May 17, 2020

Shell, EDF Energy, and other global companies call for carbon cap

Admin
2 min
EDF Energy
[email protected] The April issue of Energy Digital magazine is live EDF Energy, Royal Dutch Shell, and 68 other major global companies have signed...

The April issue of Energy Digital magazine is live

EDF Energy, Royal Dutch Shell, and 68 other major global companies have signed The Trillion Tonne Communiqué, which calls for a ‘rapid and focused response’ to the threat posed by rising global carbon emissions, and the ‘disruptive climate impacts’ inevitably associated with them.

The document calls for governments to put policies in place to prevent the cumulative emission of more than 1 trillion tons of carbon, according to a statement from leading global businesses on April 8. Failure to limit the stock of carbon in the atmosphere would risk increasingly serious climate impacts.

Coordinated by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, the The Trillion Tonne Communiqué has so far been signed by 70 companies from five continents, including major multinationals like Acciona, Adidas, CalSTRS, ING, Mars, TetraPak, and Unilever, with a collective turnover of at least $90 billion.

Specifically the Communiqué calls on governments to:

-           Set a timeline for achieving net zero emissions before the end of the century;

-           Design a credible strategy to transform the energy system;

-           Create a plan to manage reliance on fossil fuels, especially coal.

“This communiqué sends a clear message from business at a critical time, when events in the Ukraine have refocused global attention on energy security, and just as the scientific consensus reminds us all of the imperative of collective action,” said Eliot Whittington, deputy director of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, in a released statement.

This year’s statement comes ahead of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the actions scientists believe are necessary to mitigate climate change. It also looks to the UN climate change talks in Paris in 2015 as a major opportunity to secure global agreement on a net zero emissions goal. The Communiqué will remain open for companies to sign until the Paris meeting commences.

 “The threat of climate change is real and urgent,” said Johan Karlström, CEO of Skanska AB, in a released statement. “To curb emissions we need to work together. From a business point of view it is already a competitive advantage to be a leader in green but governments can speed up the progress substantially by setting up a level playing field that rewards the leaders in low carbon technology and energy efficiency.”

The Trillion Tonne Communiqué is the seventh in a series coordinated by the Corporate Leaders Group, representing the voice of progressive international business. In the last week it has been endorsed in speeches by two leading CEOs, Paul Polman of Unilever, and Vincent de Rivaaz of EDF Energy.

Photo credit: Radu Razvan / Shutterstock.com

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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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