Wholesale energy prices rise as winter sets in

08 December 2014 - The price of electricity and gas for near-term delivery rose 6 per cent and 9 per cent respectively last month compared to average October prices, according to market analysts at Platts. The price reporting agency said that reduced wind power output combined with constrained nuclear output due to outages helped to bolster pricing levels as the UK increased its use of more expensive gas-fired power in order to meet rising temperature-led demand. However, average electricity prices were still 8 pe ... read more »

Be aware: Supply chain 2015

08 December 2014 - Looking ahead to 2015, we predict that sustainability and environmental issues will become a priority for utilities companies, amid growing legislation, as well as consumer and governmental pressure. There will be four key areas utilities companies will need to address. The first two are responsible procurement and improving scrutiny around the provenance of goods and services. Utilities will then also need to continue their efforts to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions while fosteri ... read more »

Labour tables 11 amendments to tighten shale gas regulations

08 December 2014 - These amendments include mandating independent well inspections and ensuring “adequate protection for groundwater aquifers” and for all the water companies to become statutory consultees in the planning process. Labour’s planned changes to the Bill, which is having its second reading in the House of Commons today, will also introduce baseline monitoring of methane in groundwater, a “presumption against fracking in protected areas”, and for the contents of the frack ... read more »

Ofgem approves UNC465V to introduce PARCAs

08 December 2014 - The regulator approved UNC465V Introduction of the Planning and Advanced Reservation of Capacity Agreement (PARCA), Weighted Average PARCA Security on Friday 5 December and rejected alternative proposal UNC452. The proposal will align the release of incremental gas capacity to planning processes implemented by Planning Act 2008. Ofgem considered that both proposals would prevent a possible conflict between the capacity release mechanism and the planning process and the difference between them wa ... read more »

Government facing court action over capacity market

05 December 2014 - The government’s proposed capacity market is set to face a legal challenge in the European General Court over claims that it represents an “unlawful subsidy”. The challenge, submitted by Tempus Energy, argues that the mechanism “violates state aid rules by prioritising fossil fuel electricity generation over cheaper and more reliable demand-side options”. The first capacity market auction is due to be held this month. Speaking on Thursday 4 December, Tempus CEO Sara ... read more »

Regulator consults on ECO administration for 2015-2017

05 December 2014 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Thursday 4 December on the policies it is proposing in relation to certain aspects of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO2) that will run from April 2015 to March 2017. The proposals are for the areas of ECO2 in which the regulator will be exercising its discretion in administering new legislative provisions or where it is making further improvements to its current policies. The consultation seeks views on: pre-existing roof insulation requirements; cavities which c ... read more »

British people don’t know who to trust for energy

05 December 2014 - With so many voices and so many opinions it’s no wonder confusion and mistrust continues to plague the energy industry. Energy has become increasingly a ‘political football’, with politicians, interest groups, switching sites, and the industry itself all using energy as a tool to deliver their own agendas. Despite – or maybe because of – this multitude of voices, no single energy organisation is trusted by more than half the country to give the unbiased picture of e ... read more »

British Gas Business signs up to EU energy code

05 December 2014 - British Gas Business has become the first company in the UK to sign the European Code of Energy Performance Contracts (EPC). An EPC is a partnership between a supplier and its customers that allows them to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and facilities. The contract guarantees the energy saving measures the customers implement will generate sufficient savings to pay for the project. The code was launched in September this year to support EPC energy services and transparency of t ... read more »

Guest Blog: npower’s Wayne Mitchell on ESOS

05 December 2014 - How to make ESOS pay The forthcoming mandatory Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is beginning to hit the business radar, as the qualification date of 31 December 2014 is fast approaching. Certainly, we had record attendance at our ESOS webinar last week, and despite allowing 20 minutes Q&A time, we still didn’t manage to get through all participant queries. Martin Adams, the ESOS Team Leader from DECC, joined us to provide an overview of the key points of the scheme. He was keen ... read more »

Bills more likely to come down says npower boss

05 December 2014 - Energy bills are more likely to come down this winter, the boss of energy company npower has suggested. In an interview with ELN he also poured scorn on the Labour party’s plans for a price freeze if it wins the next election, citing the “difficulties” it creates. The recent trend of suppliers bumping up their prices ahead of winter has prompted cynics to suggest this is to take advantage of householders using more energy. But npower customers shouldn’t expect this, Massa ... read more »

CMA chief defends energy sector scrutiny

05 December 2014 - Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) chief executive Alex Chisholm has said the authority cannot “shy away” from scrutinising the energy sector, given current levels of public concern. Speaking on Thursday 4 December, Chisholm acknowledged criticisms of the current market investigation as being driven principally by political intervention, and consequently at variance with the CMA’s role as an independent organisation. But he explained: “My view on this is that we&rsq ... read more »

MPs open fracking inquiry

05 December 2014 - A committee of MPs confirmed on Thursday 4 December that it would open an inquiry into the environmental impacts of fracking. The environmental audit select committee said the investigation would explore the risks from fracking operations in the UK, including potential risks to water supplies and biodiversity. It will also seek to consider the environmental safeguards necessary for fracking––including through the planning/ permitting system––and the implications for the U ... read more »

Cheltenham Hospital slices energy bills

05 December 2014 - Cheltenham Hospital has spent £3.1 million in the hope of lowering their energy bills by 30%. The new “energy centre” a building that houses the heating and electricity equipment, will save the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust around £10 million over the next 18 years. It’s expected to cut carbon emissions by around 32,000 tonnes by 2032. The money spent will allow the hospital to focus more on “front line services and patient care” said Ca ... read more »

ACER calls for comments on revised network code on electricity balancing

04 December 2014 - Following ENTSO-E resubmitting a revised version of the network code on electricity balancing to ACER in September, on Wednesday 3 December the Agency invited stakeholders to submit comments on the document. ENTSO-E said this network code is a crucial piece of work that will greatly enhance Europe’s security of supply. By harmonising electricity balancing rules, trading of balancing resources between transmission system operators will be facilitated leading to a more efficient use of resou ... read more »

No overspend on low-carbon budget, says Davey

04 December 2014 - Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has played down concerns that the government will, within years, spend beyond its budget for low-carbon projects. The issue was raised with Davey by energy and climate change select committee chair Tim Yeo, who in a letter to DECC noted that figures in the government’s own Annual Energy Statement suggested that an “over-commitment” of funds had been made for 2016-17. But Davey argued it was “very unlikely that the entire contra ... read more »

North Sea fiscal reforms confirmed in Autumn Statement

04 December 2014 - The government has set out a raft of measures intended to “maximise the benefit of North Sea oil and gas to the economy”. Delivering the Autumn Statement on Wednesday 3 December, chancellor George Osborne said that from next year there would be a 2% reduction in the rate of the Supplementary Charge, from 32% to 30%, with an aspiration to reduce it further “to encourage additional investment and drive higher production”. Moreover, the ring fence expenditure supplement is t ... read more »

Important first steps to reduce tax burden on ‘vital’ UK industry acknowledged by Oil & Gas UK

04 December 2014 - Today’s announcement from the Chancellor George Osborne, that the ‘vital’ UK offshore oil and gas industry is to see an immediate reduction of two percentage points in its tax rate, is considered by Oil & Gas UK as an important first step towards improving the fiscal competitiveness of the UK North Sea. This is the first cut in tax rates for the UK North Sea in 21 years. The industry currently pays tax on oil and gas production at special rates of between 62 and 81 per cent ... read more »

ACER adopts work programme for 2015

04 December 2014 - ACER said on Wednesday 3 December that it has adopted its work programme for 2015. The plan focuses on the four main areas where the Agency expects to focus its activities: the post-2014 completion of the internal energy market; the infrastructure challenge, including the implementation of the TEN-E regulation; monitoring of wholesale energy markets as mandated under the Regulation on wholesale market integrity and transparency (REMIT); and the longer-term regulatory challenges, including work t ... read more »

British Gas told to pay £11.1m penalty by Ofgem

04 December 2014 - British Gas will pay an £11.1m penalty for failing to meet energy efficiency targets on time, Ofgem has said. The regulator said that the firm failed to meet deadlines to insulate homes under two energy efficiency schemes that ran until the end of 2012. Although British Gas did ultimately reach its targets, the delay meant that thousands missed out on the measures during the winter of 2012-13. The company said it was sorry for failing to meet the deadline. Delay 'unacceptable' Last ... read more »

Ofgem announces £17 billion new investment package and reduces pressure on customer bills

04 December 2014 - £17 billion to renew, maintain the electricity network and connect small-scale renewable generation £2.1 billion of savings achieved since Ofgem sent back companies’ initial business plans last year Ofgem expects companies to meet tough targets on further improving reliability, customer service, connections, and their work with vulnerable consumers Electricity distribution part of bill to fall by an average of £11 over next eight years Ofgem has today set out plans for fi ... read more »

Osborne cuts tax for oil and gas

04 December 2014 - Chancellor George Osborne has given the oil and gas industry a tax boost in today’s Autumn Statement. In a speech devoid of much energy content, Mr Osborne announced a 2% cut in tax from the new year to encourage investment and boost production in the North Sea. The so called “Supplementary Charge reduction” which falls to 30% will apply across the whole industry. He also ring fenced future expenditure for offshore oil and gas activities for a further four years, from six years ... read more »

CER issues plans for gas security of supply

04 December 2014 - The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) issued on Wednesday 3 December Ireland’s National Gas Supply Emergency Plan. This seeks to ensure a consistent and coordinated response to an unplanned gas supply interruption in order to ensure that a gas supply is prevented or, if one occurs, is resolved quickly and competently. This sets out information on the three crisis levels, defines the roles and responsibilities of different parties and the procedures and measures to be followed. It has ... read more »

Non-domestic third party intermediaries (TPIs): Summary of industry feedback

03 December 2014 - Following consultation in Q1/2 of 2014 on options for regulation in the non-domestic TPI market, Ofgem summarised the feedback in an open letter. The preferred option was for a mandatory code for TPIs, backed by a licence condition on energy suppliers to only work with accredited TPIs. To provide industry input into the drafting of the code, Ofgem ran three cross-industry working groups in Q3/4 2014. The output of those working groups is summarised in these slides. The code and associated licenc ... read more »

Utilities fighting losing battle against renewables development, says environmental group

03 December 2014 - The Big Six risk “putting themselves on the wrong side of history” by failing to support the “renewables revolution”, a report by Friends of the Earth has warned. Published on Tuesday 2 December, The Big Six On The Run said that the major energy firms were already “seeing their profits hit by Britain’s gradual embrace of renewables”, and that the growth of technologies such as wind and solar would continue as their costs fell. The report called on the go ... read more »

Renewables industry attacks Pickles for “excessive” windfarm interventions

03 December 2014 - RenewableUK has expressed concern about the interference in windfarm planning decisions by communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles. In a letter to the Royal Town Planning Institute, sent on Monday 1 December, the organisation said that, since the summer of 2013, Pickles’ interventions had resulted in delays or refusal for 52 projects with an overall capacity of 528MW and investment value of £590mn. The letter said: “In our view, the level of intervention by [Pic ... read more »

Major energy efficiency programme would deliver economic boost: report

03 December 2014 - A fuel poverty campaign’s call for a “radical” new programme on home energy efficiency could provide a significant boost to the economy, a report has claimed. The Energy Bill Revolution has said that all low income homes should be given measures by 2025 that bring them up to Band C on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), and for all other households to be offered 0% interest loans to improve them to an equivalent EPC standard by 2035. A study, by Cambridge Econometrics and ... read more »

Interconnectors to participate in the Capacity Market from 2015

03 December 2014 - Improving our connection to Europe’s energy markets means our energy companies can buy electricity from wherever it’s cheapest. It will give British bill payers a better deal, strengthen our energy security and create more opportunities for growth at home. It will also increase the potential for low-carbon electricity to be used across the UK. And by ensuring as many resources as possible can take part in the Capacity Market, competition will be increased, driving down costs to bill ... read more »

Bank of England to explore “stranded carbon” concerns

03 December 2014 - The Bank of England is exploring the implications of proven fossil fuel reserves being considered “unburnable” in light of efforts to limit global temperature increases. Governor Mark Carney confirmed the bank’s inquiry in a letter to the House of Commons environment audit select committee, which has recently been published. He said that the bank had held an initial discussion regarding the issue of “stranded carbon” and would subsequently deepen and widen its inqui ... read more »

Regulator approves cap and floor regime for project Nemo interconnector

03 December 2014 - Ofgem published its decision to apply the cap and floor regime for the project Nemo interconnector between Great Britain and Belgium on Tuesday 2 December. This finalises work on the cap and floor regime design, as well as the consultation process for the decision on Nemo made by the Belgian regulator (CREG) in November. The annual floor level will be set at £50.4mn and the cap will be £80mn, though these are subject to final adjustments following the final assessment of costs after ... read more »

Utility Regulator consults on contestability in electricity connections

03 December 2014 - The Utility Regulator (UR) issued a consultation on Tuesday 2 December on the introduction of contestability in electricity connections within Northern Ireland. It follows a call for evidence in September and invites views on a range of issues including the specific factors that need to be taken into account for the Northern Ireland model, the relevant issues from Ofgem’s recent review into competition in connections and key policy and practical decisions that need to be made in order to i ... read more »

Water sector interim results eclipsed by looming Ofwat determinations

02 December 2014 - n the event, there were no major surprises for the three quoted water stocks, although Pennon’s share price did rise by over 5% on the basis of a distinctly more upbeat outlook for its troubled Viridor operations. Aside from the unquoted Thames, most water sector attention on December 12th will focus on United Utilities and, to what extent, Ofwat has responded to its vigorous representations on future sewerage investment. At its interim results presentation, United Utilities’ Chief E ... read more »

IEA urges deeper EU energy market integration

02 December 2014 - The International Energy Agency (IEA) has praised Europe’s leadership on climate change but called for the pace of integration to be increased. In a review of the EU’s energy policies, published on Monday 1 December, the organisation said that integration had, thus far, been largely confined to the northern and western parts of Europe, and that only with interconnections across the bloc would there be the basis of an “Energy Union”. Moreover, the report argued that, despi ... read more »

National Grid sets out view on transmission system development

02 December 2014 - National Grid issued the Electricity Ten Year Statement on Monday 1 December. The statement’s purpose is to illustrate the potential development of the national electricity transmission system under a range of scenarios on which the company has already consulted: Low Carbon Life, No Progression, Gone Green, and Slow Progression. The report said that investments that were in the construction phase should continue as scheduled and a number of minor schemes should progress, but that there was ... read more »

NuGen to secure government finance for Moorside nuclear power project

02 December 2014 - NuGen and HM Treasury will work together to see how the Scheme can support arrangement of external project finance for Moorside, the nuclear consortium said. NuGen is a UK nuclear company owned by Toshiba and GDF SUEZ which plans to build a new nuclear power plant next to the Sellafield nuclear complex in West Cumbria. The UK Generation Scheme forms a key component of any financing structure for new low-carbon power plants. It was introduced in 2012 to help companies finance the huge cost of new ... read more »

Ofgem approves DCP217 on rate of return in charging models

02 December 2014 - The regulator approved DCP217 Rate of Return on Monday 1 December. This will continue for 2015-16 the use of the 5.6% rate of return used in the common distribution charging methodology and the extra high voltage distribution charging methodology for apportioning network costs. This rate was used for the DPCR5 price control. Ofgem said that it expected an enduring solution, following a more detailed examination of the options, to be developed for future charging years. Implementation is on 1 Apr ... read more »

Efficiency rules could save energy equivalent of 22 power plants by 2020, Davey claims

02 December 2014 - The ESOS regulation will come into effect from next month, requiring all UK businesses with 250 employees or more to undergo an efficiency assessment from a certified assessor by December next year. Although the assessment is mandatory and must take place every four years, acting on its findings are completely voluntary. On the sidelines of an energy efficiency conference on Wednesday Davey told reporters that he did not believe the regulation needed to be mandatory to be taken up by business, b ... read more »

GIB takes 20 per cent stake in Sherringham offshore windfarm for £240m

02 December 2014 - The GIB said it will buy the stake in project owner Scira Offshore Energy from joint-investors Statkraft and Statoil before transferring the acquisition to its proposed GIB Operating Offshore Wind Fund as a seed asset, it said. “This is an important investment for the UK offshore wind sector in two respects,” said GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury in a statement. “Firstly, it allows two strategically important investors, Statkraft and Statoil, to take part of their investment ... read more »

Cox opens door to 'radical' M&A in water market

02 December 2014 - He said: “If there is going to be M&A, as I read daily at the moment in the press, I really hope we will see some very much more dynamic and differentiated approaches.” Speaking in a personal capacity at a Utility Weekreception to mark the 25th anniversary of the privatisation of the water sector, he hinted that changes in the market could see the disaggregation of water companies. He said: “We see the opportunity to find benefits from thinking differently on who owns the r ... read more »

Long-term clarity needed on low-carbon budget

02 December 2014 - The next government must give the investor community clarity over the level of funding available for low-carbon projects beyond the end of the decade, according to the Aldersgate Group. In a report published on Tuesday 2 December, the group said that the government should provide clarity on the support available through the Levy Control Framework, and should set a decarbonisation target for the power sector for 2030. It also called for greater certainty regarding the role of fossil fuels in the ... read more »

Ofgem fines energy generators Drax and Intergen £39m for not delivering on Cesp target

02 December 2014 - Drax Power only delivered 37.1 per cent of its Cesp target by 31 December 2012 while Intergen delivered much less at 6 per cent of its targets, meaning several thousand domestic customers missed out on energy saving measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation and had higher energy bills as a result, Ofgem said. Cesp was designed to lower carbon emissions through the delivery of these energy saving measures free of charge to households in low income areas by both energy suppliers and generat ... read more »

First Flight abandons windfarm plans

02 December 2014 - The consortium behind plans for a 400MW offshore windfarm off the coast of County Down in Northern Ireland has confirmed that it is to cease development of the project. In a statement issued on Tuesday 2 December, First Flight Wind––comprised of B9 Energy, DONG Energy, and RES––said that, while it had made significant progress in establishing the project’s feasibility, “delays to the design of the new market and renewable incentive arrangements for Northern Ir ... read more »

Smaller suppliers are still offering better deals than the big six

01 December 2014 - The big six have made higher cuts to their best deals, up to £189 over the last six months, but smaller suppliers’ tariffs remain cheaper, as they were six months ago, MoneySuperMarket said. The cheapest tariff is currently being offered by Extra Energy and would cost the average customer £958 a year. The analysis shows that four of the big six cut their prices over the last six months with only SSE and British Gas failing to lower the price of their cheapest tariff. Instead th ... read more »

Joint workgroup to take forward sub-5MW proposals on frequency changes

01 December 2014 - National Grid said on Thursday 27 November that the joint Distribution Code and Grid Code workgroup for GC0035/GC0079 Frequency Changes During Large Disturbances and their Effect on the Total System is starting the second phase of its work. It will look at generators with sub-5MW capacity in respect of: whether there is still a need for rate of change of frequency (RoCoF) loss of mains protection; the costs, benefits and risks of a change to recommended RoCoF settings, and the need for a require ... read more »

Regulator alters requirements for micro-business consumer contract renewal process

01 December 2014 - Ofgem published its decision on Friday 28 November to standardise the micro-business contract renewal process and to increase the amount of information available in renewal letters. The changes to the gas and electricity supply licences will amend standard licence conditions (SLC) 1 and 7A, as set out in the statutory consultation issued in July. The modifications will require suppliers to allow micro-business consumers to give notice to terminate a contract no more than 30 days before a contrac ... read more »

Thames Water records £100m fall in profits due to higher tax

01 December 2014 - The company made £133.6 million in the six months until 30 September 2014, which is down from £233.6 million in the same period the previous year. Thames Water paid £36.4 million in tax on its profit during this period, but this compares to a credit payment of £99.4 million from the Treasury last year due to changes to corporation tax rates from 21 per cent to 20 per cent. The company’s pre-tax profit increased from £134.2 million in H1 2013 to £170 mill ... read more »

Regulator consults on priority areas for changes to the capacity market rules

01 December 2014 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Friday 28 November on its proposed priority areas for potential changes to the capacity market rules for the 2015 four-year-ahead (T-4) auction and the first demand-side response (DSR) transitional auction. The three suggested priority areas for change are: streamlining and clarifying arrangements for pre-qualification, price-maker memorandum arrangements and demand-side response (DSR) related issues. The regulator also invites proposals in other areas of the rules ... read more »

UK facing policy disaster in energy sector, report warns

28 November 2014 - A report has said that energy policy is “on course to becoming the most costly domestic policy disaster in modern British history”. Published on Thursday 27 November by the think tank Reform, the report argued that policy-makers had been “dishonest” with the public about the costs of establishing renewable energy targets, and that policy had not been assessed against potentially more efficient options. It said: “The result in that the energy sector is being transfor ... read more »

Regulator finalises RIIO-ED1 for slow-track electricity distribution companies

28 November 2014 - Ofgem laid out on Friday 28 November its final determinations for the slow-track electricity distribution companies in the next network price control, RIIO-ED1, taking effect in April 2015. The new price control period will run for eight years until 2023 and apply to ten electricity distribution network operators (DNOs). Allowed revenues will be reduced to around 4.7% on average over the RIIO-ED1 period, relative to the current price control, translating into an underlying reduction of approxima ... read more »

