Latest News

Cuadrilla granted permit to frack in Lancashire

The UK Government has approved plans for Cuadrilla to start fracking in Lancashire. This comes after a promise to make faster decisions on fracking applications as the Government attempts to kick start the UK’s fracking industry.

Cuadrilla are a Lancashire based company founded in 2007 that focus on the discovery and exploration of natural recourses in shale rock. The company has come under a lot a criticism from environmental groups since it was formed and has been subject to many protests by groups such as Green Piece at their sites and headquarters.

The number of Independent renewable energy projects slump

The number of new independent renewable energy projects in the UK has fallen to its lowest level in five years as Government subsidies are reduced. It was expected that the number of new projects would reduce with less Government funding available, however, the sector has slowed dramatically.

The Government's feed-in tariff, which pays households and businesses that generate electricity by means that do not deplete natural resources, will end in 2019. This will make independent renewable energy projects even less appealing to households and businesses.

Square One Utilities make it four in a row

Square One Utilities have again been nominated for the best customer service award and the most trusted consultancy award at this year’s TELCA’s. The Energy Live Consultancy Awards are the industry’s leading awards body and this is now the fourth year in a row that Square One Utilities have been nominated for the national awards and after also winning Northeast Consultancy of the year last year.

Fast charging power stations to be built in the North East

Fastned have announced they won a tender with the UK’s North East Combined Authority to build two fast charging plug-in power stations in the North East of England. The fast charging stations will be built in Sunderland and Newcastle and will provide the region with the infrastructure to cope with the expected increase in electric vehicles over the next decade. Under Government plans announced last year people living in the UK will not be able to buy petrol or diesel cars from 2040.

Europe told to upgrade its electricity grid

The EU has been told that it will miss its renewable energy target unless it upgrades its current electricity grid. The target set by the EU is to have 35% of all electricity generated by renewable sources by 2030, however having such a high mix of renewable energy requires a smart grid which can adapt and transform with demand.

The Organisation behind the comments, the Renewable Grid Initiative (RGI), have said that new demand response technologies will not be enough and that the EU should also be investing in battery storage and more flexible wind farms.  

£17bn smart grid plan unveiled

The Energy Network Association (ENA) unveiled plans this week which show businesses and residential properties will soon be able to buy and sell electricity to each other through a smart grid. The technology will allow businesses and households to sell electricity they generate in mini-markets making it a lot easier to sell excess electricity generated from solar panels and wind turbines which have been installed.

Scotland to set up publicly owned electricity supplier

The leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, has announced this week that she plans on creating a publicly owned not-for-profit electricity supplier which will operate in Scotland. The supplier will only sell renewable energy. She believes this will make energy more affordable for poorer income families and help get people out of fuel poverty.

Nuclear power might not be the answer

New nuclear power plants may not be the best way for the UK to hit carbon targets and meet increasing demand, according to the Liberal Democrats. This comes a week after a report was published which showed new offshore wind farms can be developed much more cheaply than new nuclear plants.

Square One Utilities win Northeast Consultancy of the Year

On the 28th of June, we were nominated for consultancy of the year at the 2017 TELCA award. This was the third year in a row we had been nominated at the industry’s leading awards ceremony. In 2015 we were nominated for the most trusted consultancy award, in 2016 we were nominated for the best customer service award and this year we were nominated for the prestigious consultancy of the year award.

Could the UK’s electricity grid be at risk from a cyber-attack?

Two months after the Wonnacry cyber-attack which brought organisations such as the NHS to their knees, experts within the energy sector are looking at how open the UK’s electricity grid would be to a cyber-attack. Wonnacry was a piece of ransomware which infects a computer and asks for a ransom to be paid or risk losing access to the computer.

Oil and gas industry warn about hard Brexit cost

The UK’s oil and gas industry has warned the Prime Minister that the cost of a hard Brexit on the industry could be £500 million a year. This would be if the UK found itself using World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which would increase the cost of trading oil and gas from £600 million a year to £1.1 billion.

Ofgem set to limit energy supplier back billing

Ofgem has announced that it will be bringing in legislation which will prevent energy suppliers from back billing their customers by more than 12 months. Back billing is when an energy supplier charges a customer for energy when they discover a fault in previous bills. This usually happens when a supplier has charged a customer for an estimated read, when in reality they have used much more than that.

Environmental taxes to rise by £12.6bn

The UK Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the spring budget last week and with it a number of policies which effect the energy industry. The UK will be making a transition into a low carbon economy, which will cost around £12.6bn by 2020 and the government plans to recover this money by increasing environmental taxes.

UK to double the amount of electricity it receives from France

It has been announced that the UK will double the amount of electricity it receives from France after plans to build a £1.1 billion cross channel cable was given the go ahead. The cable will be privately funded and will run from near Portsmouth in the UK to Le Havre in France.

The company behind the investment have said that the cable will come online in 2021 and will supply the UK with up to 2 gigawatts of electricity, the equivalent of the power for up to four million homes.

Air pollution limits for London breached in just 5 days

Annual air pollution limits for 2017 in the city of London have been breached just 5 days into the year. The hourly levels of nitrogen oxide must not be higher than 200 micrograms per cubic meter more than 18 times in the year, which has already been broken this early into the year.

OPEC announces oil production cut

Last week saw OPEC, a group comprised of the world’s largest oil producers, agree to cut the amount of oil they produce from January 2017. The agreement sets a production target of 32.5 million barrels per day which could equate to each member cutting their production by 1.2 million barrels per day.

Third party electricity charges continue to rise

The past decade has seen a dramatic change in the makeup of energy charges, shifting from a cost primarily made up of the wholesale price of electricity to a cost primarily made up of various third party charges. Not only do these third party charges keep increasing in size, more of them are being introduced. The most recent being the Energy Intensive Industries (EII) charge which has been introduced in an attempt to mitigate further damage to energy intensive businesses such as the recent collapse of the steel industry in the UK.

Opportunity by the bucket load

The water market is finally opening up to competition for commercial customers in England from April 2017 and there will be a significant opportunity for savings to businesses of all sizes.

Whilst there will be welcome reductions in charges, exaggerated claims of the amounts available are no doubt inevitable. However, it is the provision of added value services where many of the potential savings may lie.