15 years of Energy Spectrum and the Daily Bulletin

We have just passed a notable landmark with the 15th anniversary of the launch of the Energy Spectrum Service. Things started with the first Daily Bulletin on 13 September 2005 – the main news on that day was E.ON UK applying for planning to build a CCGT at Drakelow. It never progressed beyond planning, but the second story, negative reaction to tariff rises levied by one of the Big Six, would become one of the big themes of next decade and a half. The first weekly Energy Spectrum followed on 26 September 2005 and given that this edition concerned issues around the future of nuclear and GB’s security of supply, you would be forgiven for thinking that not much has changed in 15 years. However, look more closely and you would see talk of a 60% emissions reduction target by 2050. Combined with the fact that September 2005 saw ‘Don’t Cha’ by The Pussycat Dolls sit at number one in the charts for three weeks, it’s clear that this was a very different world to the UK of today.

Cornwall’s insight

The idea behind the Daily Bulletin (from our founder Nigel Cornwall) was simple but brilliant—to summarise the main energy sector news in one convenient place for people to digest as their day started. The Daily Bulletin is now received by nearly 4,000 readers every day from over 350 organisations.

Themed around Policy, Regulation, Industry Structure and Markets (the PRISM of the spectrum), from the start, the pieces in the Daily Bulletin have been drafted by experts on the subjects in question. Each evening there’s flow of stories on the day’s developments to editor Nick Palmer to be sorted and filtered for the following day. For even though it has Nick’s face on it, a typical Daily Bulletin could have as many as six different contributors. Often the contributors will go on to develop these daily stories into the major pieces captured in the following Monday’s Energy Spectrum. But before each Daily Bulletin is reviewed and signed off, there’s the morning check to see what has happened overnight and first thing. This review may involve a story being passed to another sector expert for a second opinion.
As well as being very important to its readers in its own right, the Daily Bulletin serves a vital purpose in informing the research Cornwall Insight issues to the market. Looking back over a couple of weeks of bulletins is a great way to see the how the big issues are developing and where we may have the opportunity to raise the themes and challenges they are posing for the sector in, for example, an Energy Spectrum weekly Perspective.

Another important decision that dates right back to the first issue is hyperlinking all stories to original sources. Thereby readers can explore further if they want to. Original sources in this context are official from the originating companies, groups or departments and we avoid reportage as this is well provided elsewhere on the day. We also have plenty of opportunities to gather reactions and add our own take in the Energy Spectrum weekly.

State of change

This morning’s Daily Bulletin is number 3,803, the first 2,825 were un-numbered until a rebrand in late 2016. Many of the Cornwall Insight team cut their teeth on the Daily Bulletin and current editor Nick Palmer has been taking the lead since Issue 3,329 in November 2018. A lot has changed in the energy sector since 2005 but arguably an awful lot more has changed in publishing since then. Our primary delivery route has always been online, text email with PDF, and subsequently website updates. There has been a proliferation in internet content, with many new sources and service providers emerging to challenge the then-just-about-pre-eminent model of printed, paid-for content. Much of this content is free and more immediate than even a daily update can match, so we always seek to ensure the Daily Bulletin covers the most relevant developments, succinctly and with sufficient insight that readers will know which of them they need to explore further. We also have input from readers sharing their news, be it a transaction, a new paper they have been involved with or an initiative they feel is relevant to readers. This is a mark of the esteem in which they hold the Daily Bulletin, and we weight their stories alongside the other news of the day to ensure the coverage remains the most relevant. Occasionally we will also receive updates or different perspectives on Daily Bulletin stories and we are always pleased to review these and evolve our coverage as required.

Every issue of importance, and many more besides, has been covered in the Daily Bulletin over the last 15 years. Coverage has ranged from Ofgem’s Energy Supply Probe, through Project Discovery, Electricity Market Reform and net zero targets through the debates that sparked the feed-in tariff and the Warm Homes Discount and the highs and lows of several investment and corporate cycles. Indeed it is a mark of the change in the sector that the Daily Bulletin has been around longer than many of the companies that are now leading it, and many of those companies have been subscribers to it since very early in their lives. As well as covering the most pressing issues of the day, we also find time to fit in a few less serious stories come 1 April, with highlights over the years including “Netflix to launch new action series The Regulator” and “Ofgem caps summer temperatures at 20C”.

Our commitment to the Daily Bulletin

The readers of the Daily Bulletin include a roll call of the energy sector from Parliament, through policy, charity, advocacy and advisory to the industry, its investors, large customers and third-party intermediaries. In the public and third sector readers are drawn from central government, devolved administrations, local authorities, sector regulators, campaigning groups, thinktanks and consumer advocates. Industry readers include company chief executives, board members, entrepreneurs and the whole range of professions employed in keeping our energy flowing. Companies range from sole traders and local market developers up to the largest multi-nationals. There is also a strong group of academic and individual readers, including MPs with interests in the energy sector throughout Great Britain.
We believe the Daily Bulletin has a readership and fulfils a need unmatched in the sector and we take very seriously our responsibility to provide our readers with the timely, up to date information that they need. We look forward to continuing to do so for the years to come and always welcome feedback from our readers on how we can improve.

To get a free trial of the Daily Bulletin, contact Veronica on v.truman@cornwall-insight.com or find out more here.

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