Regulator reduces wholesale cost forecast

28 November 2014 - Ofgem published its supply market indicator (SMI) for November on Thursday 27 November. It shows a similar outlook to the October update, estimating that the average dual fuel bill, at £1,326, is slightly down from last month. The regulator has calculated that wholesale gas and electricity costs for the next 12 months will be around £588, decreased from £591 last month, making up 44% of an average dual fuel bill. But the regulator estimates that next year’s network, envir ... read more »

Utilita Energy investigated for compliance with switching prevention obligations

28 November 2014 - The regulator launched an investigation on Thursday 27 November into Utilita Energy’s compliance with obligations under standard licence condition (SLC) 14 of the gas and electricity supply licences. SLC14 outlines when a gas or electricity supplier can prevent a domestic customer from transferring to a new supplier, including when: there are outstanding charges; a customer transfer is initiated in error; the customer asks for the transfer to be blocked; and where the new supplier has not ... read more »

Historic milestone as new figures show renewables now Scotland’s largest source of power

28 November 2014 - Renewable energy served as Scotland’s main source of power during the first half of the year, according to official figures. The statistics showed that, during the period, renewables generated 32% more electricity than any other single source of power in Scotland, reaching a record 10.3TWh. Niall Stuart, chief executive of Scottish Renewables, labelled the news as “historic”. “This important milestone is good news for anyone who cares about Scotland’s economy, our e ... read more »

Impact of electricity outages increasingly uncertain, say engineers

28 November 2014 - The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) has said there is “growing uncertainty” about the methods used to calculate the financial and social impacts of potential power outages. On Thursday 27 November, the RAE published a study on Counting the Cost: the Economic and Social Costs of Electricity Shortfalls in the UK. It says that, although the likelihood of a serious outage is “very low”, its economic impact could potentially run into billions of pounds. But the academy says ... read more »

OPEC 166th Meeting concludes

28 November 2014 - The Conference congratulated HE Adil Abd Al Mahdi on his appointment as Minister of Oil of Iraq, and thanked his predecessor in office, HE Abdul-Kareem Luaibi Bahedh, for his contribution to the work of the Organization. The Conference elected HE Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke CON, Minister of Petroleum Resources of Nigeria and Head of its Delegation, as President of the Conference for one year, with effect from 1st January 2015, and HE Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industr ... read more »

Fracking planned for North Yorkshire

27 November 2014 - Third Energy announced on Tuesday 25 November that it would apply for permission to hydraulically fracture its KM8 well at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire. The company drilled the well during 2013, but will now frack in order further to assess its commercial potential. An initial consultation will seek to identify areas of potential environmental impact and this will be followed by a broader public consultation, prior to the submission of a planning application. Third Energy chief executive R ... read more »

Regulator consults on DCC price control

27 November 2014 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Wednesday 26 November on its first review of the Data and Communications Company’s (DCC) price control. The DCC’s price control allows it to fund its economic and efficient costs during a period of uncertainty as it supports the smart meter roll-out. Based on its assessment of the DCC’s costs, revenues and related activities during its first six months of operation, Ofgem proposes to disallow £0.1mn incurred during 2014 where it considers th ... read more »

Ofgem responds to gas pre-payment overcharging

27 November 2014 - Ofgem has said it is “determined that no consumer should lose out because some energy suppliers have overcharged some consumers on pre-payment meters”. In a statement issued on Wednesday 26 November, the regulator said that it expected industry by the end of the week to: come forward with a swift timetable for resolving all traceable cases of over-charging customers; repay consumers within a clearly agreed and publicly announced timetable; reconfigure meters as quickly as possible; a ... read more »

EU member states told to implement EU anti-fraud package

27 November 2014 - A joint communique of ten European gas and electricity associations including CEER called, on Wednesday 26 November, for comprehensive implementation of the EU anti-VAT fraud package by all 28 EU member states. It said at present only six member states, including the UK, have transposed this set of legal measures, which was adopted by the EU in 2013 into national law and that that at present the integrity of the European energy wholesale markets remains “significantly threatened”. Th ... read more »

Oil and gas industry needs “strong” regulator: Deloitte

27 November 2014 - Organisations active in the UK Continental Shelf would like to a see a “strong” regulator that is able to drive “radical change”, according to analysts at Deloitte. The company issued a report on Wednesday 26 November on Making the Most of the UKCS, which was based on interviews with 23 senior oil and gas executives. It said that the incoming Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) would need sufficient regulatory powers to drive through the necessary cultural, “or in extreme c ... read more »

Gas prepayment customers overcharged, industry confirms

27 November 2014 - Energy UK confirmed on Wednesday 26 November that energy suppliers were in the process of arranging refunds for 1.5mn gas prepayment customers, after it was found that faulty meters had led to them being overcharged. The fault stemmed from the Calorific Value for some meters having been set incorrectly, leading to the appearance that more energy had been used by customers than was actually the case. Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “That overcharging has been going on for ... read more »

Onshore licensing should be devolved, says Smith Commission

27 November 2014 - The Smith Commission has recommended that the licensing of onshore oil and gas extraction in Scotland should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The commission’s report, issued on Thursday 27 November, said that responsibility for mineral access rights for underground extraction should also be devolved. On energy efficiency, the report recommended that powers to determine how supplier obligations were designed and implemented should be transferred to the Scottish Parliament, but that r ... read more »

GIB invests in Sheringham Shoal

27 November 2014 - The Green Investment Bank (GIB) announced on Thursday 27 November that it would invest £240mn in the Sheringham Shoal offshore windfarm. The 317MW development has been operating for two years in the Greater Wash area, between 17km-23km off the coast of Norfolk. GIB will take a 20% stake in the project, and intends over time to transfer this stake into the proposed GIB Operating Offshore Wind Fund as a seed asset. The fund will seek to attract new investors into the sector. Shaun Kingsbury, ... read more »

Scottish government backs community projects

27 November 2014 - The Scottish government has awarded £380,000 to 17 community energy projects across Scotland. The funding, confirmed on Wednesday 26 November, is intended to allow the schemes to develop their projects further, and to take them through to the next stage of the Local Energy Challenge Fund, established through the Scottish government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme. Scottish energy minister Fergus Ewing said: “We have an ambition to put communities at the heart of local e ... read more »

Rural campaigners call for shale gas protections

27 November 2014 - The Countryside Alliance has urged the government to ensure that shale gas development in the UK is “carefully regulated” and that its environmental impacts are minimised. In a report, published on Wednesday 26 November, the group said that initial activity should be focused on the land “least susceptible to incremental environmental damage”, with brownfield or existing well sites used for initial appraisal and development. “Through monitoring those projects and pro ... read more »

Ofgem approves STC modification on reporting requirements for Transparency Regulation

27 November 2014 - The regulator approved CM056 Reporting Requirements under EU Transparency Regulation on Wednesday 26 November, which will clarify that OFTOs will provide National Grid Electricity Transmission with all the necessary information to fulfil the reporting obligation under Article 10(1)(c) of the Transparency Regulation. This Regulation requires the provision of a common set of data relating to the generation, transportation and consumption of electricity to be made available to market participants. ... read more »

Relocated solar projects to keep FiT

26 November 2014 - Businesses and factories are to be allowed to move their solar photovoltaic projects between buildings without losing the feed-in tariff (FiT) payments, under new government proposals. A consultation issued by DECC on Tuesday 25 November said that the current arrangements, in which a FiT installation becomes ineligible for support if it is moved, was acting as a barrier to the development of building-mounted solar. Junior energy minister Amber Rudd said: “There’s potential for signif ... read more »

DECC confirms grid delay grace period for large-scale solar

26 November 2014 - The department confirmed on Tuesday 25 November that it would introduce a 12-month grid delay grace period for new large-scale solar photovoltaic projects under the Renewables Obligation (RO). DECC consulted on the proposal earlier this year, having heard from stakeholders that grid connection delays represented the most significant uncertainty for projects in light of the planned early closure of the RO to large-scale solar. The government’s response document confirmed that 28 out of 29 r ... read more »

New report finds governments must act now to support clean energy innovation and avoid spiralling future costs

25 November 2014 - The longer governments wait to promote clean energy innovation, the greater the eventual cost to the environment and the economy, according to a new report published today (24 November 2014) by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at London School of Economics and Political Science. The authors of the report – Professor Philippe Aghion (Harvard University), Professor Cameron Hepburn (University of Oxfo ... read more »

Consumers failing to switch despite savings on offer, report shows

24 November 2014 - A study by academics at the University of East Anglia’s Centre for Competition Policy (CCP) has suggested that a number of “pure” switching costs might be deterring consumers from changing their energy supplier despite the potential savings. The report analyses the outcome of Which?’s “Big Switch” scheme, which was undertaken in 2012. It found that many consumers invested considerable effort into their entry in the scheme, but then seemed prepared to “le ... read more »

Ofgem approves UNC497 on removing CSEP NExA table

24 November 2014 - The regulator approved UNC497 Removal of the CSEP NExA Table Held within Annex A Part 8 on Friday 21 November. This will delete the Annual Quantity (AQ) table published in the Annex A Part 8 of the Connected System Exit Point (CSEP) Network Exit Agreement (NExA) and replace it with a reference to the most up-to-date version of the AQ table published by the independent gas transporters. Ofgem said removing the redundant AQ table from the CSEP NExA to instead incorporate it by reference the prevai ... read more »

UK wholesale power market is opening up, say small suppliers

24 November 2014 - The regulator met with market participants on Thursday to discuss the impact of its new trading regulation, andUtility Week understands that there was a “broad consensus” that the supplier market access rules have proved successful so far. Ofgem’s trading rules were implemented in April this year in a bid to “break the stranglehold of the big six”, and include license conditions which compel the larger suppliers, including generators Drax and GDF Suez, to offer a re ... read more »

Sutton and East Surrey Water extends social tariff pilot

24 November 2014 - The water company launched the pilot tariff in April this year and set a target of attracting 2,000 households to sign up by the end of March 2015, but it has now met this goal. SESW will continue to accept applications for the social tariff from its customers as it now works towards its March 2016 target of having 5,000 households on the social tariff. The scheme offers 25 per cent off water bills and this discount increases to 50 per cent for the second year of the pilot. The pilot is being fu ... read more »

Environmental management guidance to ESOS

24 November 2014 - Find all the information about ESOS scheme here ... read more »

Regulator approves £110mn increase in costs for Beauly-Denny project

24 November 2014 - Ofgem has approved the additional funding request from Scottish Power Transmission of £110.6mn for the Beauly-Denny project. The regulator considers that the increase in costs represents efficient expenditure for the project, which will upgrade the capacity of the key strategic line between northern and central Scotland, helping reduce generation constraints and permitting the connection of additional renewable generation to the network. The revenue amendment increases the project’s ... read more »

Consultations issued on three UNC proposals

24 November 2014 - The Joint Office issued consultations on the following proposals following the UNC Panel on Thursday 20 November: UNC496 Transporter Gas Safety Visit, which seeks to introduce new reports after transporter gas safety visits following meter removals, with responses due by 9 December; UNC500 Capacity Allocation Mechanisms with Congestion Management Procedures, which will introduce a series of new features, including an EU set of standard capacity products and an EU standard capacity auction design ... read more »

MSPs urge progress on highlands grid connections

24 November 2014 - Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) have written to Ofgem in order to express concern about the lack of progress on developing grid infrastructure in the Highlands. The letter was sent on Thursday 20 November by the economy, energy and tourism select committee, who said that the matter required urgent action from the regulator as a number of renewable projects in the region were being jeopardised. Local councillors had earlier told the committee that ongoing uncertainty about the roll-out ... read more »

Farms could make major renewables contribution: report

24 November 2014 - A new report has suggested that there is at least 10GW of untapped potential for renewables development across UK farms. The study was produced by Forum for the Future, which has partnered with a number of organisations that work across the energy and food systems to form the Farm Power Steering Group. Their low end projections indicated that farms could deploy 5.9GW of ground-based solar photovoltaics (PV), 1.4GW of rooftop solar PV, 2.5GW of wind and 0.1GW of Anaerobic Digestion. This potentia ... read more »

Regulator unveils new online tool for the identification of eligible CSCO areas under ECO

24 November 2014 - On Wednesday 19 November, Ofgem launched an online tool to help energy companies, the wider supply chain, and consumers to identify areas that may be eligible for the installation of energy efficiency measures under the Carbon Savings Community Obligation (CSCO). The CSCO tool can: identify postcodes in eligible areas for insulation measures; provide assurance that measures have been/will be delivered in an eligible CSCO area; enable easy data retrieval, including through maps and exports; can b ... read more »

Ofgem produces guidance on Affordable Warmth Group eligibility

24 November 2014 - The regulator published guidance highlighting the requirements for evidencing Affordable Warmth Group (AWG) eligibility on Thursday 20 November. The regulator provides information on what to consider when submitting documents, and says that a council tax letter, utility bill or mortgage statement would constitute evidence to show AWG members reside at a property. It emphasises that documents should be made available by suppliers upon Ofgem’s request. The guidance also focuses on what needs ... read more »

Energy bills continue to top the list of baffling bills

24 November 2014 - Annual survey reveals only slight improvement since new Ofgem rules to simplify bills Electricity and gas bills top the list of documents customers find hardest to understand; 58% of bill payers think companies deliberately keep their bills confusing; A third of customers tend not to read documents they find hard to understand. Despite the introduction in the Spring, of new rules from energy regulator Ofgem requiring energy companies to simplify bills, research shows that millions of customers a ... read more »

New CUSC proposal raised to amend cancellation charge liability within CMP213 judicial review period

24 November 2014 - National Grid Electricity Transmission raised CMP240 Amending the Cancellation Charge Liability within a CMP213 Judicial Review Period on Thursday 20 November. This seeks to remove the need for generators to provide a year’s notice of a reduction in transmission entry capacity (TEC) or of disconnection in order to avoid the cancellation charge in the period following a judicial review of Ofgem’s decision to approve CMP213 Project Transmit TNUoS Developments. The proposer said that, d ... read more »

Smart meter DCC programme delayed

20 November 2014 - The Data and Communications Company (DCC) consulted on Wednesday 19 November on delaying its go-live date, having concluded that there was “no feasible way to maintain the timescales” of the current plan. The company said that the delay had been made necessary to “build resilience” in to the DCC’s plans, and because the programme continued to contain “residual uncertainty and risk”. Two plans are proposed: one would see DCC live in July 2016, and the oth ... read more »

CER issues decision on changes to regulations of deemed contracts

20 November 2014 - The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) issued its decision on Wednesday 19 November on the regulation of deemed contracts in the electricity and gas retail markets following a consultation. The proposed regulations take into account legislative requirements detailed in the Energy Miscellaneous Act 2012. The CER decision specifies the treatment of deemed contracts including definition, duration, applicable tariffs and rights and obligations of customers supplied under deemed tariffs. The next ... read more »

Ofgem makes it easier to compare supplier performance on resolving complaints

20 November 2014 - New online information makes it easy to compare the complaint handling performance of the six largest suppliers Total number of complaints to the six largest suppliers will be higher than last year’s total Customers who aren’t satisfied with their supplier’s performance can switch and get a better deal From today Ofgem will be publishing quarterly figures provided by energy suppliers showing how the six largest companies compare on resolving complaints. This will increase visib ... read more »

The Renewables Obligation (RO) late payment fund 2013-14

20 November 2014 - Read the main document here Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Chemicals giant Ineos to announce huge UK fracking investment

20 November 2014 - Chemicals giant Ineos is to invest hundreds of millions of pounds in shale gas exploration, giving the industry a huge boost. The company will unveil plans later today to press ahead with its previously announced intention to produce shale gas for its plant in Grangemouth, Scotland. Shale gas is extracted through a technique known as fracking, in which water and chemicals are injected into rock at high pressure. The process is hugely controversial and has sparked protests at several sites across ... read more »

Green Deal Assessments up in October

20 November 2014 - Official statistics issued on Thursday 20 November have revealed that just over 33,000 Green Deal Assessments were lodged in October––12% higher than during the preceding month, and the second highest monthly figure recorded. Overall, 7,207 Green Deal Plans were in the system by the end of last month, of which 45% (3,239) were “live”. Figures for the Energy Company Obligation revealed that 23,325 measures were installed in September, 5% higher than the level installed in ... read more »

Shale gas: Ineos to invest £640m in UK exploration

20 November 2014 - Chemicals giant Ineos is to announce plans to invest up to $1bn (£640m) in shale gas exploration and production in the UK, the BBC understands. The company plans to use the gas as a raw material for its chemicals plants, including Grangemouth in Stirlingshire. Grangemouth is currently running at a loss but Ineos believes shale gas will transform the economics of the plant. Shale gas extraction is promoted as an important potential energy source but has prompted environmental concerns. Expl ... read more »

Utility Regulator decides on preferred applicants for Gas to the West competition

19 November 2014 - The Utility Regulator (UR) issued its decision on Tuesday 18 November on the preferred applicants for the competitive licence to extend the gas network to the west of Northern Ireland. This is Northern Ireland Energy Holdings (Mutual Energy) for the high pressure system and Scotia Gas Networks for the low pressure system. The next step is for the UR to consult on the conditions of the licences, which it intends to commence by the end of the year. Source: Utility Regulator Follow TEC on Twitter a ... read more »

DECC “hasty” on capacity market procurement, warns academic

19 November 2014 - Professor David Newbery has criticised the design of the government’s capacity market, arguing that this year’s auction is being held too far in advance of delivery. Giving evidence to the energy and climate change select committee on Tuesday 18 November, Newbery described the government’s approach as “hasty”, and said: “I would have waited to have seen how we got through this winter […] that sort of information would have been very useful before we dec ... read more »

DCLG consults on small sites exemption from zero-carbon homes

19 November 2014 - DCLG opened on Tuesday 18 November a consultation on how it intended to implement the proposed exemption for small sites from the government’s zero-carbon homes policy. The proposal seeks to ensure that small building firms do not face the total cost burden of delivering the zero-carbon requirement. The government is seeking views on whether the exemption should be targeted at site size, developer size, or a combination of the two. It is also considering whether the exemption should cover ... read more »

Energy suppliers fail to explain ‘simple’ tariff

19 November 2014 - A new Which? investigation, carried out as part of our Fair Energy Prices campaign, shows that energy suppliers are failing to provide customers with the information they need to accurately compare tariffs. In a mystery shopping exercise, we called 13 suppliers six times each (78 calls in total) asking them to explain the Tariff Comparison Rate (TCR) – the regulator’s new price comparison tool for consumers. On just 4 calls (5% of calls) were we given accurate information, with only ... read more »

Ofgem approves DCP189 on un-expired capitalised operation and maintenance

19 November 2014 - Ofgem approved DCP189 Un-expired Capitalised Operation and Maintenance on Monday 17 November. Before the introduction of the Extra High Voltage Distribution Charging Methodology (EDCM) customers could opt to pay capitalised operation and maintenance (O&M) when they connected to the network, generally related to sole use assets. Currently there are specific derogations to exempt certain customers from the O&M component of the sole use asset charge. The modification will change the EDCM to ... read more »

Low-carbon heat should be priority, says think tank

18 November 2014 - The development of measures for decarbonising the heat sector should be prioritised by the next Parliament, a new report by Carbon Connect has said. The study, Pathways for Heat: Low Carbon Heat for Buildings, was launched on Monday 17 November. Its energy system pathways showed that the use of gas to heat buildings would need to be reduced by at least three quarters by 2050 to meet carbon targets, and perhaps by as much as 95%. The report said that the next decade should be spent preparing for ... read more »

ENTSO-E Delivers Draft Annual Work Programme 2014-2015 to ACER

18 November 2014 - On 27 October 2014, ENTSO-E submitted its draft Annual Work Programme 2014-2015 to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) for its opinion. The ENTSO-E draft work programme for 2015 includes new sections on strategy and resources, to put ENTSO-E's contributions into the perspective of Europe's goals of secure, sustainable and affordable energy supply. Because of the importance of the network codes for the European electricity market and system, the work programme conta ... read more »

Scottish Water forms academic partnership to predict network faults

18 November 2014 - The new monitoring system will help Scottish Water, and other utilities, cut repair bills by predicting faults before they occur by monitoring network data, including temperature, flow and pressure levels, according to the water company. Scottish Water added the technology will help it to provide a better, more efficient service to its customers, be more proactive in its maintenance, and ensure that plant and equipment is meeting suppliers’ performance specifications. Currently software is ... read more »

Call for next-gen renewable energy innovators

18 November 2014 - Students are being challenged to come up with innovative renewable energy devices as part of a new competition in Scotland. The Junior Saltire Awards 2015 is inviting students across three age groups – P5-P7, S1-S3 and S4-S6 – to design, build and test their own floating technology that uses river streams, tidal currents or artificial water channels to create electricity. The prize was launched in 2011 to raise awareness among young people of the exciting developments within the mari ... read more »

