British Regulator Sets Goals to 2023
Britain's energy regulator Ofgem set out July 11 its key objectives and priorities to “protect the interests of existing and future consumers.”
Labelling the target its principal duty, the list includes enabling competition and innovation to bring down prices; protecting consumers; and decarbonising to deliver a net zero economy at the lowest costs to consumers.
The strategic narrative covers the period until 2023, when the price cap on default tariffs is due to expire. From that point, all networks will be subject to RIIO2, Ofgem’s next price control that ensures that the country’s privately-run networks deliver a good and continually innovative service for the price charged.
Last month parliament passed legislation enshrining in law the target of net zero carbon emissions for the UK by 2050, although the Climate Change Committee said July 10 it believes that is not realistic based on progress made so far. Finance minister Philip Hammond has said that achieving the goal could cost £1 trillion ($1.25 trillion).
Ofgem chair Martin Cave said: “We are witnessing exciting and rapid changes in the energy system while the way consumers interact with the energy market is changing too. The strategic narrative will guide stakeholders on Ofgem’s planned approach to the coming opportunities and challenges over the next four years to ensure that consumer interests remain protected today and tomorrow.”
Ofgem also commits to developing a more efficient, agile way of working to allow the regulator to respond more quickly and effectively to the fast-changing energy sector. This will allow Ofgem to quickly adapt its strategy to external events.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn raised in May the prospect of renationalisation, leading to reports July 11 that the sale of Electricity North West had been pulled as bidders shied away. The network had been valued at some £2bn. But Ofgem has been accused of letting the network operators make excessive profits, suggesting a crackdown would come in the next price control.