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Ofgem Lines Up New Chairman

9 Jul 2013

David Gray has been named as the preferred candidate for the new Chairman at Ofgem following a selection process led by Energy Secretary Edward Davey.

David has 30 years of experience working in financial markets, and has held senior roles at HSBC bank, advised the Department for Transport on airport economic regulation and also worked for Ofgem from 2003 to 2007 as Managing Director for Networks.

Energy secretary Ed Davey said: “David has an excellent track record in economic regulation, including a previous role on Ofgem’s senior team, and also has extensive and invaluable experience of the energy sector”.

On being named, David said: “The next few years will be crucial for energy regulation and I very much look forward to working with Ofgem’s excellent staff to help it promote quality and value for all consumers”.

Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Select Committee will review the proposition before official appointment. The current Chairman of Ofgem, Lord John Mogg will step down at the end of September and welcomes the announcement saying: “I am delighted that such a strong candidate as David Gray has been selected as the preferred candidate to protect consumers’ interests as Ofgem’s Chairman”.

If approved by Parliament, David will officially start on the 1st October 2013 under a five year contract.


Ofgem lines up new Chairman

Northern Ireland Utility Regulator Appoints New Chief Executive

5 Jul 2013

Northern Irelands Utility Regulator has appointed Jenny Pyper as its new Chief Executive. A former Civil Servant since 1985, Jenny has held several senior government roles covering economic development policy.

As Director of Energy Policy at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Jenny was responsible for overseeing utility policy and legislation and also played a major role in developing the Executive’s Strategic Energy Framework. Since July 2011, she was Deputy Secretary for the Department for Social Development overseeing urban regeneration and community development.

The Utility Regulator promotes the interests of its consumers and regulates gas, electricity and water in Northern Ireland.  As Chief Executive, Jenny will bring industry best practice and work closely with stakeholders to tackle the key challenges across the electricity, gas and renewable energy sectors.

Dr Bill Emery, Chairman of the Utility Regulator Board said: “We are delighted to appoint Jenny Pyper as our new Chief Executive following an open competition.  We look forward to working with her to build on the progress we have made on developing our new corporate strategy”.

Jenny Pyper commented: “I am very pleased to be joining the Utility Regulator as it develops a new corporate strategy and I look forward to working with the Board and all the Utility Regulator team. Jenny will start the new position in Autumn this year replacing Shane Lynch who announced in May his intention to step down.

Ofgem Shortlists Four Bidders for Offshore Wind Farm

26 Jun 2013

Ofgem has announced the four bidders shortlisted for the £311m offshore transmission links to the 389MW West of Duddon Sands offshore wind farm.

Balfour Beatty, Macquarie Capital, Mitsubishi and Transmission Capital are in the final bidding stages to own and operate the offshore transmission which is being developed by Dong Energy. The links for West of Duddon Sands is a joint venture between Dong Energy and ScottishPower Renewables and the contract will run over the next 20 years. The contract is being tendered under the second transitional tender round of the OFTO (Offshore Transmission Owner) regime worth £1.4bn of transmission assets and the winner will be announced in spring 2014.

Ofgem will also tender out three wind farms later this year under a new system where wind farm developers will opt to build their own transmission assets or allow the assets to be owned by a third party.

Source: Enzen

Ofgem CEO to become Chairman at KPMG’s Power & Utilities Practice

4 Jul 2013

After spending ten years at Ofgem, Alistair Buchanan who resigned from his Chief Executive position last week, will take up the role of Chairman of KPMG’s power and utilities practice, having previously trained there as a chartered accountant and partner.

Simon Collins, UK Chairman of KPMG said Mr Buchanan is “a luminary in the energy world. We are seeing the biggest ever shift in energy market fundamentals. Core issues such as mega funding requirements, customer tariffs and the green agenda affect society as a whole. All of the key stakeholders, including government, regulators, investors, consumers and energy companies, need to work together to address these issues”.

David Gascoigne, UK Head of Power & Utilities at KPMG, said “Alistair will be joining a team of 200 specialist power & utilities advisers in the UK, which is part of a global network of over 1,000 experts, who work with the full range of energy market participants on a wide range of issues from M&A in the renewables sector to emission reporting systems. We are delighted that Alistair will be joining the team; his knowledge and experience will provide an important boost to our work in the sector.”

Alistair announced in December last year of his intention to leave Ofgem at the end of his second term in June 2013. He will officially start his new role on the 1st October 2013 and Head of Markets at Ofgem, Andrew Wright will take over as interim Chief Executive.

MP Accuses Energy Firms of Paying Little or No Corporation Tax

2 Jul 2013

Tory backbencher and Tax Lawyer, Charlie Elphicke has singled out a number of energy and utility firms for not paying appropriate corporation tax and denying the Treasury up to £1bn by exploiting the interest deduction system.

