The energy regulator has warned companies it will not write “blank cheques” for green projects despite the need to boost decarbonisation to meet Britain’s climate targets. Ofgem said that helping to deliver net-zero emissions by 2050 was one of its top priorities and warned that “progress may be stalling” with emissions falling last year at their slowest since 2012. However, it said it was not prepared to authorise “unnecessary investment, and cost, in options that turn out to be dead ends”. Ofgem has a remit to protect the interests of consumers. Its role includes regulating the companies that run gas pipelines and electricity cables, determining how much they can charge households on their energy bills.
Times 4th Oct 2019 read more »
The UK’s progress in cutting greenhouse gases has slowed over the past year, according to Ofgem’s annual “State of the Market” report. Greenhouse gas emissions fell last year by just 2.5 per cent, the smallest reduction since 2012, the regulator said – but added that the country still remained a global leader in cutting carbon, driven largely by the decarbonisation of electricity generation and an increase in renewable energy. Renewables generated a record 33 per cent of electricity last year, the report said. Transport continued to be the largest single source of carbon emissions, although emissions fell slightly last year, partly down to an increase in the number of alternative fuel vehicles, which now account for two per cent of the licenced cars on the road in the UK. Meanwhile, the report also showed that competition continued to grow in the retail energy market. Market dominance of the six larger suppliers continued to weaken as they lost 1.3 million customers and medium and small suppliers now supply around 30 per cent of consumers. Switching rates increased to 20 per cent and hit a record high. Small suppliers for the first time saw their market share fall to nine per cent of consumers, down from 10 per cent the year before, following a string of small utility firm collapses.
Scotsman 3rd Oct 2019 read more »
The regulator has allowed energy network companies to make bigger than expected profits at the expense of household bills, according to its own state of the market report. Ofgem admitted the companies that run Britain’s energy pipes and wires had earned double-digit returns in the last year despite its efforts to keep a lid on energy bills. The regulator oversees the business plans of regional gas and electricity networks to keep a rein on how much each firms can spend on their infrastructure, and how much they can claim back through energy bills. It said that with hindsight it had set the rate of return too high, and that some companies had managed to spend less than planned, to rake in higher profits. The uncomfortable evaluation has emerged following Ofgem’s decision to appoint its head of networks as its new chief executive. Jonathan Brearley will replace Dermot Nolan when he steps down in February next year.
Guardian 3rd Oct 2019 read more »