The Informer

This week's energy news headlines: Ofgem is to introduce new rules to better protect non-domestic energy customers; UK energy production falls to its lowest levels since records began; Plans for a fleet of new small nuclear reactors win Government backing. Our industry round-up includes the latest updates from Government departments and energy regulators.


  • Ofgem sets out new rules to protect business customers

    Ofgem has announced a series of measures aimed at ensuring business energy customers get fairer treatment.

    The regulator said the new rules will make sure suppliers improve customer service, open doors to alternative dispute resolution schemes and clearly set out costs for businesses, including fees paid for third party services like energy brokers.

    The changes will apply across the non-domestic energy sector from 1 July.

    Tim Jarvis, Ofgem’s Director General for Markets, said: "Too many businesses have experienced issues with some energy suppliers, from difficulty getting the right contracts, unexplained price hikes, and poor customer service.

    “We’ve worked hard to understand the breadth of issues and where the powers we have to tackle them can be improved. These new rules will help ensure businesses get the service they deserve.

    Read more

  • UK energy production falls 9%

    UK energy production in 2023 fell 9% to the lowest level since records began in 1948, according to new figures.

    The total was also down 36% on 2010, and 66% on 1999 when UK production peaked, the latest Government statistics reveal.

    Production from renewable technologies matched the previous record high of 2022 but renewables’ share of electricity generation increased to a record 47.3%.

    Wind generation hit a record high share of 28.7% of generation, up from 2.7% in 2010. Generation from fossil fuels fell to a record low, a share of 36.3% but generation from gas remained the principal form of UK generation at 34.3%.

    Energy consumption also fell in 2023, led by a fall in household consumption for both gas and electricity with overall household consumption lower than at any point in the last fifty years. Consumption by industrial users also dropped on 2022 and like household consumption is at its lowest level in over 50 years.

    Read more

  • Small nuclear plant plans win Government backing

    Plans to develop a fleet of small nuclear reactors have won £3.34m backing from the Government.

    Cavendish Nuclear, part of Babcock International, and X-Energy UK have secured support under the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF) to develop its Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR).

    The companies are proposing to develop a multi-billion pound 12-reactor plant at Hartlepool, to be ready by the early 2030s.

    The funding is the first the UK government has awarded to an AMR technology for post-R&D commercialisation and business development activities.

    UK Minister for Nuclear and Renewables Andrew Bowie stated: “We are backing innovation in nuclear – from building large-scale plants better to encouraging new advanced technologies – to achieve our ambition for a quarter of our electricity to come from nuclear power by 2050.”

    Read more

  • Regulator looks for views on use of AI in energy sector

    Ofgem has issued a call for input on views on proposals about how artificial intelligence (AI) should be used responsibly and safely to encourage more innovation in the energy sector.

    The regulator said it believes AI can help improve planning, management and real-time operation of the energy system.

    Although it is already leading to improved efficiency in the sector Ofgem said it also has challenges and risks.

    It is looking for views from those within the energy sector who are either using or looking to use AI and technology companies and AI developers who provide services within the sector. The call for input closes on 17 May.

    Read more

  • Majority of global emissions linked to just 57 companies

    The majority of global CO2 emissions produced since the Paris Agreement can be traced to just 57 oil, gas, coal, and cement producers, according to a new report.

    The Carbon Majors study by climate lobby group InfluenceMap also said that over 70% of global fossil fuel and cement CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution can be traced to 78 corporate and state producing entities. Over the same period, just 19 entities contributed 50% of these CO2 emissions.

    Daan Van Acker, Program Manager at InfluenceMap said the database was a key tool in attributing responsibility for climate change to the fossil fuel producers with the most significant role in driving global CO2 emissions.

    “This group is not slowing down production, with most entities increasing production after the Paris Agreement. This research provides a crucial link in holding these energy giants to account on the consequences of their activities.”

    Read more