For a sector sometimes unfairly dismissed as boring, what a month we have just had – and what better time for the debut of our exciting new event today, Energy Live 2012.
October saw it all. We’ve had the Prime Minister’s gaffe over energy pricing, when he claimed the Government would make all suppliers offer customers their lowest tariff. ‘What happened to competition!’, came the cry from industry. A parliamentary hearing into that palaver is on the way.
Energy watchdog Ofgem brought out its retail market review, which will scrap the quagmire of hundreds of tariffs to give homeowners a more straightforward choice – and also help more suppliers elbow their way into the market. To help business customers, the watchdog wants to dish out harsher punishments to suppliers for breaching contracts.
If Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint had her way, Ofgem would be scrapped altogether – so she said earlier this month.
Last week, EDF Energy’s Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz suggested there wasn’t a done deal over its third nuclear plant at Hinkley Point. Meanwhile just two days ago the Horizon nuclear project in the UK was bought by Japan’s Hitachi – a great boost to the economy in future, bringing 12,000 jobs.
Finally for renewables there was confusion only yesterday, when new Energy Minister and Tory MP John Hayes got a slapped wrist from Lib Dem boss Ed Davey for suggesting there might be a rethink over onshore wind – he had claimed in a paper interview the country was “peppered” with turbines.
Phew. As they say, what a month. But what is crucial about all these things, the thread which links them all? Trust. Trust in the Government to give the leadership industry needs, trust in the market the policy makers are helping to reshape, trust in the suppliers for a fair price.
Do we have that trust? If not, will the industry deserve it any time soon? That’s a question which will be asked today at Energy Live 2012 – it’s our first ever conference and we plan to do things a little differently.
Speakers like Energy Secretary Ed Davey, npower CEO Volker Beckers and E.ON’s Sara Vaughan are ready to answer the tough questions you’ve already given us.
While experts from some of the nation’s biggest brands like M&S, Asda and Nationwide are going to share their energy saving and sustainability secrets. We will also be questioning why more women aren’t getting into this hugely important sector.
As for boring? Don’t let anyone tell you energy is boring. Not with ELN around.
Energy Live 2012 is taking place at the QE2 conference centre in London today. For more details visit: www.energylive2012.tv or follow @energylive2012 #energylive2012