TRIG acquires Earlseat windfarm

18 November 2014 - The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) announced on Monday 17 November that it had acquired the 16MW Earlseat windfarm for £32mn. The eight-turbine project, located near Kirkcaldy in Fife, was commissioned in June, and benefits from 0.9Rocs/MWh. Operations and maintenance services are provided to the development by Vestas, and a power purchase agreement is in place with GDF Suez. TRIG chair Helen Mahy said: “The addition to the TRIG portfolio of the Earlseat windfarm represents t ... read more »

Research shows “national appetite” for smart pay-as-you-go

18 November 2014 - Independent research issued on Monday 17 November has found that almost half (48%) of the GB public would like to use a smart meter in pay-as-you-go mode to buy their energy. The polling, carried out by Populus for Smart Energy GB, said that younger consumers were particularly attracted to the option, with three out of five (59%) 18-34 year olds citing it as their preferred way of buying energy. Smart Energy GB chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said: “This research shows that there is a natio ... read more »

Trade association urges renewed focus on energy security

18 November 2014 - The Energy & Utilities Alliance (EUA) has set out a raft of measures that it says the next government should implement in order to improve the UK’s security of supply. The organisation launched on Monday 17 November its manifesto for the 2015 election, detailing a 21-point energy plan for the incoming government. Amongst other proposals, the paper said that policy-makers should review the case for strategic investment in long-term gas storage, and should seek to extend the gas grid by ... read more »

MPs call for evidence on energy policy challenges

18 November 2014 - The energy and climate change select committee launched on Monday 17 November an inquiry into future challenges in energy and climate policy. The committee is seeking evidence on the biggest challenges facing the sector over the course of the next Parliament, along with views on how an energy system that successfully addressed the energy trilemma would look beyond 2030. In a statement, the committee said that reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector represented a “critical ... read more »

Regulator proposes licence modification to the Master Registration Agreement set objectives

18 November 2014 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Friday 14 November on its proposed electricity distribution licence modification to set objectives for the Master Registration Agreement (MRA), standard licence condition 23. The changes would establish six objectives for the MRA with the effect of ensuring decision-making is more transparent and that the MRA is aligned with other industry codes. The objectives include: recognising that the MRA’s core purpose is to enable and maintain an efficient supplier ch ... read more »

Consultation issued on P307 on amendments to credit default arrangements

17 November 2014 - Elexon issued the report phase consultation for P307 Amendments to Credit Default Arrangements on Friday 14 November following the BSC Panel’s initial recommendation that the proposal should be approved. It seeks to extend the duration of the Query Period that is given to a participant prior to entering Credit Default from the present 24 hours to a period of at least 24 hours, which must include a minimum of five consecutive business hours in a single working day. Responses are requested b ... read more »

IEA releases Oil Market Report for November

17 November 2014 - Global oil supply inched up by 35 000 barrels per day (35 kb/d) in October to 94.2 million barrels per day (mb/d), the IEA Oil Market Report (OMR) for November told subscribers, with total supply 2.7 mb/d more than a year earlier as higher year-on-year OPEC production added to non‐OPEC supply growth of 1.8 mb/d. Month-on-month, OPEC output eased by 150 kb/d in October, to 30.60 mb/d, but remained well above the organisation's official 30 mb/d supply target for a sixth month running. Th ... read more »

ACER consults on provisional REMIT list of organised market places

17 November 2014 - ACER issued a consultation on Friday 14 November on a draft list of organised market places which follows the adoption of the draft Implementing Acts for the Regulation on Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT). These require ACER to draw up and publish a list of organised market places in order to enable market participants to identify the organised market place as a reporting channel for transaction reporting according to the Implementing Acts. Views are invited on the completeness a ... read more »

Ofgem consults on licence modifications to improve energy company profit transparency

17 November 2014 - The regulator issued a statutory consultation on Friday 14 November on its proposed licence modifications to improve the transparency of energy companies’ profits following its October consultation. It is proposing to modify standard licence condition (SLC) 19A of the gas and electricity supply licences and SLC 16B of the electricity generation licence, and the guidelines prepared under these conditions. The modifications will require companies to have a full external audit of their statem ... read more »

Scottish Power must meet Ofgem’s customer service targets or face sales ban

17 November 2014 - ScottishPower must answer all customer queries promptly, reduce billing backlog and resolve all outstanding Ombudsman complaints Failure to meet targets will result in a suspension of sales activities Ofgem has also launched an investigation into the way ScottishPower treats customers ScottishPower has today signed up to Ofgem targets to improve customer service within three months. Ofgem has separately launched an investigation into the supplier’s treatment of customers. Ofgem has specifi ... read more »

£14m fund to address energy ‘trilemma’

17 November 2014 - Funding worth £14 million to help find solutions to address the energy ‘trilemma’ has been announced. Innovate UK has opened the second round of the Energy Catalyst competition to provide investment to businesses and researches that can address the challenges of reducing emissions and cost and improving security of supply. Funding is available for three stages of technology development: early-stage, mid-stage and late-stage – depending on which cycle the specific technolo ... read more »

MP “shockingly worried” by energy companies’ fuel poverty response

17 November 2014 - Energy companies are failing vulnerable customers, says new report by fuel poverty campaigner John Robertson MP. Following meetings with major energy suppliers, Mr Robertson concluded that there is some good work being done for elderly, disabled and other vulnerable customers, but there is no consistency across companies. The report includes a draft code of practice, which would emphasise the necessity to check vulnerability when installing a prepayment meter and reduce the number of days that a ... read more »

Ofgem proposes NGG as forecasting party for the gas balancing of transmission network code

14 November 2014 - The regulator issued a consultation on Thursday 13 November on the designation of the “forecasting party” as required for compliance with the European network code on gas balancing of transmission networks. Ofgem considers that National Grid Gas (NGG) is the most appropriate party to be designated as the forecasting party for the GB balancing zone. While the regulator notes that there has not previously been a requirement for the National Regulatory Authority (NRA) to designate the f ... read more »

Billing blunders leave consumers £280 million out of pocket

14 November 2014 - Over three million energy consumers could have been overcharged by their supplier through billing errors over the past year, according to uSwitch. Research issued by the site on Friday 14 November said that the errors could be costing consumers an average of £78 each, or £280mn overall. Scottish Power was identified as the most likely supplier among the Big Six to have made billing mistakes, with around one in six (16%) of its customers receiving an incorrect bill during the past yea ... read more »

Ofgem approves changes to SGN’s gas network innovation competition project

14 November 2014 - Ofgem published its decision on Wednesday 12 November to approve changes to Scotia Gas Network’s (SGN’s) gas network innovation competition project, opening up the gas market. This project aims to establish whether gas outside the British gas safety regulations standards could be used safely and efficiently in GB. SGN requested a change to the wording in the project direction that would allow access to £595,000 funds for stage 2 and £15,000 for stage 3 of the project prio ... read more »

Ofgem approves RIIO-GD1 price control financial instruments governance modification

14 November 2014 - Ofgem published its decision on Thursday 13 November concerning the modification of the GD1 price control financial instruments of the gas transporter licence. The decision follows a consultation issued in October on proposals to amend special condition 2A Governance of GD1 Price Control Financial Instruments of the gas transporter licence on moving the allowance allocated to replacement expenditure (repex) tier two mains from the row for non-variant allowed repex in the price control financial ... read more »

Energy priorities speech by Energy Minister, Matthew Hancock.

14 November 2014 - This morning, I want to set out my priorities for energy policy. It is commonplace these days to say that we have a triumvirate of energy policy objectives, a trilenma equal and in opposition to each other: security of supply, tackling climate change and keeping fuel bills down. All three are important. But we must be clear that they are not equal. And they need not be opposites. First comes security of supply. They are not equal because if you can’t keep the lights on, keep the computers ... read more »

Communities can create their own power stations

14 November 2014 - The number of community owned renewable energy schemes in England is set to increase thanks to a £10 million fund unveiled today by Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey. The Urban Community Energy Fund will give community groups in England the opportunity to bid for grants of up to £20,000, or loans of up to £130,000 to help kick-start their projects. Community groups can reap the benefits of renewable energy by creating “power hubs” in their area. Installin ... read more »

Energy Brokers: The good, the bad and the ugly

14 November 2014 - There are some suggestions that I have a dislike for all energy brokers and energy consultants. I don’t dislike all brokers / consultants, I am just trying to make people and businesses aware of how some operate. I suppose looking at some of my previous articles, I can understand why some readers have reached that conclusion so I thought I would provide an objective look at energy brokers and have categorised them into 3 classifications, the good, the bad and the ugly. The good energy brok ... read more »

Ofgem proposes to lift operating restrictions on Economy Energy

13 November 2014 - Ofgem confirmed on Wednesday 12 November that it intended to remove the operating restrictions that it placed on Economy Energy. Following discussions with the company regarding its compliance with obligations under the gas and electricity supply licences and Consumer Complaints Handling Standards Regulations (CCHSR) 2008, the regulator said it was satisfied that the company had secured its compliance against these provisions. It considers that Economy Energy has reduced the time it takes to get ... read more »

October sees surge in switching

13 November 2014 - New research issued by Energy UK on Wednesday 12 November has revealed that 345,000 customers changed electricity supplier in October––a 33% increase on the previous month, and the highest monthly level of switching in 2014 so far. The number of people switching to a smaller supplier increased to 138,000––the highest number of net switches since records began. Angela Knight, outgoing chief executive of Energy UK, said: “Thousands of customers are, ahead of the winte ... read more »

Survey finds growing trust in energy suppliers

13 November 2014 - Consumers increasingly regard energy suppliers as trustworthy, according to research by Ipsos MORI. In the second wave of research for its Consumer Experiences of the Energy Market report, published on Wednesday 12 November, the company found that the number of bill payers who trusted their suppliers to “provide a service that meets their needs” had risen by four percentage points to 59% since earlier in the year. The proportion of those surveyed who trusted their supplier to provide ... read more »

Pessimism growing in renewables industry

13 November 2014 - Investor confidence in the renewables industry has declined over the past year, according to a new study. RenewableUK’s annual State of the Industry report, issued on Wednesday 12 November, said that nearly half (48%) of companies in the sector regarded the investment climate as less favourable now than it had been over the previous 18 months––significantly higher than the figure recorded in last year’s report (34%). Companies were also found to have revised down their le ... read more »

Signs of stress must not be ignored, IEA warns in its new World Energy Outlook

13 November 2014 - Events of the last year have increased many of the long-term uncertainties facing the global energy sector, says the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2014 (WEO-2014). It warns against the risk that current events distract decision makers from recognising and tackling the longer-term signs of stress that are emerging in the energy system. In the central scenario of WEO-2014, world primary energy demand is 37% higher in 2040, putting more pressure on the global energy ... read more »

Ofgem urges action on improving DTS consumers’ experience

13 November 2014 - The regulator published research on the experience of consumers who use dynamically teleswitched (DTS) meters and tariffs on Wednesday 12 November. The findings reinforced Ofgem’s view that these consumers are likely to face a number of barriers to engagement in the energy market. The regulator expresses particular concern over the lack of consumer understanding surrounding DTS tariffs and associated heating systems that may cause detriment to some customers. Ofgem states that action is ne ... read more »

Regulator consults on adding new exit points to NGGT’s gas transporter licence

12 November 2014 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Tuesday 11 November on a proposed modification to Part G of special licence condition 5G Determination of Incremental Obligated Exit Capacity Volumes of National Grid Gas Transmission’s (NGGT’s) gas transporter licence. The modification would add three new exit points, Apache (Sage Black Start), Seal Sands TGPP and Trafford Power Station, to its gas transporter licence, as well as correct the names of two exit points already listed. Under EU gas regulat ... read more »

Ofgem proposes to simplify iGT account reporting requirements

12 November 2014 - The regulator issued a consultation on Tuesday 11 November on its proposal to modify standard licence condition (SLC) 30 Regulatory Accounts of the gas transporter licence. The condition applies to independent gas transporters (iGTs) and requires iGTs to submit regulatory accounts with a year-end aligned to the formula year referred to in price controls. The proposed modification would simplify reporting requirements, removing the need for iGTs to submit separate audited regulatory accounts. The ... read more »

Ofgem approves iGT UNC063 on changing the Gas Day

12 November 2014 - The regulator approved iGT UNC063 Change to the iGT Gas Day to Align with the Gas Day in EU Network Codes on Tuesday 11 November. The proposal will change definitions in the iGT UNC for Business Day, Day and Gas Year from 6:00 to 5:00 to align with the capacity allocations mechanism and balancing network codes. The decision follows a similar decision by Ofgem for the UNC (UNC461) in March. Ofgem said the new EU legislative definition of the Gas Day is part of legally binding decisions of the Eur ... read more »

Environment Agency minded to grant environmental permits for Lancashire shale site

12 November 2014 - The Environment Agency announced on Monday 10 November that it was minded to grant Cuadrilla the environmental permits for its proposed shale gas exploration site at Plumpton in Lancashire. The permits set out the conditions needed to protect groundwater, surface water, and air quality, while also ensuring the safe storage, management and disposal of wastes. The agency has been conducting an assessment of the applications and of the responses received from the public during the first period of c ... read more »

An end to cold homes or Labour's energy efficiency intentions

12 November 2014 - During Labour Party Conference in September 2014, Caroline Flint set out Labour's plans to end the scandal of cold homes. Building on Labour’s energy price freeze, she announced a major drive on home insulation and set out plans to deliver long-term, permanent savings on energy bills and warmer homes for millions of people. The plans will mean that at least 5 million homes are upgraded over 10 years, saving the average household over £270 a year from their energy bill. The purpos ... read more »

First national UK onshore oil and gas college announced

12 November 2014 - The first national UK shale colleges were today given the go-ahead by Business, Enterprise & Energy Minister Matthew Hancock MP. The new centres of excellence will train a generation of onshore oil and gas specialists, helping the UK to seize the economic opportunities offered by natural shale gas. The National College for Onshore Oil and Gas will be headquartered in Blackpool and linked to colleges in Chester, Redcar and Cleveland, Glasgow and Portsmouth. Speaking at the college headquarter ... read more »

ENTSOG launches “stakeholder support process” for tariffs network code

11 November 2014 - ENTSOG issued questionnaires on Friday 7 November that will enable stakeholders to express their degree of support for the refined draft of the network code on harmonised transmission tariff structures for gas and the proposal on incremental capacity following the consultation this summer. This is prior to ENTSOG’s final internal approval and its submission to ACER. ENTSOG said it considers the documents are fit for purpose and hopes the stakeholder support process will help to continue th ... read more »

Ofgem proposes minor clarification changes to Network Innovation Competition governance document

11 November 2014 - The regulator issued a consultation on Monday 10 November on proposed minor changes to parts of the RIIO Innovation Stimulus. It is proposing minor amendments to the Network Innovation Competition (NIC) governance documents to require licensees to explain at the initial screening process stage how an idea is being tested, the detail of the project process and the criteria used to identify value for money. The changes also seek to clarify that licensees should only make changes to their submissio ... read more »

Consenting costs have increased significantly in recent years for offshore wind developers

11 November 2014 - A new report produced for RenewableUK reveals that consenting costs have increased significantly in recent years for offshore wind developers. Managing Regulatory and Consenting Costs for Offshore Wind looks at the different consenting costs for seven Round 1 and seven Round 2 projects as well as several later projects, and finds that between Round 1 and Round 2 of offshore wind development, average consenting costs went up 15% for each megawatt consented. The average cost of consenting each MW ... read more »

Largest ever EIB loan for National Grid investment

11 November 2014 - The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide GBP 1.5 billion (EUR 1.92 billion) for investment by National Grid plc across its national electricity transmission network. This new support for connecting new power generation, upgrade ageing assets and improve network resilience to climate and security risks represents the largest ever single loan made by Europe’s long-term lending institution. The new long-term loan will include capital investment by National Grid reinforcing infrastru ... read more »

Ofgem proposes to terminate NGGTs use of Permits Arrangements for incremental gas capacity

11 November 2014 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Monday 10 November on its proposed policy changes relating to National Grid Gas Transmission’s (NGGT) use of Permits Arrangements (PAs) to vary lead times for the provision of incremental gas transmission capacity. NGGT has proposed new arrangements for the release of incremental capacity, the Planning and Advanced Reservation of Capacity Agreements. If these are implemented prior to 1 March 2015, Ofgem proposes to terminate the use of PAs and amend the reven ... read more »

Is UK failing to shorten of emissions reduction goals?

10 November 2014 - A report has warned that old coal is set to undermine the UK’s prospects of meeting its long-term emissions reduction objectives. Published on Monday 10 November, the study, commissioned by WWF-UK, suggested that without changes to government policy up to half of the UK’s remaining coal power stations could still be running in 2030. A failure to tighten restrictions around old coal plant would, the report said, see the UK fail by 2030 to reduce power sector emissions to the 50gCO2/kW ... read more »

SSE highlights contribution to economy

10 November 2014 - An independent study conducted by professional services firm PwC has found that SSE contributed £27bn to the UK economy over the past three years. It comes ahead of SSE announcing its Half Year Results on 12 November. The report examines the direct contribution of energy company SSE to employment and GDP. It also considers the indirect economic impact of SSE’s supply chain spending and analyses where that expenditure is spent. The report’s main findings on SSE are: £27bn ... read more »

Ofgem minded to reject P137 on distribution charges in generator dominated areas

10 November 2014 - The regulator issued a consultation on Friday 7 November on its minded to position to reject P137 Introduction of Locational Tariffs for Export from HV Generators in Areas Identified as Generator Dominated. This seeks to address the issue that generation in some areas may cause the need for more reinforcement, rather than reducing the level of new infrastructure required. The proposal would introduce a location-variable regime to reduce credits to those HV generators exporting to primary substat ... read more »

RWE proposes introduction of single marginal cash-out price and PAR1

10 November 2014 - RWE raised P316 Introduction of a Single Marginal Cash Out Price on Thursday 6 November. This seeks to introduce a single marginal price from 1 September 2015 and to reduce the Price Average Reference (PAR) value and Replacement PAR values to a volume of 1MWh. The company said the proposal would implement two key elements of the cash-out reforms identified by Ofgem in its Electricity Balancing Significant Code Review (EBSCR), and would increase the certainty that these elements would be implemen ... read more »

Ofgem approves bilateral agreements under gas interconnector licences

10 November 2014 - The regulator issued its approval of the bilateral agreements (The Transportation Agreement Clause 31) under gas interconnector licences for Premier Transmission and BGE (UK) on Friday 7 November. The approved changes to the bilateral agreement amend the arrangements and procedures for resolving a dispute between the parties by appointing an independent expert. Source: Ofgem Read the main document here Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Decision on Ofgem's Statement of Policy in respect of Financial Penalties and Consumer Redress

07 November 2014 - On 31 March 2014 we published a consultation on the Authority’s proposed financial penalties and consumer redress policy statement for enforcement cases under the Gas Act and Electricity Act. This letter sets out the Authority’s position on the key points made by stakeholders. It also outlines the main changes to the policy statement that the Authority has decided to make as a result of the consultation. Read the main document here Source:Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Government confident of staying within low-carbon budget

07 November 2014 - DECC has said that it does not anticipate spending above the Levy Control Framework (LCF) cap in any year through to the end of the decade, despite figures suggesting that the cap might be breached in 2016-17. DECC’s Annual Energy Statement, published on Thursday 6 November, included an Annex that detailed committed and projected levy expenditure from 2015-16 through to 2020-21. It showed that, in 2016-17, £135mn would remain for spending on the enduring contracts for difference (CfD ... read more »

City workshop on transparency of energy company revenues, costs and profits

07 November 2014 - On 3 November 2014, Ofgem hosted a workshop for analysts and investors on the transparency of energy company revenues, costs and profits. It covered our proposed changes to the Consolidated Segmental Statements (CSS), our Supply Market Indicator (SMI) and the methodology behind it, and the comparison between the SMI and CSS outturns. This is the presentation delivered at the workshop. Read the main document here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Wind and solar to have minimal impact on distribution network costs

07 November 2014 - A report issued by DECC on Thursday 6 November claimed that low-carbon generation technologies, such as wind and solar photovoltaics, would have “low or no impact” on expenditure requirements for distribution network investment through to 2030. Undertaken by EA, the study said that these technologies often had a positive impact on network capacity, and that their contribution towards constraining distribution network headroom was limited. The report explained that expenditure require ... read more »

CEER considers implementation of energy customer 2020 Vision

07 November 2014 - CEER issued on Wednesday 5 November a report on The Implementation of the 2020 Vision for Europe’s Energy Customers by its Supporters. This is its first assessment of its 2020 Vision, which is based on the four principles of reliability, affordability, simplicity and protection and empowerment, and was produced following responses to a CEER questionnaire. It said respondents considered the principles and their implementation provided added value, particularly to increase customers’ a ... read more »

Master Registration Agreement (MRA) Change Proposal (CP) 0218: EU Third Package – Authority Powers

07 November 2014 - The regulator approved MRA CP218 EU Third Package-Authority Powers on Wednesday 5 November. This will align the MRA governance rules with licence changes made to implement the Third Package, reflecting that the Authority may raise, or direct a distribution network operator to raise, an MRA modification proposal to comply with the Electricity Regulation and/or any relevant legally binding decisions of the European Commission and/or ACER. It will also require that any timetable set out by the regu ... read more »

Warmer homes, secure supplies and lower bills

07 November 2014 - Household energy bills this year are an average £90 lower than they would otherwise have been, thanks to the impact of Government energy policies. An average household dual fuel bill in 2014 costs £1369, compared to £1459 if policies to support cleaner energy, keep the lights on, support vulnerable households, and promote energy efficiency were not present. This includes action to take an around £50 off the average household bill this year announced in December 2013. Gove ... read more »

Appointment of Chief Executive of the Oil and Gas Authority

06 November 2014 - Around 42 billion barrels of oil and gas have so far been produced from the UKCS, and around 20 billion could still be discovered. Although peak production is now behind us, we must maintain our momentum and make the most of the huge opportunity that the UKCS still represents. To ensure we maximise the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources, in 2013, I commissioned Sir Ian Wood to lead a review into the challenges the oil and gas industry is currently facing. Sir Ian published ... read more »

Warm Home Discount: how are consumers benefitting?

