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Consumers will NOT see energy bills rise amid £21bn upgrade, Ofgem says

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Ofgem has said Britons will not see their energy bills rise as a result of the regulator’s plans to pump £21billion into upgrades for the nation’s electricity networks.

The proposed package of £20.9billion, which will be paid for by levies on the energy industry, includes £2.7billion worth of upfront funding to boost grid capacity. 

Ofgem’s aim is to help create greener and more sustainable energy grids across Britain, thereby boosting grid capacity, improving customer service and building resilience against power outages.

Investment injection: Ofgem has said Britons will not see their energy bills rise amid plans to pump £21bn into upgrades for the nation's electricity networks

Investment injection: Ofgem has said Britons will not see their energy bills rise amid plans to pump £21bn into upgrades for the nation’s electricity networks

‘Flexible funding arrangements will also mean that investment can dial up to reflect changing demands over time’, Ofgem said. 

Ofgem said in its statement today: ‘Consumers will not see any additional costs as result of this investment as efficiency savings and reduced investor returns deliver the cash needed.’

The upgrade, according to the regulator, would also enable consumers to be given more control to save money through regularly updated prices for peak and off-peak demand. 

Ofgem also said more support and guidance for vulnerable and low-income households would be available in future ‘to ensure no one misses out on the benefits of a net zero energy system’.

The regulator also revealed how much the companies in charge of the nation’s energy networks will be allowed to earn.

The regulator is proposing to reduce the cost of equity allowance for the companies to 4.75 per cent, down from 6 to 6.4 per cent for the current period, which ends next year. 

The average customer currently pays around £100 a year to operate, maintain and reinforce grids.

Ofgem said: ‘The 2023 to 2028 plan will boost grid capacity, improve customer service and resilience to prevent power outages, and prepare the way for increases in the generation of cheaper, greener, home-grown energy to bring down bills in the long-term.’

Ofgem boss Jonathan Brearley said: ‘Ofgem’s job is to ensure energy networks have achievable and affordable plans that will attract the investment needed for a more resilient energy network and achieve the government’s net zero ambition at the least cost to the consumer.

‘These are challenging times, and this is the path out of relying on expensive and polluting imported fossil fuels and moving to a home-grown energy system, that exploits the best of modern technology to level out demand and reduce costs for consumers.

‘We’re determined to get the best possible deal for consumers and the proposals we’ve published today will mean that substantial additional investment can be made to deliver net zero without placing any further pressure on bills.

‘We’re confident that the five-year vision we’ve outlined will help build the world class energy infrastructure needed to connect consumers to reliable, cleaner energy at an affordable price.’

Electricity giant SSE said the plans were ‘tough and stretching’, while National Grid said it will ‘work hard’ with Ofgem on the plans ahead of final determinations expected in December. 

Ofgem will hold consultations on the proposed plan until 25 August with a final decision to be confirmed in December. 

Last week the National Audit Office confirmed consumers will need to pay £2.7billion to cover the costs of 28 energy suppliers failing since June 2021.

The NAO said energy bill payers had ‘borne the brunt’ of the failures and accused Ofgem of creating a market ‘vulnerable to large-scale shocks’. 

The government is also spending taxpayer funds to support green energy supplier Bulb, which collapsed last November. 

Ofgem and the Government should create a process for considering the impact of new interventions in the retail market, according to the NAO, including the price cap. It also said Ofgem should establish a set of objectives for its regulation of the retail market and report on its performance. 

Average energy bills have surged to £1,971 a year and are expected to top £2,800 a year in October, before hitting £3,000 in January 2023. 

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said: ‘Utility companies are not exactly jumping with joy at Ofgem’s new electricity distribution price control proposals, with SSE calling them ‘tough and stretching.

‘Energy providers would argue they are under pressure to invest heavily to improve infrastructure, make sure the supply network is resilient, and that everything is being done to hit net zero targets.

‘On the other hand, the regulator has long had its eye on the amount of money these companies make, and whether their profits and dividends should be so high.

‘National Grid says it will work ‘hard’ with Ofgem to agree a price control suitable for both sides, but you can bet behind the scenes those discussions are going to get quite heated.

‘Politically this is a sensitive issue, with consumers under considerable financial pressure from a sharp rise in energy bills.

‘The regulator will have to tread a fine between making sure the country’s energy network is robust and efficient, while also being fair to the operators that they can do their job and make a small bit on the side. It’s the size of that cake that remains the sticking point.’

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Radisson launches new resort in Greece

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Radisson Hotel Group has launched its latest Greek resort in Skiathos. Skiathos, the westernmost of the Sporades islands, is known for its stunning coastline of more than 60 beaches with soft sand and clear blue waters, as well as sea caves, impressive rock formations, and hiking trails on the tree-covered hills along the north shore made famous as the location for the filming of Mamma Mia. The island’s Byzantine churches and monasteries, Venetian-style Bourtzi fortress, and Papadiamantis House with its typical architecture are important parts of the island’s rich history.

