Eon UK chief executive Tony Cocker has criticised a decline in “evidence-based policy” for the energy sector. He says “We should return to evidence-based policy and focus on support for institutions and get that continuity and stability back in energy policy – and rebuild confidence in investors.” Despite Cocker’s concerns about the impact of government interventions in the energy market however, he was positive about Eon’s future investment in UK renewables and energy solutions. He said its plans for innovation in local and municipal energy services, including solar PV, doemestic and grid-scale storage and heat networks, will be supported by government plans for regional devolution, industrial strategy, and investment in skills.
Utility Week 27th April 2017 read more »
The Conservative leader’s ham-fisted intervention in the energy market shows how little we can expect from her. Trying to decipher what this general election is about, there is a lot of noise and not much of a signal. Theresa May’s approach to campaigning – avoiding the public and the pesky journalists with their questions – reflects really badly on her fragility. The Tory manifesto is said to be light on anything so conventional as actual policies. Better to promise nothing and be sure to deliver it. You have to search for a clue to what is going on and, on your behalf, I think I have found it. There is nothing going on. In politics you have to judge the advocate as well as the policy. The same idea can mean quite different things depending on who is talking. This week Labour people have lined up to complain that the press treated Mrs May’s plan to freeze energy prices very differently from when, in 2015, Ed Miliband said the same. So they did too. In 2015 freezing prices was written up as teenage Marxism whereas now, lo and behold, it appears to be a reasonable response to hardship for the just about managing. They are right to complain. The bias is embarrassing and anyone on the receiving end of that nonsense has every right to be annoyed about it.
Times 28th April 2017 read more »
Theresa May’s plan to cap gas and electricity bills could put billions of investment in the UK at risk by creating huge uncertainty over government intentions, according to the body representing the big six energy suppliers. In one of the strongest warnings yet about the impact of the cap on standard variable tariffs pledged by the Conservatives, Energy UK protested against “ill-considered” political intervention. “Further price regulation at this moment would create huge uncertainty around future government intentions, potentially putting at risk the billions in investment and jobs needed to renew our energy system,” the group said in its statement for the election published on Friday. Lawrence Slade, Energy UK’s chief executive, said: “What the industry overall needs is a period of certainty so we know what the policy objectives are, what the targets are, the framework is – so we can work together with the investment community to deliver the low-carbon economy that we need.” Controlling prices would hurt competition and innovation, the group added. Ministers should instead “respect” an 18-month review of the energy market by the competition watchdog, which decided against a cap in favour of measures to encourage greater switching, Energy UK urged. Energy UK said that whoever won in the general election on 8 June should also take a new tack on solving fuel poverty, which affected 2.3m households. Help for those who were fuel poor – defined as people whose income would be below the official poverty line after paying for electricity and gas – should be funded through general taxation rather than paid through energy bills, the body said. “The regressive nature of how the government has used the electricity bill to fund these programmes also needs to be reviewed, ending the system whereby the fuel poor pay to fund programmes to help the fuel poor,” said Slade.
Guardian 28th April 2017 read more »