The MP said in the House of Commons last week that he wanted “a system where tax avoiding water and utility companies are made to give a rebate to hard-pressed customers who have been facing increased bills in recent years.  Southern Water, Yorkshire Water, EDF Energy and RWE NPower are amongst those singled out, specifically accusing EDF and NPower of paying ‘no tax whatsoever’. EDF defended its tax record and hit back in a bid to make clear that it paid £116m in corporation tax last year and £156m for 2011. In a statement, EDF said it is proud of its contributions to the UK economy. The criticism comes amid government negotiations with EDF to build a new multi-million pound power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Treasury Minister David Gauke said “HMRC secured £8bn of additional revenues from large companies through tax compliance work in 2012-13 and more than £23bn over three years. HMRC does have robust methods in place to ensure that tax compliance by the biggest businesses occurs and the numbers support that.”

Source: Enzen

United Utilities Increases Profit and Revenue by £71m

24 Jun 2013

The UK’s largest water company, United Utilities has released their end of year financial accounts which show a profit and revenue increase of £71m.  Pre-tax profit for the previous year has increased by 10.5% to £266m. This is largely due to an increase in regulated prices, retail price index inflation and customers switching meters.

Steve Mogford, Chief Executive of United Utilities, said: “We have delivered a third year-on-year improvement in customer satisfaction, underpinned by good operational and environmental performance and remain on course to deliver our regulatory outperformance targets”. We do, however, recognise that we have more to do to achieve our vision and we see considerable opportunities to deliver further improvements”.

Operational highlights state that they have delivered significant customer and environmental benefits and beaten the annual leakage targets set by Ofwat for the financial year. The company owns and manages the regulated water and sewage services for more than seven million customers across North West England.

Source: Enzen

Ofgem to Clampdown on Electricity Monopolies

12 Jun 2013

In a bid to drive down energy prices for hard pressed customers, Ofgem is proposing that the six major energy suppliers, Centrica, E.ON, SSE, Npower, EDF and ScottishPower trade more transparently with smaller independent suppliers or face cash penalties if the fail to follow the new rules.

The ‘Big Six’ have a significant amount of industry power and currently generate 80% of Britain’s electricity supplying around 95% of it to their customers. This is creating a barrier for smaller suppliers to buy and sell energy and access long-term contracts. Under the new proposals, the major suppliers will be prevented from refusing requests to sell energy and be required to publish their electricity prices up to two years in advance. This will allow smaller suppliers such as Co-operative Energy, Ecotricity, Ebico and First Utility to buy electricity and gain entry into the wider market. It will also increase market competition which, in turn will help reduce energy prices for customers as well as encourage more investment in new power generation plants.

Andrew Wright, Senior Partner for markets at Ofgem, said “Our aim is to improve consumer confidence and choice by putting strong pressure on prices through increased competition in the energy market. “Ofgem’s proposals will break the stranglehold of the big six in the retail market and create a more level playing field for independent suppliers, who will get a fair deal when they want to buy and sell power up to two years ahead”.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the Government was ready to bring in new laws should the new measures be ‘delayed or frustrated’. He urged the industry to work with Ofgem to implement the proposals “as swiftly as possible”. “An increased role and level playing field for independent suppliers and generators is precisely what will help drive the competition that delivers better value for consumers and businesses. Ofgem’s proposals to increase transparency in the way electricity is traded will give independent generators a foothold in the UK energy market and encourage new players to invest. I encourage companies to work with Ofgem to implement these proposals as swiftly as possible”.

Source: Enzen

Thames Water Prepares Price Hike

11 Jun 2013

Thames Water customers are set to face higher bills as part of a drive to recover costs caused by bad debt and the recent extreme weather conditions.

The biggest water company in the UK are proposing price rises of around £15 in the 2013/14 and £8 in 2015/16 with plans to invest some of the revenue into infrastructure services such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel. In addition, Thames Water said it had identified £90m in efficiencies since 2010 to reinvest back into the business. The company is currently scoring amber in four key performance indicators – sewer flooding; wastewater; asset performance; pollution incidents and post-tax return. The remaining 16 are green.

The Chief Executive of Thames Water, Martin Baggs said “Over the past financial year, exceptional weather conditions have presented tough challenges for the business. The period began with a drought, following the driest two-year period on record, and ended with widespread flooding after becoming England’s rainiest 12 months on record. “Despite these challenges, we have for the third year running carried out a further £1bn of improvements to our networks, while the average household bill in our region is the second-lowest in the country. Our operational performance remains strong. “We are now focussed on the significant challenges ahead, including continuing to improve customer service and continuing to support and promote the Thames Tideway Tunnel”.

Source: Enzen

Happy Earth Day 2013

22 Apr 2013

Happy Earth Day 2013 from us all at Enzen!

Kutty Prabakaran to speak at IGEM YPN Event – Building Tomorrow’s Leaders Today

1 Apr 2013

We are pleased to annouce that Kutty Prabakaran, Enzen’s Director for UK and Europe, and winner of the Leadership Award at the 2012 Gas Industry Awards will be speaking at the IGEM Young Persons Network (YPN) about being a leader in the gas industry.

The event will take place on 17 April 2013 at IGEM House, for more details, please click here.