06 November 2014 - Yesterday, Ofgem published a new research where they commissioned to understand how energy advice delivered through the Warm Home Discount (WHD) is helping vulnerable consumers. It shows energy advice delivered through the scheme can produce a range of benefits for vulnerable consumers, including: warmer homes better finances better peace of mind being able to negotiate their energy choices It also finds that giving consumers advice does not always guarantee changes to energy efficiency or engag ... read more »

Oil & Gas UK says the time to act on fiscal reform is now

06 November 2014 - Following evidence submitted to the Treasury for its recent consultation on the North Sea tax regime, Oil & Gas UK has this week made a further representation, repeating calls for urgent reform in light of escalating industry costs and the falling oil price, which yesterday hit a four year low. In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Oil & Gas UK chief executive Malcolm Webb points to the deteriorating economics of the mature UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), a situation which has bec ... read more »

DECC consults on EMR company costs

06 November 2014 - DECC opened a consultation on Wednesday 5 November on the proposed 2015-16 operational cost budgets and levies for the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) and the Electricity Settlements Company (ESC). The two government-owned companies manage central mechanisms for implementing the key elements of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme. The total operating costs to be recovered through levies in 2015-16 are £12.007mn for the LCCC and £3.891mn for the ESC. The anticipated impa ... read more »

UK shielding Scotland from oil price drop

06 November 2014 - DECC opened a consultation on Wednesday 5 November on the proposed 2015-16 operational cost budgets and levies for the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) and the Electricity Settlements Company (ESC). The two government-owned companies manage central mechanisms for implementing the key elements of the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) programme. The total operating costs to be recovered through levies in 2015-16 are £12.007mn for the LCCC and £3.891mn for the ESC. The anticipated impa ... read more »

Wind industry welcomes “unprecedented” performance

06 November 2014 - New figures from the National Grid for October show that wind power smashed more energy generation records, contributing even more to the UK’s clean electricity mix. Wind energy hit a record high providing a 24% daily share of the UK’s electricity needs on the 20th October, beating the previous record of 22% set in August. Wind energy’s share of the monthly electricity mix was also 12.3%, which easily beat last October’s share of 8%, and comes very close to the December r ... read more »

6 in 10 consumers will ration energy use this winter

06 November 2014 - Over 15 million households plan to ration their energy use this winter to cope with sky-high energy costs, according to a new survey of 5,300 energy consumers by uSwitch.com. Almost six in ten (57%) people in 15 million homes have already cut back, or plan to ration their energy use this winter, to reduce bills Over a third of people (36%) who rationed their energy last winter said it affected their health and wellbeing[ A quarter (24%) say the rising cost of energy has substantially affected th ... read more »

DECC public attitudes tracking survey

05 November 2014 - This series brings together all documents relating to public attitudes tracking survey DECC has set up a tracking survey to understand and monitor public attitudes to the Department’s main business priorities. The survey began in March 2012 and runs four times a year. A subset of questions are asked quarterly with the other questions asked annually. Data are collected via an omnibus survey using face-to-face in-home interviews with households in the UK. Further findings will be published o ... read more »

How the energy network works for you

05 November 2014 - What is the energy network? Every year Great Britain uses enough electricity to boil over two trillion kettles. We get through more than double that in gas. The network is the system that brings all this energy to your homes and businesses. It’s made up of thousands of miles of pipes and cables. Enough, in fact, that if you stretched it all out it could reach to the moon and back. Watch the video here Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Ofgem grants £308 million transmission assets licence for Lincs wind farm

05 November 2014 - Ofgem has today granted TC Lincs OFTO Limited a licence to own and operate the transmission link to the Lincs wind farm. Lincs is located eight kilometres off the coast of Skegness and comprises 75 turbines generating 270MW, which is enough to provide clean energy to 200,000 homes. The Lincs project was tendered under the second tender round of the Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) regime, which totals over £1.4 billion of transmission assets. It is the tenth offshore transmission project ... read more »

Renewables industry proposes green energy bond

05 November 2014 - Trade association Scottish Renewables has said the next government should work with the Green Investment Bank to develop a “green energy bond”. In its manifesto for the 2015-20 government, published on Tuesday 4 November, the organisation said that the bond would allow savers to generate returns from the growth of the UK’s renewable energy sector, and should provide a “decent return” over the life of a project. Chief executive Niall Stewart said: “There are al ... read more »

Drax performance on target despite “challenging” conditions

05 November 2014 - Drax announced on Wednesday 5 November that it had delivered good operational performance in the year to date, but that trading conditions remained “challenging”. In its latest Interim Management Statement, the company said that it had extended its contracted position, including additional power sales of more than 3TWh for 2015, compared to the position reported in July. Overall Drax has agreed fixed price power sales of 13.2TWh for 2015, at an average price of £52.7/MWh. The c ... read more »

Green Gown Awards: 10 years,100 winners and the sustainability adventure continues!

04 November 2014 - Over 360 sustainability leaders were on the edge of their seats at The University of Manchester’s stunning Whitworth Hall, as author and TV presenter Simon Reeve announced the winners of this year’s Green Gown Awards. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the awards ceremony was the biggest and best yet with 15 Winners, 25 Highly Commended and it also saw the crowning of its 100th winner. The action packed evening was hosted by adventure-loving presenter Simon Reeve. Simon is best known ... read more »

Fracking company applies for London licence

04 November 2014 - A new energy firm run by pro-fracking pundit Nick Grealy says it has applied for licences to frack in London. London Local Energy has applied for permission to frack three blocks of land, two of which cover an area from Harrow in the North West to near Downing Street in central London. Mr Grealy told the BBC the company had secured funding for the first year of works and had no shortage of backers. The government has just closed licence applications for fracking in the UK. Potential fracking sit ... read more »

Oil and gas industry changes could be worth £56bn to businesses

04 November 2014 - In June 2013 I commissioned Sir Ian Wood to undertake a comprehensive review of the regulation and stewardship of the UK’s hydrocarbon reserves. Sir Ian published his report on the 24th February which made clear that the size of the prize on offer is considerable. The review estimated that full and rapid implementation could deliver 3 to 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent more than would otherwise be recovered over the next 20 years. Today, the Government is publishing the Impact Assessme ... read more »

ENTSOG about winter supply outlook

04 November 2014 - ENTSOG issued its winter supply outlook 2014-15 and winter review 2013-14 on Monday 3 November. It found that the European gas network was sufficiently robust in most parts of Europe to enable the balance of demand and supply in a cold winter and under peak conditions provided gas was available. However, it noted the vulnerability of South-East Europe to disruption of gas transit through Ukraine and the importance of interruptible capacity in order to enable the balance of the Scandinavian marke ... read more »

Open letter on arrangements for the first Gas Discretionary Reward Scheme (DRS) under RIIO-GD1

04 November 2014 - The aim of the Gas Discretionary Reward Scheme (DRS) is to encourage gas distribution network operators (GDNs) to undertake activities to help address a range of social or environmental issues. Under the RIIO-GD1 arrangements, the Gas DRS will run every three years, with a maximum reward of £12m available across the GDNs, over the price control. The first RIIO-GD1 Gas DRS panel assessment will take place in summer 2015. The panel will assess performance in the first two years of RIIO-GD1 ( ... read more »

Scottish government consults on community engagement for wind projects

04 November 2014 - The Scottish government opened on Monday 3 November a consultation on good practice guidance for public engagement on wind turbine proposals. The consultation followed a public petition that called for the Scottish government to increase the requirements for raising awareness among the wider community of planning applications for wind turbines. While deciding against legislative changes, the Scottish government hopes that new guidance will ensure that public engagement is more tailored to local ... read more »

TEC in Green Gown Awards

04 November 2014 - On Monday 3rd of November the magnificent Whitworth Hall at the University of Manchester hosted the 10th Green Gown Awards Ceremony. The Green Gown Awards, sponsored by the CISCO and BT education partnership, celebrate those exceptional sustainability initiatives undertaken by universities and colleges across the country. During the ceremony, leaders, drivers and thinkers, betting for sustainability and environmental friendly initiatives within the tertiary education sector, were brought togethe ... read more »

Businesses urge a new approach if the UK is to address long-term infrastructure challenges

04 November 2014 - The survey of 443 senior business leaders shows that in key areas of competitiveness, like energy and transport, 67% and 57% of businesses respectively expect infrastructure to worsen in the next five years. Worryingly, respondents see the UK’s infrastructure as internationally weak too – lagging behind Australasia, North America and the EU, and with little improvement since the first survey in 2011. These concerns come despite more than two-thirds of infrastructure providers viewing ... read more »

DECC and Ofgem to face scrutiny on network costs

03 November 2014 - The energy and climate change select committee will quiz officials from DECC and Ofgem on Tuesday 4 November as part of its inquiry into Network Costs. The committee, which has already held two evidence sessions on the topic, will hear from Ofgem CEO Dermot Nolan, interim senior partner Maxine Frerk, and energy minister Matt Hancock. The session will seek to explore the impact for the GB energy system of Ofgem’s and the government’s frameworks on network costs, as well as addressing ... read more »

Energy supply must be urgently decarbonised: IPCC

03 November 2014 - Decarbonising electricity generation will represent a critical component of mitigating the worst effects of climate change, scientists have warned. A synthesis of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, issued on Sunday 2 November, suggested that, to maintain a good chance of limiting global temperature increases to 2˚c, emissions would need to drop by 40%-70% between 2010-50, falling to zero by 2100. The report suggested that renewables would n ... read more »

CER issues decision on South North pipeline exit tariffs

03 November 2014 - The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) issued its decision on the South North Pipeline (SNP) exit tariff following the taking of legal advice by the CER the Utility Regulator on their different views on the exit tariff. The CER said this advice has now been finalised and concludes that the exit tariff as it currently stands would be incompatible with applicable European legislation. It has therefore decided to set both the capacity and commodity charges to zero from 29 October 2014 to 30 Sep ... read more »

Road transport expected to lead the new uses of gas up to 2025

03 November 2014 - The growth of new uses for gas up to 2025 in the EU will depend mostly on market aspects such as pricing, taxation, infrastructure availability and the commitment of the industry rather than regulation, according to the study Regulatory implications of new developments in the gas supply chain published today by ACER. The report –commissioned to Kantor consultancy- finds that the use of gas for road transport is expected to experience the highest growth as it represents a price competitive ... read more »

Feed-in Tariff Annual Levelisation Notice (2013-2014)

03 November 2014 - The regulator published its feed-in tariff annual levelisation notice 2013-14 on Friday 31 October, following the successful completion of the scheme’s annual reconciliation process on 30 September. In order to finalise the annual reconciliation process, a total of £19,961,772.66 was paid into, and subsequently redistributed from the levelisation fund by licensed electricity suppliers. The total levelisation fund was calculated to be £690,991,282.96, representing the cost of th ... read more »

Warm Home Discount annual report (Scheme Year 3)

03 November 2014 - The Warm Home Discount (WHD) scheme came into effect in April 2011 and requires domestic energy suppliers to provide support to fuel poor customers. Compulsory Scheme Electricity Suppliers who meet the criteria set out in the WHD Regulations 2011 are obligated to provide support to eligible customers. This is mainly through rebates towards the energy costs of customers who are fuel poor or at risk of fuel poverty over the period of the scheme. Ofgem’s role is to administer the WHD scheme a ... read more »

Report warns UK oil and gas industry increasingly pessimistic

03 November 2014 - A report issued on Thursday 30 October has revealed a growing level of pessimism in the oil and gas industry about the sector’s future. Oil & Gas UK’s latest Business Sentiment Index recorded a fall in optimism in the third quarter of the year, from two points above zero to seven point below it, with many respondents expressing concern about rising costs and falling oil prices. Oonagh Werngren, the trade association’s operations director, said that the industry was urgently ... read more »

New Team Member At TEC

31 October 2014 - My name is Elia and I am delighted to join the TEC team. My aim is to utilise my communications and marketing skills via my input through social media and TEC’s website. I originate from Spain where I studied for a degree in advertising and journalism. Last year, I decided to study for a Strategic 
Marketing and Consultancy postgraduate degree at Birmingham University. While studying in Birmingham, I worked as an intern for different media organisations and gained experience in diffe ... read more »

CARBON CLUB UPDATE

31 October 2014 - This September the TEC ‘Carbon Club’ held its annual gathering in Birmingham. It was encouraging to see familiar faces and one or two new ones. The Club members are in the EU Emissions Trading System either as full members or as opted-out members (who still have to comply with virtually all the same procedures except the Registry). The nine installations in the Club increased EU ETS emissions by 10.8% to 131,624t CO2 in 2013 compared to the previous year. The weather was not wholly t ... read more »

Russia-Ukraine gas deal secures EU winter supply

31 October 2014 - Russia has agreed to resume gas supplies to Ukraine over the winter in a deal brokered by the European Union. The deal will also ensure gas supplies to EU countries via Ukraine are secure. "There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter,'' said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. European Union energy chief Guenther Oettinger said he was confident that Ukraine would be able to afford to pay for the gas it needed. He added that the agreement might ... read more »

JOIN US AT THE TEC WORKSHOPS

31 October 2014 - As UK and global energy markets face ever more challenging times, TEC is on hand to 
help with a range of workshops taking place this autumn. The workshops will provide TEC members with an opportunity to interact, discuss and share experiences and possible solutions with each other. The workshops, which will be held annually, 
will cover the following key topics: Flexible Contracts, Performance and 
Energy Markets Energy data, reporting and systems demonstration Benefits method ... read more »

Savings For Flexible Members

31 October 2014 - As a result of the move to an aggregated portfolio approach to our flexible electricity supply framework, we have been working with Scottish and Southern Energy to arrive at an aggregated swing premium. This is the charge made to members for energy supplied over and above base-load, which we secure through our risk management strategy, and accounts for the peaks, troughs and anomalies in an individual member’s electricity usage. By combining the usage of all members in the flexible basket, ... read more »

Ofgem approves distribution code modification reference changes

30 October 2014 - The regulator approved modifications to the Distribution Code on Tuesday 28 October which are required to update the formal designation of the Electricity Supply Emergency Code (ESEC). DECC has recently made changes to the ESEC which reflect that the secretary of state may direct National Grid Electricity Transmission to act as the central co-ordinator for rota disconnections for all network operators when the code is invoked. A further modification will also replace the National Consumers Counc ... read more »

British Chambers of Commerce Energy says shortages may cause major disruption for businesses

30 October 2014 - Adam Marshall, Executive Director of Policy and Public Affairs, comments on the latest announcement from National Grid. Commenting on National Grid’s announcement that planned generator closures and breakdowns have reduced the amount of spare capacity in the energy grid compared to last year, Dr Adam Marshall, BCC’s Executive Director of Policy and External Affairs said: “The prospect of energy shortages and rolling blackouts is simply unacceptable, as they may cause major disr ... read more »

Scottish Power windfarm at full output more than two months early

30 October 2014 - Full power output has been achieved more than two months ahead of schedule from West of Duddon Sands Offshore Windfarm, a major renewable energy project which has been developed by ScottishPower Renewables and DONG Energy in the Irish Sea. The news came on the day that the 389 megawatt (MW) windfarm was officially opened by Energy Secretary Ed Davey, joined by ScottishPower and Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galan and DONG Energy Executive Vice President Wind Power, Samuel Leupold. Located approxima ... read more »

Regulator requests long-term gas contract information

30 October 2014 - Ofgem published a notice letter on Tuesday 28 October requiring shippers to produce specified information in relation to long-term gas contracts. The notice letter is accompanied by a formal notice under section 34A of the Gas Act that requires gas shipper licensees to produce information detailing all gas supply contracts which last more than one year with suppliers from third countries and European Economic Area countries to which the licensee was a party on 1 October. Ofgem is requesting the ... read more »

Ofgem summarises Independent Suppliers Forum discussion points

30 October 2014 - The regulator published a report on Monday 27 October from the joint forum for independent suppliers held by Ofgem and DECC on 2 October. The meeting was to gain feedback on the current and future engagement between Ofgem, DECC, and the independent suppliers; and to provide updates on upcoming policies including the market investigation reference and smart meters. DECC presented options for improving online engagement with independent suppliers, including: a new webpage; an online discussion for ... read more »

Ofgem responds to National Grid's Winter Outlook report

30 October 2014 - The regulator published its response to National Grid’s Winter Outlook Report 2014-15 on Tuesday 28 October. It welcomed National Grid’s efforts to finalise contracts with power stations by 1 November, in order to provide extra reserve to help it balance the system when needed. Ofgem considers this a sensible precaution, taking account of market developments including the uncertainty over power station availability. The regulator stated it is confident that National Grid has the corr ... read more »

Regulator proposes three new Gas System Operator incentives

30 October 2014 - Ofgem issued a consultation on Tuesday 28 October on its proposals to implement three new incentives: the D-2 to D-5 Demand Forecasting Incentive; the Maintenance Incentive; and the greenhouse gas emissions incentive, applying to National Grid Gas (NGG), as gas transmission system operator. These would replace current schemes from April 2015. The new incentive schemes will be based on the existing structure but with tightened targets to reflect improvements in performance. It proposes to remove ... read more »

Ofgem consults on two-year electricity System Operator incentive scheme

30 October 2014 - The regulator issued a consultation on Tuesday 28 October on its proposals for a two-year incentive scheme for the electricity System Operator (SO), to run from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2017. The two-year scheme is proposed to be based on the existing scheme, since Ofgem considers this has driven efficiency improvements and savings for consumers, despite the growing challenges facing the SO faces. It is proposing to retain the Balancing Services Incentive Scheme and to implement incentive scheme ... read more »

Winter is coming

30 October 2014 - The Winter Outlook Report (WOR) is published annually in the autumn and provides a forecast of the anticipated demand and supply for gas and electricity for the coming winter. It is based on detailed market analysis and the responses received through responses to the Winter Consultation Report (WCR). National Grid has pulled together a vast amount of information that will help inform the market as they head into the coming winter. As well as its own analysis and data, the WOR is based on feedbac ... read more »

Regulator consults on Thanet OFTO transmission licence modification and cost assessment

29 October 2014 - On Monday 27 October, Ofgem issued a consultation on its cost assessment for Thanet offshore transmission assets. The proposed cost assessment of £163.5mn is over £25mn lower than the initial transfer value cost assessment of £189mn. This cost assessment will be used to determine the value of the Thanet transmission assets to be transferred to the successful offshore transmission operator (OFTO) bidder. The regulator also proposed to modify the standard conditions of the transm ... read more »

Greater transparency needed in oil and gas extraction

29 October 2014 - Extractive industries play an increasing role in the UK economy but more must be done to improve these companies’ social and environmental performance, transparency and reputation, the business innovation and skills select committee has said. In its report on Extractive Industries, which was published on Tuesday 28 October, the committee noted reports of poor practice around the world from mineral and energy resource extraction companies. It called on the government to establish a “t ... read more »

Ofgem satisfied Ovo Energy has taken steps to address retail market obligations

29 October 2014 - In a statement published by Ovo Energy on Tuesday 28 October, the supplier acknowledged that it did not meet its obligations with respect to Ofgem’s retail market rules. The news follows the regulator’s review of all suppliers, where it raised particular concerns with Ovo Energy about their compliance with a range of rules. Ofgem reported on the same day that it is satisfied Ovo Energy has taken action to address its non-compliances and, in light of this, is not proposing to taken an ... read more »

Ofgem modifies RIIO-GT1 Price Control Financial Model

29 October 2014 - Ofgem published guidance on Friday 24 October concerning the updated RIIO-GT1 price control financial model (PCFM). The updated PCFM will be used for the Annual Iteration Process that takes place by 30 November 2014, where a calculation of the licensee’s Base Revenue will be made. This will apply in the formula for each licensee’s Base Transmission Network Revenue for Relevant Year 2015-16. Source: Ofgem Follow TEC on Twitter and LinkedIn ... read more »

Ofgem corrects Gas Shipper and Gas Supply licence amendment implementation date

29 October 2014 - The regulator published a correction for the implementation date for its Gas Security of Supply Significant Code Review (SCR) reforms on Monday 27 October. Following Ofgem’s decision, published on 23 September, to proceed with the licence modifications that give effect to the Gas SCR, the regulator modified the standard conditions of the gas supply and gas shipper licences. However, since then, Ofgem has identified errors in the implementation dates in the directions for the changes. The i ... read more »

