National Infrastructure Commission: ‘The Future of Regulation Study’ Call for Evidence
Submission from the Energy Policy Group, University of Exeter
Catherine Mitchell, Rebecca Willis, Richard Hoggett, Iain Soutar, Helen Poulter, Bridget Woodman, Emily Judson and Jess Britton
Section 1: Introduction
We, the Energy Policy Group (EPG), welcome the NIC’s Call for Evidence on the Future of Regulation.
We are an energy group, and as such our comments are likely to be most relevant to energy regulation.
Ultimately, we argue that it is Government which has to take responsibility for GB energy policy, and the way it is regulated. The Government has persisted with the model of regulation and regulatory relationship adopted (between Government and Regulator) when gas and electricity were privatised in 1986 and 1990, with only incremental changes, despite it being no longer suited to the energy system and challenges we face.
Ofgem, the Energy Regulator, and the process of regulation overseen by Ofgem has shown itself to be too rigid and unable to deal with the rapid changes within the energy sector, in particular related to the needs of greenhouse gas emission reduction.
We do also argue that Ofgem has been overly cautious in its interpretation of its Duties and could have performed better with respect to competition, innovation and the environment than it has done within its current Duties.
This submission is set out in the following way: Section 2 explains why getting energy governance right is so important; Section 3 answers the NIC questions; Section 4 sets out the EPG broad arguments for governance change; and section 5 concludes.
You can download the full submission here: EPG submission to NIC Future of Regulation Study – 12-4-19