'Exxon Hates Your Children' Ad to Air
As global average temperatures are rising at a relentless rate, 2012 proves to be the hottest year on record.
In the US alone, the first five months of 2012 were the hottest on record, breaking 164 all-time high temperature records across the country in June. Winter this year was also the driest and hottest it's ever been in the western US since records have been kept.
Now swallow this: temperatures in Australia have reached such great heights that the Bureau of Meteorology has adjusted its weather forecasting chart to include two new colors that represent temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius.
The intense “dome of heat” is contributing to more than just blistering sunburns; massive wildfires are becoming more frequent across southeastern Australia.
"You don't get conditions worse than this," the New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner told the Associated Press.
So is this what climate change looks like? Well, since there's been a significant increase in these types of events over time, yes.
"An increasing frequency of heat waves —that's one aspect of climate change you can point to," National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Carbin told the Huffington Post.
Meanwhile, critics refuse to acknowledge man's role in climate change despite a year of extreme weather and natural disasters. While Australia's news of changes in its temperature scale were spread far and wide, Fox News failed to cover the milestone. So, the “liberal media” has decided a new approach: comedy.
Tomorrow, climate-action advocates will air a viral mock-advertisement “Exxon Hates Your Children” on the left-leaning MSNBC.
"Americans are back to believing that something is happening with our climate and that mankind has a role to play in that," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told USA Today. "These are not natural phenomena."
Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
"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 Ventures, Wave 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.