 

The resort’s 84 rooms and suites are decorated in a modern, minimalist style, and most of them offer views of the hotel pool or the sea. Private balconies or terraces are available in select rooms, and the resort’s biggest suites feature private whirlpools for ultimate privacy and relaxation. The resort is ideally suited for weddings with its own on-site orthodox chapel and versatile outdoor pool area that offers receptions with stunning views. The main all-day dining restaurant celebrates Greek and Mediterranean flavors on its lunch and dinner menus. The poolside bar offers breakfast treats and late-night snacks as well as a wide selection of drinks and an extensive wine list. For guests looking to keep up their fitness routine, a well-equipped gym is available.

 

“We are excited to offer our guests a fantastic resort experience on the beautiful island of Skiathos, as we continue to expand our Greek resort portfolio. Radisson Resort Plaza Skiathos allows guests to switch off and relax surrounded by stunning natural beauty,” said Yilmaz Yildirimlar, Area Senior Vice President at Radisson Hotel Group.

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Six houseboats for sale starting from £30,000

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Houseboats are often perceived as a cheaper alternative to owning a property on land.

But they come with their own challenges and plenty of hands-on maintenance. And of course, there is the regular job of emptying your toilet.

You’ll either have to continuously cruise or pay for a residential mooring if you live on the boat full-time.

We take a look inside six different type of houseboats that are currently for sale and ask which one would you buy - ranging from one costing just shy of £30,000 (pictured - scroll down for more details) to one that costs £2.5m

We take a look inside six different type of houseboats that are currently for sale and ask which one would you buy – ranging from one costing just shy of £30,000 (pictured – scroll down for more details) to one that costs £2.5m

Houseboats come in various shapes and sizes, including narrowboats – typically 6ft 10 in wide and up to 72 long – and Dutch barges, which are former commercial vessels that can be up to 120ft in length and 20ft wide.

They also come with various price tags and so can accommodate all types of different budgets.

Below, we take a look at six various types, ranging in price from just shy of £30,000 and a more eye-watering £2.5milion.

Daniel Copley, of Zoopla, said: ‘Investing in a home on the water may not float everyone’s boat but for those who do take the plunge, it offers both affordability and freedom to up anchor and move to different areas.

‘With luxurious amenities and spacious living areas, houseboats are a popular choice particularly in and around London.’

1. One-bed houseboat, Glasgow, £29,500

This boat is currently moored at Applecross Wharf, in Glasgow, and was converted by the current owners from a former lifeboat escape pod

This boat is currently moored at Applecross Wharf, in Glasgow, and was converted by the current owners from a former lifeboat escape pod

The houseboat is now a home with a brightly-coloured kitchen, and is currently for sale for £29,500 via Home West estate agents

The houseboat is now a home with a brightly-coloured kitchen, and is currently for sale for £29,500 via Home West estate agents

There is one bedroom on the houseboat that is separate from the main living area and it includes some storage space

There is one bedroom on the houseboat that is separate from the main living area and it includes some storage space

This boat is currently moored at Applecross Wharf, in Glasgow, and was converted by the current owners from a former lifeboat escape pod.

It has a brightly coloured kitchen with wood flooring, and one bedroom. It is being sold for £29,500 via Home West estate agents.

2. One-bed houseboat, Brentford, £100,000

This one-bedroom houseboat is currently moored in Brentford, West London, and includes a comfortable living area

This one-bedroom houseboat is currently moored in Brentford, West London, and includes a comfortable living area 

The houseboat is on the market with a price tag of £100,000 and the sale is being handled by Strike estate agents

The houseboat is on the market with a price tag of £100,000 and the sale is being handled by Strike estate agents

The boat is a Dutch barge that has been completely renovated, and includes solar panels as well as a woodburner

The boat is a Dutch barge that has been completely renovated, and includes solar panels as well as a woodburner

This one-bedroom houseboat is currently moored in Brentford, West London, and the £100,000 price tag includes both the purchase of the boat and the rental mooring.

The mooring is in a quiet location and is within walking distance to Brentford high street.

The boat is a Dutch barge that has been completely renovated, and includes solar panels and hot water supplied by an immersion heater. It is being sold by Strike estate agents.

3. Three-bed houseboat, London, £408,000

This stunning Thames barge was built in 1929 and is moored at St Katherines Dock in central London on a leisure mooring where it has been for the past 23 years

This stunning Thames barge was built in 1929 and is moored at St Katherines Dock in central London on a leisure mooring where it has been for the past 23 years

The interior has been converted to include a large living area that has an extensive library and a TV area

 The interior has been converted to include a large living area that has an extensive library and a TV area

The houseboat spreads across 1350 sq ft of space and features three attractive bedrooms - including one with an en suite

The houseboat spreads across 1350 sq ft of space and features three attractive bedrooms – including one with an en suite

The well-presented houseboat has a price tag of £408,000 and it is currently on the market via the Unique Property Company

The well-presented houseboat has a price tag of £408,000 and it is currently on the market via the Unique Property Company

There is a large separate bathroom with a roll top bath and wood on the walls and ceiling, as well as on the floor

There is a large separate bathroom with a roll top bath and wood on the walls and ceiling, as well as on the floor

This stunning Thames barge was built in 1929 and has been converted into a three-bedroom home with central heating and a wood-burning stove.

