Because we at Smarter Power like to keep our clients well-informed, we've decided to start a regular news update for all things energy. So forget the European referendum or who won at this year's Oscars, this is where the real news can be found:
• Smarter not harder?
Energy giant SSE has suggested the current smart meter rollout target is too high. The UK government is committed to achieving a 97% coverage rate across the nation's homes by 2020, but SSE believes the EU mandate of 80% is more realistic and that adopting it will 'protect the net benefits for customers.'
And following a number of delays last year, including a 6-month hold-up as changes to technical specifications in the rollout were realised, perhaps they've got a point!
• Fever Switch
Ofgem's latest figures show the number of customers switching energy suppliers is at its highest level since 2011. Inspired by Ofgem's public information campaign, 'Be An Energy Shopper', as well as the small issue of saving hundreds of pounds, 6.1 million people changed suppliers in 2015, up 15% on 2014. The figures also reveal the continuing popularity of independent suppliers as they attracted 40% of the year's switches - a big bite out of the big six!
• Crunch time?
Research this week from law firm Bircham Dyson Bell suggests the UK might be facing a 'looming energy crunch'. Since 2012, following the closure of 18 major power stations, the UK's total energy capacity has fallen from 100 gigawatts* (GW) to 86GW, and the research shows this could drop to 79GW by 2020 and to 61GW by 2030.
Angus Walker, head of government and infrastructure at Bircham Dyson Bell, said 'new power generators are not being built at a rate that is keeping pace... [and] on current projections this is likely to result in a shortfall between supply and demand - in summary, an energy crunch.'
Read more about it: https://www.bdb-law.co.uk/services/expertise/planning-and-infrastructure/energy-crunch/
(*For all you number crunchers, a gigawatt is a unit of power equal to one billion watts.)
• The UK's Renewable Energy Report Card: 'Must Try Harder'
Britain has been told it 'must try harder' to encourage investment in its renewable energy capacity. Industry analyst EY's latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (hey, catchy title...) claims 'a lack of regulatory clarity' puts the state of Britain's renewable market in the same bracket as Spain, Greece and Saudi Arabia. RECAI's findings show that how Britain reacts in the next 12-18 months will be critical in determining its place in the international renewable energy market.
This follows on from a poor 2015 for Britain - last September the UK dropped out of the top ten of EY's investment attractiveness league table, the first time this has happened since it began 12 years ago.
Well, that should be enough industry gossip to keep you going for a while. But if there are any stories you want to share with us, why not email us at firstname.lastname@example.org - who knows, it might be interesting enough to make the next edition of Read All About It!