Ofgem consults on modifying the electricity transmission licence

29 October 2014 - The regulator issued a consultation on Friday 24 October seeking views on its proposed modifications to special licence condition 3J (Transmission Investment for Renewable Generation – TIRG) of the electricity transmission licence. The consultation follows Ofgem’s discovery of errors in the calculation of the revenue that transmission owners are allowed to earn on projects in the five-year period that follows their completion. Ofgem’s proposed changes will correct the calculati ... read more »

ACER issues progress report on Electricity Regional Initiatives

29 October 2014 - The Agency issued the progress report for the Electricity Regional Initiatives from April to September 2014 on Friday 24 October. It noted the implementation of day-ahead market coupling progressed well with the successful launch of the full coupling between the Iberian market (MIBEL) and the North West Europe region on 13 May. In the Central and Eastern Europe region, the developments of the four market coupling project went as planned and the Croatian power exchange was created. However, it fo ... read more »

The story of our future

29 October 2014 - What will the UK’s energy landscape look like in 2035 or 2050? National Grid’s UK Future Energy Scenarios 2014 provide credible analysis of how this uncertain future could play out, helping Government, customers and other stakeholders to make informed decisions. Alice Etheridge, National Grid’s Strategy Development Manager, explains what each scenario might mean for the UK as a whole and for consumers. One of the key pieces of feedback that we received during our stakeholder en ... read more »

No increased risk of blackouts: DECC

29 October 2014 - In its annual Statutory Security of Supply Report (SSSR), issued on Tuesday 28 October, DECC confirmed the UK will be “energy secure” during this winter and upcoming winters. The situation is said to be manageable and well within the reliability standard set by government. Following the report, Ofgem also said: “There is no increased risk of blackouts this winter.” Business and energy minister Matt Hancock added: “Government has made sure homes and businesses across ... read more »

DECC lowers capacity market procurement target

28 October 2014 - Energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has written to National Grid to confirm a downward revision in the level of capacity being targeted for procurement in this December’s capacity market auction. In a letter to the system operator, dated 13 October, Davey said: “I would like to confirm that I have adjusted each of the demand curve parameters […] downwards by 2,200MW. This means that for the first four-year auction to be held this year for delivery in 2018-19 the targe ... read more »

Winter Outlook 2014-15 published

28 October 2014 - National Grid has published its 2014/15 Winter Outlook. The Outlook has been produced by National Grid in its role as electricity System Operator and as owner and operator of gas transmission infrastructure in Great Britain. The Outlook follows consultation with the energy industry, analysts, academics and energy policy experts. On gas, supplies are in a strong position this winter, with gas supplies, storage and network capacity well in excess of maximum expected demand. This year electricity m ... read more »

British-made wave power surges closer after successful test

28 October 2014 - Generating electricity from wave power in Britain took a step closer to reality after green energy company Ecotricity’s innovative device – Searaser – successfully completed first stage testing at Plymouth University’s CoastLAB wave tank. The brainchild of British inventor Alvin Smith, Searaser is designed to overcome two of the biggest hurdles in the deployment of renewable energy on a scale that fulfils Britain’s future electricity needs – cost and variable ... read more »

Northern Ireland Gas Capacity Statement 2014/15 – 2023/24

28 October 2014 - The Utility Regulator issued the Northern Ireland gas capacity statements on Thursday 23 October. These statements provide an assessment of the ability of the gas transmission network to deliver gas over a number of potential scenarios within the next ten years. The modelling results have shown that on the basis of the forecast demand data and assumptions set out in the paper the network could meet the firm demands for the average winter and minimum summer demands for all years for all scenarios ... read more »

Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC) P304 and P314: Reduction in PAR from 500MWh to 250MWh (P304) and Reduction in PAR from 500MWh to 350MWh (P314)

28 October 2014 - The regulator issued its decision on Tuesday 28 October to reject P304 Reduction in PAR from 500MWh to 250MWh and P314 Reduction in PAR from 500MWh to 350MWh. The proposals sought to reduce the Price Average Reference (PAR) value, so making cash-out prices more marginal, P304 having been raised by National Grid on direction from Ofgem at the end of the Electricity Balancing Significant Code Review (EBSCR) and P314 subsequently by First Utility. Ofgem considered that the effects of the proposed m ... read more »

Uniform Network Code (UNC) 507: Changing the effective date of 451AV (Individual Settlements For Pre-Payment & Smart Meters)

28 October 2014 - The regulator approved UNC507 Changing the Effective Date of 451AV (Individual Settlement for Pre-Payment and Smart Meters on Thursday 23 October. UNC451AV introduced the concept of a bespoke profile for prepayment meters (PPMs) to be implemented from a date after the decision to implement the PPM profile. UNC507 will change the effective date of UNC451AV from 1 February 2014 to 1 October 2014. Ofgem considered the invoice adjustments under UNC451AV would have a distortive effect on the allocati ... read more »

Heads of State miss the chance to back renewable energy in Europe

28 October 2014 - European Heads of State missed the opportunity to set an ambitious target for renewable energy in the 2030 climate and energy framework. The European Council's decision to set an EU-binding target of 27% showed a lack of ambition to improve Europe's energy security. Governments also ignored calls from the renewable energy sector and European business leaders for a nationally-binding target of at least 30%. Thomas Becker, chief executive officer of the European Wind Energy Association, sa ... read more »

Switching undermined by Ofgem interventions, says Littlechild

28 October 2014 - Ofgem has been accused of having an “unerring reverse midas touch” in retail regulation, after new analysis suggested its interventions to improve competition had in fact lowered consumer switching rates. In a submission to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), published on Monday 27 October, Littlechild suggested that increasing switching rates in the early 2000s had reversed at the time that Ofgem implemented its Non-Discrimination Clause, and that this downturn became even ... read more »

EURELECTRIC welcomes European Council decision on the 2030 climate & energy policy framework

28 October 2014 - The European Council yesterday adopted an ambitious framework for climate & energy towards 2030, showing that Europe continues to take climate action seriously. Importantly, Heads of States and governments decided go ahead with a binding target of an at least 40% domestic reductions in greenhouse gases and to rely firmly on the Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) to deliver this objective. EURELECTRIC is particularly pleased to see the clear decision to consolidate the EU ETS mechanism through ... read more »

Best energy deals for consumers

27 October 2014 - Consumers could be losing out on the best energy deals because comparison sites filter out the tariffs which do not pay them commission. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has highlighted the issue and written to both OFGEM and the Secretary of State for Energy asking why the UK Government has failed to act to protect consumers, and when it will close this loophole. The Scottish Government has also written to leading price comparison websites including Compare the Market, Go compare, Uswitch, Money-su ... read more »

Go-ahead for South Hook CHP plant

27 October 2014 - Plans to build a combined heat and power plant (CHP) at South Hook have been granted development consent. It will have an installed capacity of up to 500MW – enough to power around 900,000 homes – and will meet the needs of the existing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal as well as export extra electricity to the grid. Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “CHP is a highly efficient means of generating power that can lower costs, increase efficiency and reduce carbon emissions from ... read more »

Ofgem sends back CMP223 on distributed generation user commitment

27 October 2014 - The regulator issued its decision on Thursday 23 October that CMP223 Arrangements for Relevant Distributed Generators under the Enduring Generation User Commitment should be revised and resubmitted. The proposal was raised in response to concerns that distribution network operators were not passing down the same security as required from them by National Grid in the user commitment arrangements. Ofgem considered the current proposals lack clarity on the procedures to be followed to collect any o ... read more »

Ofgem sends back DCP178 on notification period for DUoS charge changes

27 October 2014 - The regulator issued its decision on Friday 24 October to direct that DCP178 Notification Period for Change to Use of System Charges should be revised and resubmitted. Is said it is minded to approve the proposal, which would amend the notice period for finalising distribution use of system (DUoS) tariffs from 40 days to 15 months, but considers further assessment of the best implementation date is required for it to form a final opinion on the proposal. It does not believe the current proposed ... read more »

Ofgem approves UNC513 on Project Nexus independent project assurance

27 October 2014 - Ofgem approved UNC513 UK Link Programme (Project Nexus) Project Assurance for Users on Thursday 23 October. The modification will facilitate the appointment by Ofgem of an agent to perform a short-term project assurance role, submitting a report by 1 December on shipper preparations and the progress they have made against their plans to ensure they are ready for 1 October 2015. Ofgem said the report could be of value but also considered there is a need for such a role through to the implementati ... read more »

Consumer First Panel shows unchanged market trust levels following RMR

27 October 2014 - Ofgem published a report on Friday 24 October from its Consumer First Panel research, investigating consumer engagement and trust in the energy market, as well as awareness of the expected impact of the Retail Market Review (RMR) reforms. The regulator notes high levels of apathy and negativity towards energy matters, indicating that views of the energy market have not changed. Few consumers expressed having much contact with their supplier, beyond receiving and paying bills, and both engagement ... read more »

EU leaders agree energy and climate framework for 2030

24 October 2014 - The European Council announced on Friday 24 October that it had agreed on an energy and climate framework for the EU through to 2030. The agreement incorporated the 40% emissions reduction target proposed by the Commission earlier this year––this will be delivered through a 43% emissions cut in sectors covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and a 30% reduction for sectors outside it. The Council further confirmed a 27% renewables target, though––as opposed to the 202 ... read more »

South Hook CHP plant gets go-ahead

24 October 2014 - South Hook Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in Pembrokeshire a step closer to completion after UK Government announces planning consent. South Hook Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant in Pembrokeshire, Wales is a step closer to being completed after the UK Government announced today that planning consent had been granted for the project which will provide enough electricity to power 900,000 homes. It’s expected that there will be several hundred jobs created during construction of the p ... read more »

Solar industry underwhelmed by renewables target

24 October 2014 - The trade association for Europe’s solar photovoltaic industry has described the EU’s renewable target for 2030 as “too low to unlock the full potential” of the technology. In a statement issued on Friday 24 October, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) said the target represented a “very small step” towards supporting renewables’ “enormous potential”, but nevertheless recognised it as an “important signal of political ... read more »

SSE urges move to national pricing

24 October 2014 - SSE has written to DECC to urge it to consider the merits of a move to national pricing on supplier costs. In the letter, published on Thursday 23 October, SSE chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies said that polling indicated that two thirds of the public supported an end to regional price differentials, and that the company was consequently calling for network costs to be “flattened” out to a standard charge for consumers across Britain. He said: “The network companies woul ... read more »

UK failing energy affordability challenge according to Centrica

24 October 2014 - Decisions made by successive UK governments over how to support low-carbon energy risk unnecessarily increasing costs for consumers, according to Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw. Speaking at a conference on Thursday 23 October, Laidlaw said that he did not question the need to develop low-carbon sources of power, but that the UK was “falling short” on ensuring that it undertook the transition in the most affordable way. He said: “By the end of this decade, under current pl ... read more »

Savvy students can now take control of their energy bills

23 October 2014 - Latest data from Ofgem’s 2014 Consumer Engagement survey shows that a shocking three quarters of bill paying tenants admit they've never switched energy or gas supplier in order to try and save their hard earned cash (77% for electricity and 74% for gas). And despite the fact that shopping around could save tenants up to £200 , one in five (20%) admit that they weren’t aware they could switch to a different supplier. The research highlights the sheer lack of awareness among ... read more »

The generic offshore transmission owner (OFTO) licence for Tender Round 3 (Version 3)

21 October 2014 - An updated version of the Offshore Transmission Owner (OFTO) Licence for Transitional Tender Round 3 (TR3). Source:Ofgem @TECpublicsector LinkedIn ... read more »

Why is the decrease in wholesale energy prices not reflected in retail prices?

21 October 2014 - ​Despite a general decrease in wholesale energy prices, gas and electricity retail prices continued to grow in 2013, although at a slower pace than in previous years. On average, the electricity bill for households increased by 4.4% while gas prices rose by 2.7%. The latest Market Monitoring Report presented today in Brussels by the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) identifies a vicious circle in many Member State ... read more »

ECO installation levels continue to fall

21 October 2014 - Domestic Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation in Great Britain (Monthly report) Source: DECC @DECCgovuk Keep updated and follow TEC in Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest energy updates ... read more »

Control your heating and save money

20 October 2014 - Householders in Britain could save £500 million a year if they take control of their heating. That’s according to the Energy Saving Trust (EST), which reveals although 78% of those surveyed claim to understand how to use their heating, half of them are incorrectly using the controls. Nearly 40% of Brits believe it’s more efficient to leave the heating on all the time, more than a third (35%) turn up their room thermostat when they want the room to heat up quicker and nearly a t ... read more »

Energy bills the most confusing

15 October 2014 - Consumers are still finding energy bills “most difficult to understand”, according to new research. They find bills from mortgage providers, credit and store cards and mobile phone networks clearer than those sent by energy companies. The news comes despite new rules being introduced earlier this year aimed at making energy bills simpler, including information on suppliers’ cheapest tariff to be mentioned so consumers can switch to the most competitive deal. However, only three ... read more »

A parade of not so beautiful beauties?

14 October 2014 - In my 2 years as MD of The Energy Consortium, operating as a public buying organisation, I am proud to say that we embody the principles of procurement best practise (confirmed by the recent Procurement Maturity Assessment carried out on TEC by auditors from APUC) and ensure EU Procurement rule compliance for members using our frameworks. For this reason alone I find it all too frustrating when we are entered into what I like to call “beauty parades” alongside private sector brokers ... read more »

Is it energy or carbon and just who is responsible?

14 October 2014 - In more than 25 years in the energy sector, I have never ceased to be amazed with how energy cost (and consumption) seems to be passed around in organisations as something to be tolerated, dealt with when setting up new contracts and then moving on. In terms of managing energy efficiency, I have also seen resource within organisations vary significantly as cost remains the driver of energy efforts. The impact of this was that, particularly during period of greater energy price volatility, there ... read more »

Consumers flocking to smaller suppliers, says switching site

09 September 2014 - Consumers flocking to smaller suppliers, says switching site More than seven in 10 (71%) households that have switched energy companies in the past six months have moved to one of the independent suppliers, according to new research. Price comparison site Gocompare.com published figures on Monday 8 September that, by contrast, showed than fewer than a third of consumers had taken up tariff offerings from the Big Six. The site’s energy spokesman Jeremy Cryer said that smaller players would ... read more »

TEC Flexible Energy Contract Monthly Report - Significant benefits of active management

18 August 2014 - Please find the first of our regular monthly reports on the performance of the flexible energy purchase contracts which you utilise via the TEC framework. We are keen that members see the way in which we manage your energy costs and the benefits of our active management of the strategy which operates now at an aggregated portfolio level. This report is designed to supplement the market information provided in regular reports by Utilyx and the detail which you can get on your own spend and perfor ... read more »

OFGEM publish the next steps to the non-domestic TPI code of practice project

13 August 2014 - OFGEM publish the next steps to the non-domestic TPI code of practice project. OFGEM’s final consultation for the proposals to introduce regulation to the Third Party Intermediaries sector (Private sector energy brokers and consultants) – TPIs, closed at the end of June. The aim is to respond to concern in the market over the activities of TPIs and to put in place a regulatory framework to ensure transparency of fees and services offered and to ensure high service standards and rigor ... read more »

A fond farewell to Alan Brookes

08 August 2014 - “It is with some regret that we report that Alan Brookes left TEC on 8th August 2014. Alan has been a key member of the TEC team during a time of great transition and it is with great credit that he leaves his role at TEC to pursue other opportunities where his considerable skills and experience, particularly in areas of procurement, can be used to maximum effect. I know you will join me in wishing Alan well in his future endeavours.” Richard Murphy Managing Director ... read more »

New laws would give UK energy regulators new powers to prosecute people suspected of abusing the energy market

06 August 2014 - Anyone found guilty of rigging wholesale gas and electricity prices could face up to two years in jail under proposals being put forward by Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey today. These laws would give UK energy regulators new powers to prosecute people suspected of abusing the energy market... Read more..... Source: www.gov.uk ... read more »

MAKE IT A DATA

04 August 2014 - Hollywood actor Nicholas Cage made an appearance at the TEC conference! The A-list star’s famous face appeared as part of an engaging presentation by TEC’s Richard Murphy and Laura Hanson, Data Analyst and Systems Development. Laura and Richard addressed delegates about data control and reporting highlighting the benefits to members. They demonstrated using a range of visuals, including the one featuring Mr Cage, to illustrate how to understand your data, and convey the message &ldqu ... read more »

TEC Conference

04 August 2014 - Birmingham’s Town Hall was the venue as The Energy Consortium (TEC) marked its 20th year of operations with its annual conference and AGM. This popular event on the 24th June provided the perfect vehicle for members, delegates and suppliers to network and keep abreast of the main energy issues facing them today. Overarching themes for 2014 were varied with Energy Market Reform still dominating the agenda. We detailed policy areas that are going to affect our members as the UK seeks to deca ... read more »

ENERGY MARKETS REVIEW

04 August 2014 - Energy markets review Utilyx’s Andrew Horstead covered a wide range of energy issues focusing on gas and a range of topics including gas price slump on weak demand and buoyant supply, European issues included the situation in Russia and Ukraine and how the influx of LNG cargoes has affected storage levels. His presentation outlined how UK gas prices “have fallen to 4.5 year lows driven by mild weather and a large storage overhang”He added how:“The mild weather and low use ... read more »

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

04 August 2014 - Water market reform was another key topic addressed during the conference as Mark Powles, CEO of Business Stream, took to the stage to talk about the Water Bill and the road to the retail market in 2017. With Royal Assent passed on 14 May we are set to see potentially the biggest shake up of the water industry since privatisation. Mark focused on the changes in water provision and said water is treated a bit like tax here in England, it is a monopoly operation. Mark raised the question, “h ... read more »

This could affect you! .... Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)

04 August 2014 - Energy Saving Opportunity (ESOS) – does it affect you? Universities may be affected. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a mandatory energy assessment and energy saving identification scheme for large undertakings (and their corporate groups). The scheme applies throughout the UK. The Environment Agency will be publishing compliance guidance later in 2014. This will supersede this Guide https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/323307/ESOS_Guide_ ... read more »

All in favour of Ofgem’s new TPI Code of Practice?

04 August 2014 - It’s not unusual for new regulations to meet resistance. But it looks like Ofgem’s proposed Code of Practice for Third-Party Intermediaries (TPIs) could buck that trend and successfully deliver more protection for customers – if a few concerns can be resolved. Ofgem recognises that TPIs – the consultants, brokers and other organisations who advise businesses about buying energy – are a vital part of a functioning and modern energy market. And I think most TPIs under ... read more »

World gas price gap to close: report

04 August 2014 - The price divergence between the three major global markets will “come to a halt and even reverse” over the next few years, a new report has claimed. The Gas Market Outlook, published by Atradius, suggested that the low gas prices recently experienced in the US would begin to recover through to 2018, in part owing to the implementation of new regulations on carbon emissions. It said that, by contrast, prices in Asia would fall because of an increasing level of LNG imports from the US ... read more »

Thanks to all our members and non-members who attended our conference

25 July 2014 - Thank you to all our members and non-members who attended our conference. The presentations have been loaded onto the members area. Please contact Sarah Quiney Marketing & Business Development sarah.quiney@tec.ac.uk for a copy if you are a non-member. Please see a snap shot of the conference below, all photos are uploaded in the members area. Exhibitors Many thanks to all the exhbitiors at this years conference. What our exhibitors thought of the day! Sue Jolly, National Account Manager for ... read more »

Energy market set for competition referral: reports

24 June 2014 - Energy regulator OFGEM will this week refer the energy markets for an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), according to media reports. OFGEM consulted on its proposal to refer the markets at the end of March, saying an investigation was necessary to “clear the air” around the sector and to ensure there were no further barriers to effective competition. A market investigation by the CMA would last around 18 months, and could propose a range of structural or be ... read more »

Re-investment Ideas

20 June 2014 - As a not-for-profit organisation meeting the needs of the members in providing a range of services, TEC looks to balance the quality and range of services with an appropriate level of fees, commissions and rebates. We look to set these fees at a level which covers the cost of providing the services but as we work on insourcing services at a lower cost and reducing member fees, it is inevitable that things will not work out exactly as planned and we make a surplus. TEC have an obligation to pass ... read more »

Russia – Ukraine conflict: gas supplies cut as Ukraine misses payment deadline

18 June 2014 - Ukraine’s failure to meet a $1.95bn payment deadline has seen Russia cut supplies to its embattled neighbour, risking supplies to Europe. Power and gas prices jumped significantly on Monday (Monday 16 June), but prices have moderated slightly in recent hours… Please click here for the briefing document highlighting the latest developments in the on-going Russia-Ukraine gas crisis. Sarah Quiney Marketing and Business Development ... read more »

A Warm Welcome to Another TEC Team Member

17 June 2014 - We are happy to announce the appointment of our new Member Relationship Executive, Chinue Nicholson. Chinue joins us from energy broker EIC, where she managed the energy procurement process, mainly dealing with private sector clients. Chinue also provided an account management service for all energy related matters. “I am really excited to be joining TEC where I can utilise my energy procurement knowledge and skills to provide a service to the HE/FE sector and deliver real benefit to our m ... read more »

New Domain Name

12 June 2014 - "TEC is pleased to announce our new domain name, you can now find us at www.tec.ac.uk As an organisation run on behalf of and for our members we want to reflect our position and further cement our links with the HE sector and also align with all of the UPC’s whom we work with and where we share a seat on the board with at Procurement England Ltd. Please redirect your link and re-save to your favourites.” ... read more »

TEC Conference - Book Now

11 June 2014 - There are just two weeks to go until the TEC Annual Conference 2014. There is still time to book your place and join us at The Energy Consortium (TEC) Annual Conference, which is being held on Tuesday 24th June. The packed agenda is finalised and available for delegates to download now. If you have still not booked don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear from a range of industry experts who will be speaking at the conference on a range of topics including the introduction of Energy Marke ... read more »

Control the data, the cost of consumption - reduce fees and adds to service

06 May 2014 - Following a procurement process, TEC have invested in a market leading energy database and front end software in order to firstly insource the evaluation of mini-competitions under our fixed term framework. The Optima Energy Management platform, used by major energy users including Morrison’s, Vodafone, Thames and Anglian Water and The Co-Operative, has been constantly refined and developed over 25 years to keep pace with the demanding requirements of energy users and service providers ali ... read more »

TEC Annual Conference - have you booked your place yet?

