May 17, 2020

The May Edition of Energy Digital is now live!

Admin
2 min
This month: Shell's Clean Energy Vision
The May Edition of Energy Digital is now live! Read the May Edition of Energy Digital here Say hello to a clean energy future as we report on some ver...

 

The May Edition of Energy Digital is now live!

Read the May Edition of Energy Digital here

Say hello to a clean energy future as we report on some very significant projects developing around the world in this month's issue:

Oil and Gas: Shell Takes the Lead on Natural Gas, Welcomes the Future of Clean Energy

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell takes the lead in natural gas, a move the company says will be the most significant in reducing CO2 emissions and serve as a complement to renewable energy. Thanks to the US shale boom, energy independence is closer than ever.

Renewable Energy: Revolutionary Wind Turbine Platform Premiers in Massive Wind Farm Project

Meanwhile, Australia brings its massive 420 MW Macarthur Wind Farm project online, making it the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere. The country's biggest utility companies join forces with a wind turbine manufacturer that has managed to develop a technology that can tap even low to medium wind speeds—a huge win for Australia and the future of the wind industry as a whole.

Mining: Earthquakes Prove to Produce "Economic-Grade" Gold Deposits

Apparently, there's a silver lining in the occurrence of earthquakes—and it comes in the form of gold. Australian scientists recently confirmed the link between the formation of gold deposits as a result of earth's naturally occurring 20,000 annual earthquakes.

Green Tech: Nest Partners with Utilities, Aims for Peak Energy Efficiency Across the US

Nest Labs reveals the new and improved Nest v3.5, while at the same time making its energy-saving features available across the nation with the help of a few strategic partnerships in the US utility market. Saving energy is a beautiful thing—just look at these iPod-generation thermostats!

Top Ten: Oil Reserves in the World

Which countries actually have the largest reserves?

The May issue is also packed with great content and in-depth interviews with some of the world's leading companies and key players, plus much more.

Enjoy!

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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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