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UK Government Energy targets lack clarity

Sentiment from traditional and social media shows energy issues under the spotlight

Industry and climate change organisations have criticised government plans on reducing emissions as ‘too vague’, according to analysis from Alva, the corporate reputation analysis company.

July’s review of traditional and social media also identified that future private sector investment in the programme is dependent on Ministers developing a more rigorous policy framework.

“Despite the positive step taken by the government in launching its first annual energy review, the practical questions surrounding how the Government intends to deploy financial support for renewable energy have not been fully answered”, said Alva’s CEO, Alberto Lopez-Valenzuela. “Our research also shows that the Government has to balance the need to attract private finance to invest in the UK energy market whilst at the same time ensuring that consumers don’t see further radical increases in their energy bills at a time of economic austerity.”

Carbon emissions were also high on the issues agenda following the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s £34m cut on low carbon and renewable energy initiatives, prompting alarm from the Committee on Climate Change and environmental NGOs.

At a domestic level, energy prices were also in the spotlight following British Gas’ announcement of a doubling of profits, but warning of imminent price increases due to the rising cost of wholesale gas. This follows on from EDF and Ovo Energy’s decision to remove their cheapest tariffs and indicates an upward pricing trend in the industry. Ofgem’s report showing 20% of UK households are in debt to energy suppliers raises the spectre of fuel poverty once more and this looks set to be the dominant reputational risk issue for energy companies in the coming months.

“Austerity measures are going to continue to impact all areas of government financing and, as we have seen with the closure of the Sustainable Development Committee, renewable energy is no exception,” Lopez-Valenzuela added.  “What has become clear is that budget cuts are going to have a lasting effect on the shift to a low carbon economy, with the onus on companies to deliver results with less government subsidy.”

Each month, corporate reputation analysis company, Alva reports on the emerging and most prominent reputational risk issues in the Energy and Utility industry using information collected from its daily Alva Energy & Utilities In Sight service.

For the latest updates on emerging Energy and Utilities issues follow Alva on Twitter @AlvaUtilities


Summary of Energy and Utilities Industry Issues in July 2010

Alva analyses content from over 1 million mainstream media, blog, micromedia, forums, brokers notes and social networking sites


Top 10 Organisations

  1. Department of Energy and Climate Change – 6.39%
  2. EDF – 4.85%
  3. British Gas- 4.34%
  4. E.ON- 3.46%
  5. Scottish and Southern Energy- 3.28%
  6. Centrica- 2.98%
  7. Greenpeace- 2.49%
  8. Committee on Climate Change- 2.13%
  9. Ofgem- 1.85%
  10. Friends of the Earth- 1.82%

Top 10 Stories

  1. DECC publishes plans for achieving 2050 targets – 17.35%
  2. UK warned not to abandon low-carbon technology drive –13.52%
  3. British Gas profits double –7.90%
  4. Chris Huhne to announce increase in wind turbines – 6.16%
  5. International Power and GDF-Suez restart partnership talks – 5.44%%
  6. BT in smart energy meter plan – 4.96%
  7. SSE and Mitsubishi sign low-carbon alliance –4.78%
  8. KPMG says nuclear power ‘won’t happen’ – 4.56%
  9. Places of worship could make £29m a year from solar panels – 3.81%
  10. New power capacity from renewable sources tops fossil fuels–2.70%

Issues Dominance

  1. Renewable Energy- 16.15%
  2. UK Infrastructure – 13.92%
  3. UK Production – 10.79%
  4. Carbon Emissions- 10.18%
  5. Corporate- 10.08%
  6. Nuclear Power- 8.32%
  7. Energy Prices- 7.98%
  8. Regulation- 5.61%
  9. Smart Meters- 4.38%
  10. Microgeneration- 3.90%

About Alva

Alva specialises in analysing corporate reputation and reputational risk.

Our services equip organisations with the analysis tools to manage reputation and reputational risk in the same way as any other valuable business asset.

Alva’s services are industry sector specific. Reputation analysis services for the Automotive and Energy and Utilities industries are already being delivered with services for the financial services communities following shortly, with 32 industry sectors planned in total.

Alva’s founding team brings more than 50 years experience in media intelligence, business analysis and technology innovation, having worked at leading organisations such as Clifford Chance, Deutsche Bank, Datamonitor and PA Consulting.

Alva’s Board of Directors consists of industry experts with extensive first-hand experience in managing reputation at PLC level. Alva Chairman Andrew Vickerman is the former Global Head of Communications & External Relations at Rio Tinto Plc. Serving as Non-Executive Directors are Alan Schofield, former special-adviser and press secretary to HM Government and Mark Rigby, Director of Corporate Affairs at Sainsbury’s PLC.

For further information please contact Alastair Pickering at 020 3102 9655, or visit

Press Contact:

Paul Smith

Tel: +44 (0)7770 828525

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