06 May 2014 - The final touches are being made to the conference Agenda and with a host of great speakers already secured focussing on this year’s theme: The Four Corners of an Effective Energy Strategy • Buy at the ‘right price’ • Only use what you have to, when you have to • Only pay for what you use • Measure what you use As well as a information packed day, we will also be holding our annual exhibition providing you with the platform to meet both peers and suppliers f ... read more »

Power Purchase Agreements (PPA's)

02 May 2014 - TEC are continuing along the route of facilitating Power Purchase Agreements as part of our members energy commodity needs. We believe that this is a perfect route to manage an element of your commodity price risk and secure long term, competitively priced power, probably index linked to RPI and generated from a brand new renewable source that would be unlikely to go ahead without the support and volume of our member base. This is a good news story for an institute as you are physically enabling ... read more »

Spring Action AT TEC

02 May 2014 - It is my pleasure to be providing the introduction to the TEC Spring Newsletter. As I approach my half year anniversary I wanted to touch on how good it has been to be out and about engaging with our members at the various forums, workshops and conferences we have either ran or supported. In the run up to Conference 2014 our focus at recent events has been in a similar vain to this year’s theme which is the Four Corners of an Effective Energy Strategy and that is to; 1. Buy at the ‘r ... read more »

Profs scold Government for energy confusion

01 May 2014 - Academics, some of whom work in Institutions which are members of TEC, have responded to the path being taken through Government energy policy, and have stated that it is less than clear. As perplexing as it may seem when TEC are outlining a vision of future energy costs to our members, whether at BUFDG or AUDE conferences where we presented recently, it seems that even if we were engaging with academics they too would find it equally confusing. So TEC might be the natural partner for HE Institu ... read more »

Delivery Charges Update: April 2014

30 April 2014 - In line with keeping members informed on changes to non-commodity elements please see attached update on the confirmed increases to Transmission and Distribution Pass-through charges which take effect for the 12 months from 1st April 2014. Power: Transmission System Operator, National Grid and the regional Distribution Network Operators (DNOs), have maintained their revisions of annual transmission and distribution charges higher as they look to cover the costs of their infrastructure upgrade an ... read more »

Update....Electricity Non-commodity Charges including actual prices from April 2014

23 April 2014 - Please see update to include actual prices from April 2014 As TEC has been highlighting, the impact of Energy Market Reform is driving the electricity non-commodity charges up. The result is that an increasingly large proportion of your energy bill is taken up by: Delivery charges Taxes and levies System and administration charges We have been working on informing a longer term forecast view of what form these increases may take. The report can be found in the members "Download area" u ... read more »

Government demands progress on collaborative university procurement

16 April 2014 - TEC are at the forefront of collaborative procurement in the HE sector, as reported here in Supply Management. The annual grant letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England from business secretary Vince Cable and universities minister David Willetts said: “There is also a continued requirement for those in receipt of public funding to operate efficiently and deliver value for money.... Read more.... Source: Supply Management ... read more »

Government’s Solar Strategy to produce new “solar hubs”

07 April 2014 - Government’s Solar Strategy to produce new “solar hubs” The government has announced it plans to turn buildings within the government estate as well as factories, supermarkets and car parks into “solar hubs”. DECC announced its new Solar Strategy on Friday 4 April, which will see solar panels rolled-out much more widely and potentially support tens of thousands of new jobs. Climate change minister Greg Barker said the “solar hubs” had the potential to tu ... read more »

OFGEM announce referral of energy markets to Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

27 March 2014 - OFGEM announce referral of energy markets to Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In a move which appears to be politically rather than economically motivated, OFGEM have triggered a review of UK energy markets with a referral of the larger suppliers (and the market overall) to the CMA. However the scope, timing and time needed for the report to be carried out carry little hope that there will be any direct benefit to consumers in the form of lower energy prices. Rather the basis for the rev ... read more »

Job Vacancy - Member (Client) Relationship Executive.

27 March 2014 - As part of a re-organisation to deal with continued expansion of our team, we are seeking a candidate to join the contracting team as Member (Client) Relationship Executive. Based at our offices at Longbridge, with occasional travel in England and Wales, this is an opportunity to join a highly professional team delivering energy procurement solutions to a membership base of public sector bodies, most of whom are from the Higher and Further Education sector. This role is critical to the continued ... read more »

Annual Energy Bills 'To Rocket By 2020'

17 March 2014 - Annual household energy bills could rise by more than £600 within seven years so power companies can keep the lights on. Sky News has learned the watchdog has written to the Treasury ahead of next week's budget to warn of rising costs. In a new forecast, consumer champion Which? has predicted energy companies will need to spend £118bn on new infrastructure between now and 2020. This would include building new power stations, replacing grids and building wind farms as part of a dr ... read more »

Electricity Non-commodity Charges update

11 March 2014 - As TEC has been highlighting, the impact of Energy Market Reform is driving the electricity non-commodity charges up. The result is that an increasingly large proportion of your energy bill is taken up by: Delivery charges Taxes and levies System and administration charges We have been working on informing a longer term forecast view of what form these increases may take. The report can be found in the members "Download area" under "Electricity Non-commodity Charges update". ... read more »

Back-loading “vote of confidence” for carbon markets, say Bloomberg

04 March 2014 - The back-loading of EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) allowances will result in “a much tighter market with new pressures on both utilities and industrial companies”, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The new arrangements for the scheme mean that governments will only sell 343mn permits this year, and analysis issued by BNEF on Monday 3 March suggested that power companies would seek to buy 730mn allowances over the same period. This suggests that power companies w ... read more »

Is there a solution to creating a fair and competitive market for Third Party Intermediaries in Energy?

21 February 2014 - The energy market is under scrutiny of late with regards to the rules and regulations of brokers, consultants and Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) with a handful of rogue traders giving the sector a bad name. Ofgem are currently ‘proposing’ a new code of practice in the bid to create a fairer playing field with clarity on their fees, contracts and suppliers that they represent. A concern for some is that it could reduce competition among TPIs, in turn creating a ‘Big Six&rsquo ... read more »

New rules for energy brokers to regulate the energy sector

20 February 2014 - Business energy brokers who act as go-betweens for consumers and suppliers will have to sign up to a new code of conduct under new plans to clear out sharp practice. A number of dodgy brokers have given the sector a bad name and this is the latest attempt to clean up brokers’ reputations once and for all. Regulator Ofgem is proposing a new code of practice for brokers and other third party intermediaries (TPIs) to be completely clear with businesses about their fees, the contracts they off ... read more »

TEC Workshops 2014

17 February 2014 - This will mark the first of many TEC workshops that we will be conducting on an annual basis and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible as we enter ever more challenging times in the UK and world energy markets. The topics that we propose to cover are: The direction of TEC The ‘in-housing’ and benefits of energy data and reporting Procurements and Frameworks Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) Energy Market Reform is going to have signifi ... read more »

Fifth of firms say energy brokers don’t give accurate info

13 February 2014 - Around a fifth (21%) of businesses flatly disagreed that energy brokers gave them accurate information about the services they provided. Fewer than half of firms (49%) agreed they were given accurate info when contacted by brokers, while 20% were neutral on the issue. What’s more, less than two in five businesses (38%) said brokers were upfront about the cost of their service. More than a quarter (26%) disagreed that a third party intermediary (TPI) identified themselves clearly as an ener ... read more »

Energy firms' gas profit margins questioned by minister

10 February 2014 - The prices and profits of British Gas have been questioned by the energy minister, who suggested it might have to be broken up. In a letter to regulators, Ed Davey said profit margins made by the "big six" energy firms when supplying gas were higher than previously thought. He called on regulators to study the dominance of British Gas, which said it would participate in any discussions. The company's owner, Centrica, saw its shares fall by 3% in early trading. Mr Davey wants a mark ... read more »

Job Vacancy - Member Relationship Executive

30 January 2014 - Member Relationship Executive The Energy Consortium (TEC) is a not-for-profit organisation delivering procurement and managed services around a range of energy based frameworks to a public sector membership, predominantly in the Higher Education sector. As part of a re-organisation to deal with continued expansion of our team, we are seeking a candidate to join the contracting team as Member Relationship Executive. Based at our offices at Longbridge, with occasional travel in England and Wales, ... read more »

Roc auction sales see year-on-year increase

27 January 2014 - A total of 74,882 Renewables Obligation Certificates (Rocs) were sold in the NFPA’s latest scheduled e-Roc monthly auction on Friday 24 January––an increase by exactly 10,000 on the volumes sold in December and more than double the volume auctioned in January 2013. The average price was £42.57/Roc, down £0.44/Roc from last month. The decrease in market price appears to be due to the large supply of Rocs from wind generators; forecasters are predicting an additional ... read more »

Electricity supplier switching 'at record' in November

20 January 2014 - A record number of electricity customers changed their supplier in November last year, according to new figures. ElectraLink, which measures data for the industry, said more than 615,000 people switched during the month, the highest number yet recorded. At the time energy suppliers had announced a series of price rises. However, by December 2013 the number of people moving supplier fell back to 391,000. In the same month the government acted to reduce the rise in bills. The chancellor, George Os ... read more »

Back-loading approval “key step” towards carbon market balance

09 January 2014 - The European Commission (EC) has welcomed the vote by EU governments to back-load 900mn allowances during the third phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Member states gathered in the EU’s Climate Change Committee approved on Wednesday 8 January plans to postpone the auctioning of the allowances from 2014-16 until 2019-20. The European Commission said the decision was a “key step” in restoring short-term balance in the carbon market, and hoped that the first allowa ... read more »

Regulator provides guidance on application of RMR rules in the TPI sector

20 December 2013 - Ofgem published a letter seeking to clarify how aspects of the Retail Market Review (RMR) proposals in the domestic market affect third party intermediaries (TPIs) on Thursday 19 December. It noted that as supplier representatives TPIs are not permitted to offer cash discounts, including cashback, to consumers who use their services to switch electricity or gas tariff. Additionally suppliers must take all reasonable steps to ensure that switching sites do not offer bundled products independently ... read more »

TEC – Saving You Money!

18 December 2013 - Here at TEC we are working hard to ensure our members can navigate the rising energy costs and the good news is that our post tender customer service actions have helped achieve resolution of issues for members and saved them tens of thousands of pounds in the process. “This demonstrates how TEC can help make a difference especially as businesses face rising energy costs.”said Gary Ward, Senior Member Relationship Executive at TEC TEC has released details of a number of recent cases ... read more »

SAVE THE DATE!

18 December 2013 - Following the hugely successful TEC Conference in June we are pleased to announce the date for our next one. Be sure to save the date and update your diary to include TEC’s Annual Conference 2014 which will be taking place on Tuesday, 24th June 2014 at Birmingham Town Hall. The TEC Conference will again attract members who attend to listen to a line-up of expert speakers who will tackle the latest issues on the energy sector agenda. As ever it will also be the ideal opportunity to meet the ... read more »

Energy Risk Management Forum

18 December 2013 - November 27th saw TEC hosting our annual Energy Risk Management Forum. The event was extremely well attended and we would like to thank our members for giving us their time, support and contribution to the day. TEC Managing Director Richard Murphy introduced the day and expressed the desire for members to make the most of the day by participating, contributing, debating, questioning and clarifying. Richard explained “Risk management strategy should be set by consensus and carefully governe ... read more »

Richard’s Review Of The Year

18 December 2013 - Having completed a year leading the team here at TEC I look back with mixed feelings. Firstly, in a positive mood, the levels of support and engagement from you, the members, has increased with greater numbers attending our annual conference in June this year and booked to attend the Energy Risk Management Forum on which we will report in this issue. Members of the recently re-structured team have taken the opportunity to attend industry and training events aimed at improving their awareness of ... read more »

Government optimistic on energy efficiency progress

17 December 2013 - DECC has said it is “well into delivering a rolling programme of action” that will address the key barriers to improving energy efficiency in the UK. The department issued on Monday 16 December an update on its Energy Efficiency Strategy, which was unveiled last year. It said the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation were “gaining momentum”, and highlighted the simplification and extension of support for businesses through the removal of overlaps between policies s ... read more »

Energy Green Paper - One Nation Labour's plans to reset the energy market

04 December 2013 - One Nation Labour have recently released a Green Paper outlining how they plan to reset the energy market during their 20 month price freeze after the next election should they be in a position to form a Government. The paper sets out to outline positive and constructive ways to deliver a fairer energy market, aiming to reinstate confidence among both consumers and investors. The party claim a lack of transparency and competition within the market with a growing gap between wholesale and retail ... read more »

Operating profit rises to £53 per customer in 2012

26 November 2013 - In parallel to Ofgem’s annual summary of the Big Six annual statements, the regulator published information on the average consumer bills, supplier costs and profits for average dual fuel households from 2009-12 for the Big Six on Monday 25 November. Ofgem noted that the average domestic dual fuel bill in 2012 was £1,174, an increase of £168 from the 2011 average. The information suggested Big Six wholesale costs have risen by £75 in the same period from £537 to &po ... read more »

Big Six supply profits rise by £351mn in 2012

26 November 2013 - Ofgem published its summary of the revenues, costs and profits of the Big Six during 2012 on Monday 25 November. The summary of the energy company annual statements showed that overall total profits across supply and generation fell by 3.4%, or £133mn, from 2011. Generation profit decreases of £484mn outweighed supply profit increases of £351mn. Domestic supply profits increased, with an average profit margin of 4.3% in 2012, increasing from 2.8% the previous year. Domestic gas ... read more »

Green Gown Awards - Congratulations to our members!

26 November 2013 - The Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional environmental and sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning skills sector across the UK. We would like to congratulate all our winning members and highly commended entries of the Green Gown Awards 2013. Green Gown Awards 2013 Winners University of Bristol Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change Nottingham Trent University Learning and Skills University of York Research and Development The University of ... read more »

Bills set to double by 2020 despite proposed review of “green taxes”

07 November 2013 - Over the past year TEC has been informing members that energy bills are set to rise, doubling by 2020, as a result of the impact of Energy Market Reform (EMR). Over recent weeks energy has become very high profile and the so called “green taxes” have been pointed to as drivers for price increases on domestic bills by most of the big 6 suppliers. EMR sees the introduction of support mechanisms for new renewable and other low carbon generation technologies which will rise from the pres ... read more »

Climate science doesn’t justify revised fourth carbon budget, says CCC

07 November 2013 - The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has advised the government that there has been no significant change in the climate science, or international and EU circumstances on which the fourth carbon budget was based in 2011. The CCC’s recommendations to the government, issued on Thursday 7 November, said the latest research issued by the IPCC implied the need for emissions cuts in the UK to at least the level of the established budget. It further noted that many other countries had made progr ... read more »

Wholesale costs won’t jeopardise price freeze: Flint

07 November 2013 - Labour has denied the claim that fluctuations in wholesale prices could mean the party is unable to deliver on its pledge to implement a 20-month energy price freeze, if elected in 2015. Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday 6 November, shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint said energy companies bought their gas and electricity years in advance precisely to manage such risks. Flint acknowledged that certain smaller suppliers had spoken out in opposition to Labour’s propo ... read more »

TEC UNVEILS NEW POSITIONS

07 November 2013 - Exciting new appointments to The Energy Consortium (TEC) team have been announced. The newly created positions are part of a recent restructure to the TEC organisation. The most recent additions include the arrival of Steve Creighton who has joined TEC as Senior Relationship & Business Development Manager and to lead the newly created Flex team. His new appointment has been announced along with that of Laura Hanson who will be joining as TEC’s Data and Systems Analyst and to lead the n ... read more »

Hinkley Point is an “excellent deal” for British consumers, says Davey

22 October 2013 - Hinkley Point is an “excellent deal” for British consumers, says Davey The Hinkley Point deal is excellent for “Britain and British customers” as it will increase energy security and provide electricity from a safe, reliable, home grown source. Talking on Monday 21 October energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said the UK was creating one of the most attractive electricity investment markets in the world. Prime minister David Cameron said the deal would see investm ... read more »

EDF and government agree £92.50/MWh Hinkley Point strike price

22 October 2013 - EDF and government agree £92.50/MWh Hinkley Point strike price EDF and the government have finally reached an agreement on the strike price for a new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The deal, announced on Monday 21 October, sees a strike price of £92.50/MWh. Should the company progress plans at Sizewell C in Suffolk the payment would drop to £89.50/MWh. Hinkley Point’s output is 26TWh/year which is estimated at around 7% of total UK electricity consumption i ... read more »

Rising domestic energy prices - who is to blame?

22 October 2013 - With the announcements that SSE, British Gas and now Npower set to increase their domestic energy prices by an average of 8.2%-11.1%, it is expected that the rest of the big 6 will also follow suit and increase their prices accordingly. The graph above depicts monthly price changes within gas and electricity 2011-2013, distinctly identifying that when one of the big 6 creates a change in domestic energy price, the remaining competitors tend to follow suit within 4 months of the first mover. Thes ... read more »

Miliband plans energy price freeze – is it a workable plan?

01 October 2013 - So Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged to freeze electricity and gas prices for 20 months from May 2015 if the party wins the next general election. Speaking at the party conference on Tuesday 24 September, leader Ed Miliband said that, while they would not welcome the move, companies in the sector had been “over charging people for too long because of a market that doesn’t work”. He acknowledged the need for these companies to invest in the UK but argued there would never be ... read more »

Transparency needed on energy costs and profits: Consumer Futures

02 September 2013 - Energy companies should make their profits in a market that is “fair, competitive and transparent”, according to Consumer Futures chief executive Mike O’Connor. In a blog written for the organisation’s website on Friday 30 August, O’Connor said the current debate about profits was “not helped” by energy company accounts being “dogged by the obscurity that comes with international accounting”, given that four of the Big Six are foreign-owned. ... read more »

Average energy bill to hit £3,000 over the next seven years, claim experts

02 September 2013 - Energy price rises of “five to 10 per cent” are expected before the end of September, according to Mark Todd from energy-helpline.com. Speaking to the Daily Express on Saturday 31 August, Todd said there is likely to be “a very big rise” in energy bills, which could be up to “£3,000 if current trends continue”. The paper said the current average dual fuel bill stands at £1,420. Todd blamed rising prices on investment in green energy and increasing ... read more »

97% of business worried how EMR will impact energy costs: npower

02 September 2013 - Three quarters (75%) of UK businesses are worried over the impact Electricity Market Reform (EMR) will have on their business, according to new research by npower. The results of the EMR Pulse survey, which gauged opinion from senior energy managers at major energy users and energy consultants, found that nearly all businesses (97%) are worried about how EMR will impact on the cost of their energy. Published on Monday 2 September, it said 91% worried about the ability to forecast costs and 86% p ... read more »

UK offshore wind has “real momentum” as new strategy issued, but will it support UK manufacturers for schemes such as West Duddon?

02 August 2013 - The government has set out a long-term strategy to “strengthen the UK’s position in the offshore wind industry”. Issued on Thursday, it seeks to build on the UK’s existing competitive strengths, which, the government said, had made it “one of the most attractive locations in the world for offshore wind investment”. Investments confirmed by the government included £20mn for the Regional Growth Fund to improve the UK wind energy supply chain, and £46 ... read more »

Why Ofgem's draft code of practice for non-domestic TPIs is the right way forward

02 August 2013 - Cornwall Energy held an event in Coventry for around 30 people on 18 July—both suppliers and energy brokers—to launch our non domestic broker indexes. A key topic of conversation at this event was, inevitably, the draft Code of Practice for third-party intermediaries recently published by Ofgem. The code was created and informed by Ofgem's non-domestic TPI working group to help increase the confidence of business customers enaging with TPIs. The code also looks to prevent rogue b ... read more »

Fixed Term (but not Fixed Price)

10 July 2013 - As part of its rolling programme of OJEU procurements the Consortium is pleased to announce that it has recently awarded a new OJEU Framework for Fixed Term Energy Contracts. Whilst for the majority of our members we still advocate using flexible contracts, there are some members who still desire a fixed term agreement and fixed term is preferred by the Consortium for all Non Half Hourly electricity contracts. With significant doubt over the effect of Government energy policy and the potential c ... read more »

Energy Performance Contracts – Pilot Schemes Needed

10 July 2013 - Delegates at the TEC Annual Conference were invited to express an interest in Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) on offer through the TEC supported Carbon and Energy Fund (CEF)/NHS SBS framework being re-let and enabled for educational establishments. Based on completed feedback forms there seems to be substantial interest. David Mackey of CEF presented on the significant benefits of the scheme in funding major energy efficiency (and carbon reduction) capital projects through guaranteed savings ... read more »

Power Purchase Agreement – Memorandum of Understanding.

