Ed Davey, energy secretary, last week told parliament he "confidently predicts" energy firms will cut prices to reflect falling wholesale energy costs.

Opposing Ed Miliband who, over the weekend, said Labour would force a parliamentary vote on "fast-track legislation" to give Ofgem the power to cut prices before the election, Davey claimed the proposed regulations would produce "yo-yo pricing and higher pricing".

Shadow secretary Caroline Flint told the debate she believed consumers must be compensated for energy firms failing to pass on savings to customers since 2009: "We know that wholesale costs have fallen, and we know too that energy companies will not pass on the full savings to all consumers unless they are forced to," she said.

Following the debate MPs voted against Miliband’s plans to push through the fast-track legislation by 305 votes to 228.

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

The Electrical Review team would like to wish its readers a very happy and prosperous 2015.

This year promises many exciting projects from the Electrical Review brand, including supplements, webinars and PowerOn briefings. Our PowerOn events this year will cover data centre power, transformer technology and substations, electrical safety, machinery safety and ATEX explosive environments. Keep an eye on www.electricalreview.co.uk for further details.

Our first 2015 Data Centre Power supplement will be published with the January/February issue of Electrical Review, and will cover energy storage, UPS systems, DC power supply, monitoring and energy efficiency along with many other topics. The supplement will also feature a preview of the Data Centre World 2015 exhibition, and will be distributed at the event.

If you have any comments on subjects you would like to see covered in this year's content, both online and in print, please do email me.

Welcome to the final Electrical Review e-newsletter of 2014.

This year has seen a raft of new projects from Electrical Review including supplements, webinars and PowerOn conferences. Our PowerOn events next year will cover data centre power, transformer technology and substations, electrical safety, machinery safety and ATEX explosive environments. Keep an eye on www.electricalreview.co.uk for further details.

We will continue to launch new events and special supplements through 2015, and look forward to working with you.

If you have any comments on what you would like to see more of in Electrical Review next year, please do email me at the address below.

It only remains for me, on behalf of the Electrical Review team and SJP Business Media, to wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous 2015.

The Electrical Review team was delighted to hear this year's Electrical Industries Charity powerBall raised £207,000 which will be used to support people in the industry when they need help.

Special guests at the event were the Edmonds family whose 14 year old son Cam has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and was in need of a special Dragon Powerchair at a cost of £24,000. Because his father Rob has been an electrician since leaving school the Electrical Industries Charity was able to help the family by providing a donation towards the cost of the chair.

In for a surprise

Lord Hunt of Chesterton is the former CEO of the Met Office, and is now professor of climate modeling at University College, London. In other words, a chap who obviously knows his onions.

The EDA (Electrical Distributors Association) this year celebrates 100 years of representing the electrical wholesale distribution industry within the UK.

The EDA itself was formed in 1998, having been previously known as the Electrical Wholesalers Federation (EWF) (established in 1914). Its members account for around 80% of the industry from the biggest names in the sector through to regional and local family run operations.

The Electrical Review team was honoured to partner with the Electrical Industries Charity powerBall, held on Friday at Grosvenor House, London.

The charity's mission is to look after all people from the electrical and energy industries whenever they, or their families, need help with life's challenges, whether big or small, at every stage of their lives. 

The charity dates back to 1905 when The Electrical Trades Benevolent Institution was set up by ten leaders of the emerging electrical industry who felt a duty to help those in the industry in the event "accident, infirmity, misfortune or old age, limited their activities or curtailed their means".

The charity changed its name to EEIBA (Electrical and Electronics Industries Benevolent Association) in 1967.

In 2014 the new name – the Electrical Industries Charity – speaks of a more connected and energised organisation at the heart of its industries, delivering practical support and bringing the industries together to help their own. The Electrical Industries Charity offers a range of services to support people in our industries.

We look forward to hearing how much was raised on this spectacular evening!


Lame duck?

The news last month that the lame-duck outgoing College of 28 European Commissioners had voted (by a majority of one!) to permit the UK government to provide massive subsidies to the French government ­owned Electricité de France to build the nuclear powered Hinckley Point C has caused widespread fury.

Let me list who and why:

A recent article at www.commercialintegrator.com considers the past, present and future of KNX building control technology.

15 years after the EIBA, EHSA and BCI formed the KNX Association, KNX gives real value by not only being able to control lighting and HVAC, but by also being able to interface with a multitude of HVAC and other building control protocols. Virtually all big CI (customer installer or integrator) companies in the UK now have at least one person who is a KNX partner.

In the article Andrew M Taylor, who handles technical sales for Jung UK and is a certified KNX Association tutor and KNX Partner, discusses recent developments for KNX, including the release of ERS5, which introduces a new medium in the form of KNX/RF and is an exciting addition to the KNX stable.

Taylor believes the awareness of KNX in the UK controls industry has grown, and KNX is no longer dismissed as 'another lighting control system'. The training of enough KNX partners and their ability to advise and direct clients to provide the correct solutions for their requirements, are also key to further developing awareness of the protocol.

KNX is the world's first open standard for the intelligent control of all types of buildings – industrial, commercial and residential, and growing fast, however only one college in the UK (Plymouth City College) teaches the City and Guilds course for KNX both as a mechanical and electrical subject.

Many involved would suggest KNX, or at least building controls, needs to form part of a young engineer's college training, not afterwards, another part of the UK's growing skills gap.

The relevant bodies must act now to teach young students about KNX, DALI, EnOcean and BACnet now, rather than the all too common scenario of KNX trained engineers being brought in from Europe to plug that skills gap.

I would be interested to hear your views.

This morning's online and print news was filled with National Grid's warning its capacity to supply electricity this winter will be at a seven-year low due to generator closures and breakdowns.

Gas supplies are said to be in a strong position this winter, with gas supplies, storage and network capacity well in excess of maximum expected demand.

This year electricity margins have decreased compared to recent years, with the average cold spell (ACS) margin expected to be 4.1%.

Three years ago the margin was 17%.

In response, National Grid is finalising contracts with three power stations to provide additional reserve under Supplemental Balancing Reserve (SBR).

Cordi O’Hara, director of market operation, said: “The Winter Outlook Report provides the energy market with a snapshot of the potential gas and electricity picture for the coming winter.

“Our analysis shows gas supplies to be in a strong position. Supply sources are diverse, network capacity is healthy and gas storage is well stocked.

“The electricity margin has decreased compared to recent years, but the outlook remains manageable and well within the reliability standard set by government.

“As System Operator, we have taken the sensible precaution to secure additional tools to bolster our response to tighter margins.

“We will continue to keep a close watching brief across both electricity and gas throughout the winter so that we’re strongly placed to respond to any unanticipated events.”

Is it time for big firms to switch off their supply overnight - as suggested by National Grid? I would be interested to hear your views.