It is moored at St Katherines Dock in central London on a leisure mooring where it has been for the past 23 years. The mooring costs £12,870 a year.

The boat has a price tag of £408,000 and it is being sold via the Unique Property Company.

4. Two-bed houseboat, West Sussex, £175,000

This marina boat is currently moored in Chichester Habour, which is just four miles from Chichester city centre

This marina boat is currently moored in Chichester Habour, which is just four miles from Chichester city centre

The property has a modern living area and is currently on the market for sale for £175,000 via H2O Homes estate agents

 The property has a modern living area and is currently on the market for sale for £175,000 via H2O Homes estate agents

The smart property boasts two bedrooms with modern coloured lighting, including this one that also features a TV on the wall

The smart property boasts two bedrooms with modern coloured lighting, including this one that also features a TV on the wall

There is a kitchen with white cabinets, a modern worktop and wood effect flooring to complete the monochrome look

There is a kitchen with white cabinets, a modern worktop and wood effect flooring to complete the monochrome look

This marina boat is currently in Chichester Habour and is for sale for £175,000 via H2O Homes.

It boasts two bedrooms and a bespoke awning allowing use of the deck come rain or shine.

5. Five-bed houseboat, London, £2.5m

This houseboat is currently moored at the prestigious St Katharine Docks, which is London's premier luxury yacht marina

This houseboat is currently moored at the prestigious St Katharine Docks, which is London’s premier luxury yacht marina

This 1930s steel boat for sale has an eye-watering price tag of £2.5million and is being sold by RiverHomes

This 1930s steel boat for sale has an eye-watering price tag of £2.5million and is being sold by RiverHomes

It has been converted into a luxury home with a central atrium stairway to a lower deck, which has five bedrooms as well as access to a jet ski platform

It has been converted into a luxury home with a central atrium stairway to a lower deck, which has five bedrooms as well as access to a jet ski platform

The large living area includes a kitchen with a breakfast bar, as well as a separate dining area with plenty of space to entertain

The large living area includes a kitchen with a breakfast bar, as well as a separate dining area with plenty of space to entertain

One of the more unusual features of the houseboat is a sauna (pictured), which adds a luxurious touch to the property

One of the more unusual features of the houseboat is a sauna (pictured), which adds a luxurious touch to the property

This 1930s steel boat for sale has an eye-watering price tag of £2.5million and is being sold by RiverHomes.

It has been converted into a luxury home with a central atrium stairway to a lower deck, which has five bedrooms as well as access to a jet ski platform.

6. Three-bed houseboat, Hampton, £500,000

This three-bedroom floating home is in Hampton, in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames

This three-bedroom floating home is in Hampton, in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames

It is on a desirable private island located in the middle of the River Thames and is for sale for £500,000 via Water Side Residential estate agents.

It is on a desirable private island located in the middle of the River Thames and is for sale for £500,000 via Water Side Residential estate agents.

The kitchen is well equipped and includes colour coordinated tiles on the walls and a white porcelain sink

The kitchen is well equipped and includes colour coordinated tiles on the walls and a white porcelain sink

This spacious bedroom includes plenty of storage on one wall as well as a good-sized window with a view of the River Thames

This spacious bedroom includes plenty of storage on one wall as well as a good-sized window with a view of the River Thames

This three-bedroom floating home is in Hampton, in the London borough of Richmond upon Thames.

It is on a desirable private island located in the middle of the River Thames and is for sale for £500,000 via Water Side Residential estate agents.

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Abrdn acquires Waddinxveen warehouse scheme (NL)

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abrdn European Logistics Income has signed the purchase agreement for the acquisition of the recently completed warehouse extension at Waddinxveen, the Netherlands, for a total net purchase price of €4.9m. The company exercised its right of refusal over this development located directly adjacent to the existing warehouse bought in 2018. This land, owned by and developed with our tenant Combilo, has provided an additional circa 2,400m² of cooled warehouse space and 157m² of office space. The extension will allow Combilo to service its growing client base, including a Swedish supermarket chain. The lease runs concurrent with the original, with over 11 years remaining, and will generate additional rent of €250,000 per annum, reflecting a yield of 5%. The extension complies with the latest energy neutrality standards in the Netherlands and includes 16 rooftop solar panels, resulting in an A+++ energy rating.

 

In addition, the company has agreed a new 5 year lease with ADER at Unit 3, part of Phase II at its Gavilanes site, Madrid. ADER provides distribution services to companies in the freight and logistics sector and is consolidating its operations in the Gavilanes area with the leasing of this second, 7,375m² building. The annual contracted rent of almost €470,000 per annum is fully CPI indexed and in line with expectations.

 

Evert Castelein, Fund Manager for ASLI, commented: “Supporting our tenants as they expand is a key part of our strategy. This is another example of how flexibility and the option to extend buildings within our portfolio can create additional value over the medium term. The new lease with ADER not only improves the portfolio’s income characteristics, but also underscores the desirability of the Gavilanes assets, which offer access to c. six million people across the wider Madrid area.”

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