10 July 2013 - When looking at the challenges facing members due to rising electricity costs, one of the solutions presented at our recent and highly successful Annual Conference was to seek to buy electricity from new generators on a long term basis under what are known as Power Purchase Agreements - PPAs. David Birchall of McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP (MWE) presented on the challenges and legal requirements for making these arrangements work. For TEC’s part we have been in consultation with member ... read more »

TEC's Annual Conference 2013

10 July 2013 - ‘’Running to stand still as bills set to double by 2020’ TEC’s 2013 conference was held in the prestigious town hall in Birmingham on Tuesday 11 June. The city’s landmark building was filled with many of TEC’s members, who attended to listen to this year’s line-up of speakers and find out what measures they can put in place to tackle the inevitable issue that energy bills are set to double by 2020. With one of the biggest energy reforms in 20 years loomi ... read more »

Job Vacancy - Data and Systems Analyst

09 July 2013 - Data and Systems Analyst The Energy Consortium (TEC) is a not-for-profit organisation delivering procurement and managed services around a range of energy based frameworks to a public sector membership, predominantly in the higher education sector. As part of a re-organisation to deal with continued expansion of our team we are seeking a candidate to fill the role of Data and Systems Analyst. Based at our offices at Longbridge, this is an opportunity to join a highly professional team delivering ... read more »

Job Vacancy - Senior Relationship and Business Development Manager

09 July 2013 - Senior Relationship and Business Development Manager The Energy Consortium (TEC) is a not-for-profit organisation delivering procurement and managed services around a range of energy based frameworks to a public sector membership, predominantly in the higher education sector. As part of a re-organisation to deal with continued expansion of our team we are seeking a candidate to join the senior management team as Senior Relationship and Business Development Manager. Based largely at our offices a ... read more »

Capacity auctions to begin next year

02 July 2013 - Alongside the support for renewable technology through strike prices set and charged through a contract for difference mechanism, the first capacity auctions will take place next year subject to state aid approval, DECC has confirmed. The auctions will seek to ensure sufficient capacity is available from winter 2018-19, with successful bidders receiving a steady payment during the year in which they agree to make capacity available. In exchange they will be obliged to deliver electricity in peri ... read more »

UK reserves of shale gas said to be much more significant than first thought

02 July 2013 - The British Geological Survey report was published by the Government, some might say with uncanny timing given the announcements around contracts for difference (CfD) and capacity auctions, claiming that the potential reserves of shale gas in the so called Bowland shale formations across the North of England from Lancashire to Yorkshire may be double the estimates previously made for shale gas in the whole of the UK. However the BGS did say that these reserves would be very challenging to exploi ... read more »

Renewable energy strike prices unveiled

02 July 2013 - In an announcement by Treasury Minister Danny Alexander as part of the wider statements on economic stimulus, DECC has confirmed its proposed strike prices for renewable energy technologies under the new contracts for difference (CfD) regime, designed to replace the Renewables Obligation regime and provide support for investment in various energy generation technologies. The department said on Thursday the prices were “broadly comparable” to those available under the Renewables Oblig ... read more »

EDF Nuclear investment at Hinkley Point to be supported

01 July 2013 - As the UK Government continues the "sensitive negotiations" with EDF over an agreed strike price for nuclear power to be generated at their proposed new reactor at Hinkley Point, there was announcement of £10 billion of support for the development as part of their £40 billion infrastructure support guarantee scheme. An agreed strike price had been expected to be announced alongside those for renewable energy schemes such as off-shore and on-shore wind, but it seems that an ... read more »

OFGEM seek wider consultation on Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) and looks at a possible "enduring regulatory framework".

01 July 2013 - Following continued focus through a working group on the activity of TPIs following what appeared to be an increase in the level of complaints over the lack of transparency and misleading sales tactics, OFGEM is now seeking wider consultation before 23rd August 2013. It appears that there is a growing appetite for regulation after the process started by looking at a code of practise which may be based on self-regulation. TEC will continue to provide input to the process, both on behalf of member ... read more »

OFGEM issue proposals designed to improve energy wholesale market liquidity

13 June 2013 - The lack of liquidity (trade) in the forward wholesale markets is often highlighted as an issue when running flexible portfolios such as those available through TEC. Often the fact that a price for a forward period is published on a market report does not mean that this is evidence of anyone buying or selling gas or power for that period, more that it is an assessment of what it may be worth if a counterparty wanted to buy or sell. This has been an issue which energy regulator OFGEM has been gra ... read more »

Job Vacany - Member Support Administrator

12 June 2013 - Member Support Administrator The Energy Consortium (TEC) are seeking candidates to fill the role of Member Support Administrator. Based in our offices at Longbridge, this is an opportunity to join a highly professional team delivering energy procurement solutions to a membership base made up of public sector bodies, most of whom are from the Higher and Further Education sector. Although this is an entry level role within the organisation, it offers significant opportunity for development and pro ... read more »

Job Vacancies

12 June 2013 - 9th July 2013 senior relationship and business development manager The Energy Consortium (TEC) is a not-for-profit organisation delivering procurement and managed services around a range of energy based frameworks to a public sector membership, predominantly in the higher education sector. As part of a re-organisation to deal with continued expansion of our team we are seeking a candidate to join the senior management team as Senior Relationship and Business Development Manager. Based largely at ... read more »

Energy Bill moves forward after Commons 'yes' vote

06 June 2013 - The Energy Bill has passed its Third Reading in the House of Commons and will now move to the House of Lords. However, Peers will scrutinise a Bill that will not obligate the government to set a binding 2030 decarbonisation target for the power sector after MPs voted down the amendment. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said the vote to allow the Bill to proceed sent a clear message that the UK offers the security investors needs to “revolutionise” the energy sector and &l ... read more »

Government clear on economics of energy market reform: Davey

16 May 2013 - The government understands the long-term impacts its energy policies will have on consumers’ bills, energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey has said. Speaking on Thursday at the UKTI Global Investment Conference, Davey said the Levy Control Framework provided the best “budgetary structure” for the low-carbon transition, and had helped to give investors “what they need”. He also paid tribute to the Treasury, and said it had been “very innovative” in ... read more »

Government affirms commitment to energy reforms

16 May 2013 - The Coalition has confirmed that reforming the energy market will be a key element of its legislative agenda during the new parliamentary session. The Queen’s Speech on Wednesday confirmed the government would move forward with legislation to “update energy infrastructure”, though a date for the Energy Bill’s report stage is yet to be confirmed. The Queen further said that, in assuming the presidency of the G8, the government would continue to make progress in tackling cl ... read more »

Vacancies

10 May 2013 - We have no vacancies at present ... read more »

UK energy policy lurching towards crisis, warns city analyst

01 May 2013 - Successive UK governments have grossly underestimated the financial and economic challenges posed by the drive to decarbonise the electricity sector by 2030, according to Liberum Capital. A report published on Tuesday by the company’s utilities analyst Peter Atherton warned that £161bn of investment would be required to deliver the UK’s policy goals through to the end of the decade––and up to £367bn would be needed by 2030. The report identified three potentia ... read more »

UK's carbon footprint up 10% in last two decades: CCC

26 April 2013 - Despite a 20% reduction in production and manufacturing emissions over the past 20 years, the UK's carbon footprint has actually increased by 10% or more. According to the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) Reducing the UK's Carbon Footprint and Managing Competitiveness Risks report, the UK's carbon footprint has grown despite strong domestic emissions cuts. This is attributed to increased imports as manufacturing has shifted to other countries. The report, published on Wednesda ... read more »

The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme and its fiscal contribution to the Treasury needs to be retained despite flaws in the scheme's design, the Energy Managers Association (EMA) has said.

19 April 2013 - The EMA, which represents energy management professionals from companies with a collective energy spend of around £3bn, issued a report on Monday 15 April that examined attitudes within the field of energy and carbon management to the CRC and carbon reporting. The Mandatory Green House Gas Reporting and CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme report claimed the CRC has successfully motivated organisations on the need to reduce carbon emissions, which would not have occurred without the scheme. But th ... read more »

OFGEM Consultation of Transparency of Third Party Intermediary Charges and Services

27 March 2013 - Following some evidence of increasing "sharp practise" among third party intermediaries (TPIs) in the UK energy non-domestic markets, OFGEM has begun a consultation which may result in at least some self-regulation and a code of practise or at best some changes to energy legislation to force greater transparency, particularly around fees collected as "commissions" by suppliers on energy bills and paid to TPIs. There is little concept of just how many TPIs there are operating ... read more »

Energy Bureau Services – Establishing the Demand and Scope for a New Framework

27 March 2013 - TEC looks to provide services that deliver against the basic requirements of an effective
energy strategy. These are: To buy at the right price To only pay for what you use To only use what you need To ensure all key personnel are aware of their impact and responsibilities around energy costs through effective and accurate cost and consumption reporting TEC presently has a Bureau Services framework, which provides bill validation and reporting services. However, in line with many of our se ... read more »

TEC Annual Conference 2013

27 March 2013 - As we leap into the Spring season, there’s only a few months left until our 2013 conference. We promised that this year’s conference would be ‘bigger and better’ and that’s exactly what it is going to be! Our agenda includes presentations from eminent industry experts who will include topics on 
our energy market’s challenges, services and regulations, as we look to address the demands of an 
ever-changing energy market and tackle them head-on. We ... read more »

April 2013 – Increases in Electricity Distribution and Gas Transportation Charges

27 March 2013 - In what might be seen as a continuing and worrying trend, increases in electricity transmission (TUoS) and distribution (DUos) charges have been confirmed and will be applied from 1st April 2013 for all connected users, including domestic supplies. We focus here on the impact on larger half-hourly (HH) metered supplies as these represent most of the volume under TEC frameworks, but increases of a similar order will apply to smaller non-half hourly (NHH) metered supplies. For transmission charges ... read more »

The Pace Picks Up – New Products, Re-let Frameworks and Energy Market Reform Matters

27 March 2013 - As we emerge from a colder than average winter, TEC is making excellent progress in my vision to be the recognised Centre of Excellence for energy contract provision in the Higher Education sector and beyond. I meet with increasing numbers of members who have been very supportive in our progress towards this aim and the foundations are now set for us to deliver against this vision in 2013. The Energy Market Reform bill continues its journey through Parliament to the statue books, probably by Aut ... read more »

Shortages of gas supplies????

25 March 2013 - "Clearly stories around shortages of gas supplies are intended to draw attention to the UK’s position on energy and potentially drive prices up. However the fact remains that the UK, unlike our continental European partners, has its own gas reserves and stored gas will not be the only source of supplies on any given day, unless in the extremely unlikely event that all the other infrastructure failed. LNG deliveries are expected into the UK during the coming week, although the main dri ... read more »

Planning consent has been granted for the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset

19 March 2013 - Although questions remain over the electricity price needed to fund its construction, the challenge to build the power station could soon get under way. So what are the next steps and why will it take up to 10 years? Hinkley Point C, built and operated by EDF Energy, will contain two nuclear reactors and will be based alongside Hinkley A and B. There are two main aspects to the project - building the nuclear power station itself and getting the infrastructure in place. Permission for the site pr ... read more »

TPI Working Group - TEC's response to the outcomes and minutes of the first meeting

08 March 2013 - TEC's response to the outcomes and minutes of the first meeting. Having read the minutes of the first meeting, I have been in discussion with colleagues within other Public Buying Organisations (PBOs), and had hoped to make a co-ordinated response as it is very much an area we are interested in. However due to the short time window offered I am responding alone in this instance, although the sentiments expressed are very much those of other PBOs. Although we might not be considered to be TPI ... read more »

Following the “charm offensive” British Gas announce profits increase

28 February 2013 - Following our story about British Gas’ claims that they are contributing significantly to the UK economy, it seems this was a “charm offensive” ahead of the announcement that British Gas has seen increased profits from its residential energy supply arm. Profits which increased by 12% in 2012, reaching £606mn. The company said on Wednesday the increase was a consequence of colder weather that saw average domestic gas consumption increase by 12% on the preceding year. Briti ... read more »

UK oil and gas industry investment greatest in three decades

26 February 2013 - UK oil and gas industry investment greatest in three decades Investment in the UK oil and gas industry is at its highest point in over 30 years, according to Oil & Gas UK’s 2013 Activity Survey published today. The Survey, which reported £11.4bn of investment in 2012, expects to see a further rise to at least £13bn in 2013. This surge in investment, which ranges from projects of less than £50mn to greater than £1bn, has occurred because of changes in tax policy ... read more »

Chancellor pursuing "short-sighted" North Sea oil strategy

26 February 2013 - Chancellor pursuing "short-sighted" North Sea oil strategy The UK is undertaking a "reckless North Sea oil bonanza" made possible by a billion pounds-worth of tax breaks for the industry, Friends of the Earth has said. Responding on Monday to figures that showed investment in North Sea oil at a 30-year high, economic campaigner David Powell said chancellor George Osborne’s "short-sighted" policies would keep the UK dependent on increasingly expensive fossil fu ... read more »

OFGEM consults on the potential regulation of the Third Party Intermediaries (TPI) sector.

26 February 2013 - OFGEM consults on the potential regulation of the Third Party Intermediaries (TPI) sector. Following rumblings of concern that TPIs are not demonstrating full transparency around fees and services delivered for those fees (while TEC and other Public Sector Buying Organisations – PBOs - remain compelled to demonstrate complete transparency), OFGEM has begun a consultation process. Under this they have convened a working group made up of energy suppliers, existing Self-Regulatory Code and ot ... read more »

TEC focuses it's morning session on the changing energy markets at it's 2013 conference

25 February 2013 - We promised that this year the TEC Conference would be ‘bigger and better’ and with that in mind, we’re delighted to announce that we are changing the format for the day’s events. We don’t want to give too much away all at once, but to whet your appetite; we are delighted to reveal that this year’s morning session will focus on ‘the changing and challenging energy market’. Speakers for this session include Robert Buckley, Director of Cornwall Energ ... read more »

Centrica reveals its benefits to the UK economy

25 February 2013 - Centrica reveals its benefits to the UK economy Centrica supports over £14bn of UK GDP and 174,000 jobs, according to a press release published on Friday. Compiled by Oxford Economics, the report revealed the parent company of British Gas supports £4.2bn in tax payable to the Exchequer: the equivalent to £158 for every household in the UK. The report also estimates that Centrica’s employees are 2.25 times as productive in terms of GDP contributions as the UK average. Whil ... read more »

TEC embarks on Fixed Term energy contract framework re-let and considers Energy Bureau Services.

25 February 2013 - TEC embarks on Fixed Term energy contract framework re-let and considers Energy Bureau Services. In response to the up-coming end of our present fixed-term, fixed-price framework, the team at TEC are well advanced on the procurement for the new framework. An exhaustive process of market pre-engagement was carried out in the latter part of 2012, with many suppliers taking the opportunity to meet with us to hear of our aspirations for our members who have previously used this framework. They also ... read more »

Are you in Phase III of EU Emissions Trading System?

17 December 2012 - Are you looking forward to another eight years of relentless reporting and boring bureaucracy? Probably not! Why not join TEC’s EUETS Group and become a member of a friendly network of like minded participants. Not only do you get direct access to others in a similar position, but TEC also provide overarching support to make your life easier in the form of: - Appointment of an accredited verifier Access to small quantity allowance trading and site specific advice Tried and tested Data Coll ... read more »

TEC Conference Tuesday 11 June 2013

17 December 2012 - It may seem like a long time away, but June will be here before we know it! So don’t forget to book your place for our 2013 conference, which will be held at Birmingham’s esteemed Town Hall on Tuesday 11 June. Next year’s conference is set to be bigger and better, as we are holding one central conference in the heart of the country. Get the date marked in your diary now and we look forward to seeing you there! ... read more »

Energy Market Reform Bill

17 December 2012 - Thursday 29th November saw the publishing of the long awaited Energy Market Reform bill. The bill is intended to support the case for investment of £200 billion in the UK energy industry in the next 2 decades, £110 billion of which, it is commonly acknowledged, is needed to be invested by 2020 in order to wean the UK off fossil fuels and move to a low carbon economy whilst keeping the lights on. This investment is needed to replace older coal and nuclear fired generation plant, while ... read more »

First 100 days; onwards and upwards

17 December 2012 - Having completed my first 100 days in the role, I am delighted that I have been able to meet so many stakeholders vital to our organisation and services. I have met with members in all 4 corners of England and Wales, and have further travels planned in what is left of 2012 and into early 2013. In addition, largely as part of our mobilisation for the forthcoming re-let of our fixed term/fixed price framework, I have met with suppliers to share the vision I have for TEC and to ask for help in leve ... read more »

The Energy Bill - 29th November 2012

30 November 2012 - THE ENERGY BILL - 29th November 2012 The Government today announced their Energy Bill1, which will implement Electricity Market Reform, enabling the sector to attract the £110bn investment needed this decade to replace ageing energy infrastructure with a more diverse low-carbon energy mix. The proposals will be debated by Parliament over the coming months, and are expected to achieve Royal Assent in 2013, before coming into effect in 2014. Read More.... ... read more »

Welcome Message from our newly appointed Managing Director

02 October 2012 - I would like to open this issue by thanking the TEC Board for the opportunity to take the helm as Managing Director. I am very excited by the opportunity to manage a great team and to continue deliver ever higher quality services to members in an increasingly complex energy market. I have worked in the energy markets for almost 24 years now. During this time I have operated as both buyer and supplier, working in areas such as product development and sales, customer service, strategy and regulati ... read more »

TEC Conference 2013 - Birmingham ??

02 October 2012 - Although we are coming to the end of this year’s success of conferences, we are already gearing up for next year and are extremely excited to announce 2013’s conference will be held at the ‘heart of the country’ Birmingham in June 2013, (date and exact location to be confirmed). Please don’t miss out we are taking bookings now! Contact Sarah Quiney for further information s.quiney@bham.ac.uk or call me on 0121 483 1963 ... read more »

Wales Conference 2012

02 October 2012 - This year’s Wales conference is all set to go on the 10th October 2012, held at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells. This event will look to repeat the successful format from this year’s conferences hosted at Leeds and London. You will have the opportunity to listen to TEC’s line up of key speakers based who will present around this year’s theme of ‘Effective Conservation and procurement.’ After last year’s impressive feedback, we are delighted to aga ... read more »

Changes in Regulated Gas Transportation Charges Effective 1st October 2012

02 October 2012 - As 1st October is the start of a new gas year, the gas transporters and distributors apply new charges for the coming year. These are calculated using an agreed price control formula which is set every 5 years. In addition if there are any other required changes due to modifications in the Network Code, the contract governing the relationships between gas transporters and distributors and the suppliers who use their networks, these too are applied in October. BACKGROUND In 2008 the make up of ga ... read more »

TEC announce new Managing Director

07 August 2012 - The Energy Consortium (TEC), today announced the appointment of Richard Murphy as its new Managing Director with effect from 3rd September 2012. Welcoming his appointment, the Chairman of The Energy Consortium, David Sanders said; “I am delighted to welcome Richard as the new Managing Director of TEC. This appointment reflects our commitment to continue to provide member value through the continued development of our products and services. Richard brings with him a wealth of expertise, bot ... read more »

The Outcome.......TEC's Annual Conference

30 June 2012 - TEC’s Annual Conferences 2012 ‘Effective Conservation and Procurement’ June saw TEC’s key event of the year being run in both Leeds and London. Many members attended to listen to TEC’s line-up of inspiring key speakers on this year’s theme ‘Effective Conservation and Procurement’. Darryl Croft, from the Association for the Conservation of Energy, began the conference with a positive message regarding the UK’s conservation achievements. The UK ... read more »

TEC seeks a new Managing Director

08 May 2012 - The Board is seeking a Managing Director to lead the team of staff delivering a high quality energy procurement service to meet member needs, to exploit opportunities within the wider public sector and to further develop business growth. How To Apply Please send a CV and covering letter demonstrating your suitability for the role, along with a competed Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form to Lisa Evans on l.m.evans.1@bham.ac.uk or 0121 483 1960 Please click the below links to download the require ... read more »

Why You Should Attend the TEC Conference 2012

24 April 2012 - Why You Should Attend the TEC Conference 2012 What will you be doing this June to improve your knowledge of effective conservation and procurement? Make sure you come along to TEC’s annual conference! Why should you attend? The TEC conferences will be heldat the Leeds Royal Armouries Museum on Wednesday 20th June 2012 and at the London Imperial War Museum on Wednesday 27th June 2012. Don’t miss out on the event of the year! To book your place, please follow the event link or by call ... read more »

HEFCE Savings Report

01 April 2012 - HEFCE Savings Report Those of you with long memories may recall that The Energy Consortium was originally founded at the University of Warwick, but it was with seed funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England that enabled it to commence growing into the organisation that it is today delivering best practice energy procurement to over 170 members in the education and wider public sectors. In response to our original sponsor’s faith in our abilities, TEC issues an annual re ... read more »

Association for Conservation of Energy headline TEC’s 2012 Annual Conference

29 March 2012 - Association for Conservation of Energy headline TEC’s 2012 Annual Conference This is the first in a series of emails to announce the impressive line up of speakers we have for you this summer at our annual TEC conferences, based on the topical theme ‘Effective Conservation and Procurement’. Andrew Warren, Director of the Association for Conservation of Energy, with his talk entitled ‘Better Energy Management Can Save the World (and quite a lot of money too)’. Andrew ... read more »

Flexible Restructuring

25 March 2012 - Flexible Restructuring When TEC first launched it’s flexible contract product it entered 2008 with just 9 flexible contracts in operation; today there is far greater awareness in the HE/FE sector of what flexible contracts are and the benefits that they can deliver. As a result of this change we are now on our 3rd generation of flexible contracts and there are currently 40 institutions using over 70 flexible contracts. This growth to date has been managed operationally by the Account Execu ... read more »

TEC's response of the Ofgem Consulations on Retail Market Reform

21 March 2012 - TEC's response of the Ofgem Consulations on Retail Market Reform One of the methods by which TEC represents the interests of its membership is to respond to consultations and lobby specific bodies on subjects of interest. In the past quarter two activities of this nature have taken place. Our response to the Ofgem Consultation of Retail Market Reform can be summarised as; Support for greater transparency regarding commissions to be provided by Third Party Intermediaries (such as TEC) for the ... read more »

TEC’s Senior Account Executives offer insight on how to maximise your TEC membership

21 March 2012 - TEC’s Senior Account Executives offer insight on how to maximise your TEC membership To round up our email alerts announcing our key speakers at this year’s TEC conferences, we end on the note that our very own Senior Account Executives, Dean Marsh and Gary Ward, will be closing the event with a talk on the future of TEC strategy and products. Both Dean and Gary will be informing delegates on how The Energy Consortium will continue to strive to offer the best service offering to its ... read more »

First-hand experiences with energy projects shared at this year’s TEC conference

14 March 2012 - First-hand experiences with energy projects shared at this year’s TEC conference After last year’s impressive feedback, we are planning on making this year’s TEC conference even bigger and better than before. This year we have the pleasure of hosting speakers from the University of Bradford and from Oxford University, to explain first hand recent projects that they have worked on. Russell Smith, Estates Manager, and Hilary Pape, Ecoversity Academic Pioneer, both from the Univer ... read more »

How safe is your reputation?

