May 17, 2020

Energy industry a challenge for women

Admin
2 min
Women in oil and gas industry
CONSOL Energy and Young Professional Women in Energy hosted a panel last week to discuss women's role in the oil and gas industry. The panel of ene...

CONSOL Energy and Young Professional Women in Energy hosted a panel last week to discuss women's role in the oil and gas industry.

The panel of energy executives offered a unique perspective about the challenges they believe women face in the industry and the ways in which women can “break the glass ceiling.” The panelists included LuAnn Datesh, CONSOL Energy's vice president of land resources; Steve MacDonald, CEO of Noise Solutions; Michael Segura, strategic business manager for Halliburton and Gary Hlavinka, regional operations manager for Cabot Oil & Gas. 

Stephanie Gill, vice president, deputy general counsel and corporate secretary for CONSOL Energy moderated, presenting the panel with questions submitted by YPWE members. 

“Positions in the energy industry are challenging, dynamic and provide a path of real and meaningful advancement,” said Gill. “Being a part of the process that provides reliable and affordable energy is a noble and rewarding endeavor. Events that encourage individuals, men or women, to pursue opportunities in the energy industry and/or further their existing positions in the energy industry are invaluable.”

Nearly 100 women attended the networking event, which was held at CONSOL Energy's CNX Center. The discussion focused on barriers, best practices and strategies to overcome challenges in order to succeed in the energy industry. Women make up 13.2 percent of the workforce in the mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction industries. The YPWE hopes that by encouraging gender gap discussions among industry leaders, these numbers will increase.

“It is very important to YPWE that we leverage individuals from all stages in their careers because the energy industry is always evolving,” said Amelia Roncone, YPWE founder. “What the industry was yesterday is not what it is today, and what it is today is not what it will be tomorrow.”

Last week, CONSOL Energy's West Virginia Gas Operations hosted a rig tour for the West Virginia chapter of Young Professional Women in Energy and the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. The panel discussion and tour illustrate the ongoing relationship between CONSOL Energy and YPWE.

“YPWE is happy to partner with industry-leader CONSOL Energy to provide an evening of education, networking, and leadership,” Roncone said. “By partnering with companies such as CONSOL, we can better prepare and empower women and organizations to compete in the growing energy industry and dynamic marketplace.”  

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Jul 26, 2021

Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April

Ofwat
Utilities
water
prices
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Ofwat confirms levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue

Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.

The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.

Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.  

In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue. 

Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”  

There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:   

  1. Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps. 
  2. Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold. 
  3. Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice. 

Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.

Anita Dougall, CEO and Founding Partner at Sagacity, said Ofwat’s decision comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s price cap rise in April.

"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."

United Utilities picks up pipeline award

A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.

The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.

“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.

Camus Energy secures $16m funding

Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent VenturesWave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.

As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.

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