02 December 2011 - How safe is your reputation? By Brian Hornsby Many of you will be familiar with my views on the Government’s scrapping of the CRC Scheme’s revenue recycling and its retention of its Performance League Table (PLT) as merely a reputational driver. So, I couldn’t let publication last month of the inaugural PLT pass without comment. On November 8, the Environment Agency (EA) published the league table claiming over 60 per cent of organisations had taken steps to improve their energ ... read more »

TEC Energy Outlook

01 December 2011 - TEC Energy Winter Outlook Newsletter December, 2011 Prepared for: The Energy Consortium Although commodity prices have suffered widespread declines in recent weeks as the economy slows and mild weather weighs on demand, prices rose sharply through 2010 and the first half of 2011, supported by strong emerging market demand growth, the Arab Spring uprisings, impact on global oil balances, and the fallout from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Brent crude has been the key driver of longer dated ... read more »

New website functionality

28 November 2011 - New website functionality Recognising how much information we make available to you, we took a decision a few months ago to overhaul the way you upload and store files and have taken steps to simplify the process. From January, information will be stored in related sections or folders, rather than a simple list format. This should improve navigation significantly, enabling you to source relevant or new documents quickly, rather than scrolling through the screen. In addition, we’re creating ... read more »

Focusing on Flex

23 November 2011 - Focusing on Flex On 22 November we held our annual Flex Focus Group at Longbridge and had a good turnout of almost 20 people. This was our third such event and the increased attendance compared to our first forum reflects the growing switch there has been to flexible contracts. Indeed around 20% of our Members are now on flex. We had a good mix of people around the table from energy and environmental managers to finance directors. Peter Nesbitt of Utilyx summarised the past year but the main foc ... read more »

Government has delivered two ‘own goals’ with CRC, claims energy provider

12 October 2011 - The Energy Consortium (TEC) claims that changes made to the CRC Scheme post Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) mean that proactive Carbon Managers are penalised twice; once because revenue recycling has been scrapped, and twice because allowances now have to be purchased for automated meter readings (AMR). TEC's Head of Carbon Advisory Service, Brian Hornsby said that pre-CSR there was some logic in the CRC Scheme’s approach to early action incentives. "Installing AMRs was market ... read more »

TEC Annual Conference 2012

01 October 2011 - For many of our university Members, the year 2012 will mean an Olympic effort on their part as they play pivotal roles in researching, training, hosting and supporting the teams competing in the London Olympic Games. We wish them every success as we do the British athletes. For us, 2012 will see us revisiting the venues we selected for this year’s annual conference to stage more winning performances! Our northern event being held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds will take place on Wednesday ... read more »

Trust us to deliver the facts on renewable energy

09 September 2011 - With energy prices continuing to rise and the future of nuclear power being questioned globally, there's never been a better time to look seriously at renewable energy generation. And with the Welsh Assembly firmly behind it, now's the time to explore technology options and financial schemes available such as the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). To give an overview of some of the technologies your university and college peers have adopted we've organised a special conference on Septem ... read more »

TEC announces conference programme on renewables

19 August 2011 - Last month we sent you details of the special conference we're hosting on September 28 at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells on the theme of 'increasing renewable generation'. The topic itself has prompted widespread debate and strength of feeling throughout Wales in recent months and we recognize the need for organisations to secure future energy supplies but not at the expense of increased cost and administration or alienating local communities. The programme we've carefu ... read more »

TEC host important conference on increasing renewables - Wales

29 July 2011 - Increasing renewables is too hot a topic for you to miss out on in Wales, particularly in light of the recent EMR White Paper on the Government's commitment to diversified technologies to secure future energy supplies. But which technology is best? In June, we held successful conferences in England outlining alternative renewable options - with case studies- and cost and planning implications. We wouldn't want you excluded from such impartial, valuable advice so we're hosting a speci ... read more »

Renewables on the agenda! Are you part of the debate?

20 May 2011 - At the beginning of this month the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claimed that renewable technologies could supply 80% of global energy needs by 2050 as well as reduce greenhouse emissions by a third, provided governments step up policies to stimulate investment and enable industries to grow substantially. Currently, renewable energy accounts for 12.9% of global supply and a business-as-usual approach will not be enough to bring about change. The question is, in which technologies sho ... read more »

Bulletin 07

04 May 2011 - The Energy's Consortium's response to DECC'S invitation to comment on the simplification of CRC. Whilst welcoming the opportunity to submit proposals to simplify CRC, it is noted that, presumably for administrative reasons, only a limited number of topics are on the table for discussion. The 5 topics can only be considered as "tinkering" with parts of the scheme rather than an overall simplification. The aim of the CRC scheme is, obviously, to reduce carbon emissions and th ... read more »

Bulletin 06

21 April 2011 - BUDGET - March 2011 The following is a section of HM Treasury Budget 2011 – HC863 March 2011 The full document can be found at - http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2011budget_complete.pdf Carbon taxes 2.142 Carbon price floor – The Government announces a floor price for carbon in the power sector from 1 April 2013 to target a price for carbon of £30 per tonne of carbon dioxide in 2020. The floor will start at around £16 per tonne of carbon dioxide and the carbon price 64 Budge ... read more »

How does planning bow for siting a wind turbine?

05 April 2011 - We have first hand experience to be shared at our summer conferences in Leeds and London by Lancaster University. Director of facilities, Mark Swindlehurst, will present the challenges the university faced on both the site and planning, while head of infrastructure, Mike Sheppard, will reflect on turbine selection and connection. Mark has a real interest in sustainability and, with over 35 years in the building industry, we can expect some real insight from Mike on the sort of issues you could e ... read more »

What does the future hold for energy prices?

29 March 2011 - Recent developments globally have affected markets, so what are the prospects for the remainder of 2011 and what are the implications of the Government's electricity market reforms on future energy prices? The answers to these questions and more will be provided by Andrew Horstead from Utilyx who is our third guest speaker at both our Leeds and London conferences. Andrew has the unenviable responsibility of looking at future energy markets and is a regular media commentator on supply and dem ... read more »

Developments in the UK Energy Market

25 March 2011 - UK energy prices saw surprising strength towards the end of 2010, extending gains that have seen power and gas prices rise progressively since March 2010. Over that period front month NBP gas prices jumped 120% while Summer-11 gas firmed 59% hitting levels not seen since May 2009. With gas the dominant fuel source in UK power generation, movements in gas have fed through to UK power and similarly, front month power gained 53%, while Summer-11 was 36% higher than levels seen last March, by the en ... read more »

Capital funding for renewable generation with David Povall - 2011 TEC Conference

22 March 2011 - With investment capital severely constrained in the public sector, what are the alternative options available for renewable generation? Book your place at our 2011 conference and hear David Povall CEO of RES Enterprises debate the options. RES Enterprises is one of the world's leading independent renewable energy developers. David has worked extensively across the world in the energy sector and latterly in developing sustainable buildings and will reflect on the different renewable technolog ... read more »

HEFCE - Keynote Speaker at the TEC Confernece 2011

16 March 2011 - Taking to the stage at our Leeds event on June 22 will be HEFCE's Senior Policy Advisor, Joanna Simpson, who orchestrated the organisation's sustainable development strategy and who's a regular Government advisor. This is the first of a series of news articles to alert you to the impressive speakers we've got lined up to talk at our summer conferences on increasing renewable generation. We're thrilled that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has agreed to ... read more »

Speakers announced for energy conferences

22 February 2011 - HEFCE to headline The Energy Consortium’s twin events this summer on renewable generation When The Energy Consortium (TEC) address the issue of increasing renewable generation at its northern and southern conferences this June, it will be joined on the conference platform by keynote speakers from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Also contributing to the debate will be specialist consultancy Inbuilt and Lancaster University. The conferences are being held on June 22 ... read more »

Bulletin 05

26 January 2011 - CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and the Comprehensive Spending Review 20th October 2010 BEFORE AFTER Revenue Recycling All revenue from the sale of allowances to be recycled to participants based on League Table position. All revenue from the sale of allowances will be retained by Government to "support public finances, including spending on the environment". Sale/Purchase of Allowances First purchase April 2011 in anticipation of 2011/12 emissions. Recycled in October 2011 based on 2010/ ... read more »

Leading at The Edge

12 November 2010 - David Oldham smiled; "We like to think of ourselves as leading edge not cutting edge; though a couple of times we have strayed into cutting edge territory". This was just one remark at the start of tour around Edge Hill University at which David is the Director responsible for Capital Developments; the tour had been organised as an information gathering exercise to support the forthcoming HEFCE/TEC Guide to Renewable Generation and Knowledge Hub. Edge Hill certainly has a reputation fo ... read more »

TEC Conferences 2011; historic events!

12 November 2010 - Our conferences next year will be held in two prestigious,historic venues; the Royal Armouries in Leeds and the Imperial War Museum in London. Delegates will get the dual opportunity of stepping back in time and touring the museums as well as looking to the future as we debate ‘Increasing Renewable Generation’ as our conference theme. By June 2011 we shall have the findings from the project we’re conducting with Harper Adams University College and the Universities of Lancaster, ... read more »

Focus group report on Flex

05 November 2010 - On 3 November, we held our inaugural, annual Flexible Focus Group meeting, which was attended by 20 delegates representing 10 of the 19 institutes currently running flexible gas/electric contracts. The objective of this meeting was to inform Members using flexible contracts of their performance to date, the strategies utilised, and strategic options that may be available for the future. The morning session consisted of presentations by TEC and Utilyx on a forward market review, the current and p ... read more »

LGM Grant

01 November 2010 - TEC is delighted to report on its success in the last round of Higher Education Funding Council for England ("HEFCE") LGM funding grant applications. £50,000 has been awarded by the HEFCE and TEC has agreed matching funding. We are embarking on a major study for the education sector which we hope that, once completed, will prove to be an essential guide for best practice renewable generation and be a knowledge hub for renewable generation projects in the future. We shall build th ... read more »

Bulletin 04

21 October 2010 - The following is taken from - Easy-to-browse Spending Review document - HM Treasury page 73 2.108 The CRC Energy Efficiency scheme will be simplified to reduce the burden on businesses, with the first allowance sales for 2011-12 emissions now taking place in 2012 rather than 2011.Revenues from allowance sales totalling £1 billion a year by 2014-15 will be used to support the public finances, including spending on the environment, rather than recycled to participants. Further decisions on a ... read more »

Ahead of publication of the CSR results The Energy Consortium presses the cost-savings message of buying ‘flexibly’

08 September 2010 - With only six weeks to go before the results of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) are due to be published, The Energy Consortium (TEC) is gearing up to help its public sector members meet the massive demands expected to be set. TEC will be primarily encouraging public bodies visiting the Energy Event to upskill and procure their energy through flexible contracts, just like their private peers. TEC currently purchases gas and electricity for more than 85% of the UK’ ... read more »

Bulletin 03

26 August 2010 - This Bulletin is based on information contained in the Environment Agency’s Guidance on the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme – Energy Generation, and Supply Rules. Note: - The supply of HEAT is not covered by CRC. Participants using the heat do not have to report or buy allowances for the primary input fuel used to generate the heat. EGC = Electricity Generating Credits EGC eligibility criteria An electricity generating process will be eligible for ECGs where the following criteria are m ... read more »

Procurement Policy Note - Use of Framework Agreements Set Up By Non - Contracting Authorities

12 July 2010 - OCG Action Note 15/10 12 July 2010 Issue 1. Some organisations that are not contracting authorities have either established or are attempting to establish arrangements described as frameworks agreements for use by contracting authorities across the public sector. These arrangements should not be used by contracting authorities - this PPN outlines the issues and risks for contracting authorities considering the use of these agreements. Dissemination 2. Please circulate this Procurement Policy Not ... read more »

Tall ships enthusiast to put his energy into carbon services for The Energy Consortium (TEC)

06 July 2010 - Brian Hornsby, the former energy co-ordinator at Loughborough University and ex-tall ship sailor, has been appointed head of carbon advisory services at TEC and his task is to advise Members on their EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) submissions and registrations for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. A retired chartered quantity surveyor, Brian has spent the past six years developing robust data collection and management systems at Loughborough University enabling it to better respond to Governm ... read more »

Bulletin 02 - Guide to Guidance on the Environment Agency

05 July 2010 - Description Pages Link 1 A Short introduction to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme 20 Link 2 Summary of steps needed to determine if you qualify 1 Link Qualification and registration Link 3 Am I in? -A Guide to qualification and organisational structure 54 Link 4 A guide for those organisations that have to Register as a Participant in the CRC 93 Link 5 Making an Informed Disclosure 34 Link 6 Glossary of Terms 19 Link Supporting guidance and Overarching Rules Link 7 Evidence Pack 65 Link 8 Source ... read more »

Utilyx Brief: Emergency Budget June 2010

22 June 2010 - Today George Osborne unveiled what he described as an ''unavoidable'' but ''progressive'' budget characterised by a raft of spending cuts and tax increases. In terms of energy and climate change policy, the industry is likely to be disappointed by the absence of clarity on several issues including the proposed Carbon Floor price and the Renewable Heat Incentive. Following the Coalition Government’s decision to abolish the Infrastructure Planning Commission w ... read more »

Speakers announced for The Energy Consortium’s summer roadshows

18 May 2010 - When The Energy Consortium (TEC) takes to the road next month for its inaugural roadshows it will be joined on the conference platform by keynote speakers from Encraft, Eversheds and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). Three conferences addressing ‘Supporting sustainability in education and the wider public sector’ are being held in Leeds, Bath and London. Matthew Rhodes of Encraft headlines each event and will address renewables generation and the feed-in tariff system. Cassie ... read more »

Bulletin 01 - Carbon Advisory Service

01 May 2010 - CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme – Registration Starts 1st April The Energy Consortium has established a Help Desk to respond to members queries, circulate information, share problems and their resolution. Contact Brian Hornsby at tec-carbon@btconnect.com and 07583 040 073 CRC - Qualification Qualification is based on electricity supplied through Half Hourly Meters during 2008 If your institution had one or more Half Hourly Meter, you will need to act. If consumption, during 2008, through all ... read more »

The Energy Consortium (TEC) wins tender to power six of the UK’s most popular museums

23 April 2010 - Birmingham, UK, 23 April, 2010 – The Energy Consortium (TEC) has won its first major tender in the public sector since being confirmed as a Pan Government public buying organisation (PBO). The tender, which it jointly presented with its service provider Utilyx, is to provide gas and electricity contracts for four of London’s top tourist attractions; the V&A Museum, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Childhood, as well as the National Railway Museum a ... read more »

The Energy Consortium (TEC) announces summer roadshows

14 April 2010 - Instead of holding one major conference, The Energy Consortium (TEC) has announced it’s taking to the road this June and hosting three roadshows at universities throughout the UK, focusing on ‘Supporting sustainability in education and the wider public sector’. The roadshows are targeted at energy procurers/managers in both higher and further education as well as the wider public sector. TEC’s decision to host regional roadshows was made after research conducted of its me ... read more »

Developments in the UK energy market Spring 2010

25 March 2010 - The New Year started with a bang. Just as the market was getting complacent and singing the virtues of an oversupplied market and how low could the market go, along came the coldest winter snap in 30 years covering the UK in a blanket of snow and lifting NBP gas demand to record levels and prices up to 60p/th, levels not seen since February 2009, forcing National Grid to issue a gas balancing alert on four separate occasions. The GBA’s were a call to market to source more gas and for indus ... read more »

CRC energy efficiency scheme conference

01 February 2010 - The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (previously known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment) is a new, mandatory, energy saving and carbon emissions reduction scheme for the UK. CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Conference The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (previously known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment) is a new, mandatory, energy saving and carbon emissions reduction scheme for the UK. The CRC starts in April 2010. If you qualify for CRC, you must register as a Participant or make an Information Disc ... read more »

CRC energy efficiency scheme stakeholder update

30 January 2010 - On the 19th January, the draft CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Order 2010 was laid in the UK and Scottish Parliaments and in the National Assembly for Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly. It is subject to the approval of all four Administrations before it comes into force from April 2010. CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Stakeholder Update Dear Stakeholder, A number of new CRC documents are now available: Draft CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme Order 2010 On the 19th January, the draft CRC Energy Efficiency ... read more »

Low prices prove hard to resist

10 November 2009 - With recent low prices, TEC has been busy making energy purchases for its flexible contracts as far out as the Winter season for 2011; as a result of this all members of TEC’s Flexible Gas Basket now know exactly what price they will paying for their gas in the academic period 2009/2010. As TEC also benchmarks an equivalent FPFT price at the beginning of each contract these institutes can effectively report to senior management the consequences of moving to a flexible contract as opposed t ... read more »

The Energy Consortium (TEC) appoints Rocket Creative

12 September 2009 - The Energy Consortium (TEC) appoints Rocket Creative marketing agency Not for profit purchasing body retains agency to improve its service delivery to HE, FE and the wider public sector. Birmingham, UK, 24 April, 2009 – The Energy Consortium (TEC), which, up until now has exclusively procured energy services for higher and further education establishments has just appointed East Midlands marketing agency, Rocket Creative, to rebrand and assist with the introduction of its new contracts acr ... read more »

Prominent speakers lined up for conference and exhibition

01 September 2009 - Prominent speakers lined up for The Energy Consortium’s autumn conference and exhibition. Balancing individual choice with the power of collaborative purchasing headlines the event. Birmingham, UK, 26 August, 2009 – The Energy Consortium (TEC) will be joined on the conference platform this autumn by eminent speakers from bodies like the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) and the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE). The conference, which takes place on November 11 i ... read more »

Education sector’s fast learning the benefits of adopting smarter energy procurement

12 August 2009 - The Energy Consortium (TEC) reports a groundswell in take-up by educational bodies of aggregated, flexible and risk managed procurement since the OGC actively started promoting it in June Birmingham, UK, 24 July, 2009 – The Energy Consortium (TEC) has just signed up five UK universities to its ‘Flex Energy Contracts’ and attributes winning the new business to not only the cost-saving message of flexible over fixed contracts finally getting through but also TEC’s recent re ... read more »

Not for profit energy procurer increases

19 July 2009 - The Energy Consortium (TEC) powers up its national team Not for profit energy procurer increases its staffing levels to improve service delivery. Birmingham, UK, 30 July, 2009 – TEC has made three strategic appointments to strengthen its national representation as well as creating a new marketing post. Rejoining the not for profit organisation are David Thomas and Gary Ward, while the new face on board is Kathryn Baldock. Former contracts support officer (CSO) Sarah James has been made mar ... read more »