Helm’s proposal for a default electricity tariff could go further

In my previous post, I described the findings of Dieter Helm’s review into electricity pricing. Here I will explore in more detail the section on supply costs and his recommendation that a default electricity tariff be implemented, which is particularly relevant in light of the legislation to cap electricity prices which is currently passing through…

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Is Secure and Promote delivering for retail competition?

On 25 July, Ofgem launched a consultation as part of its review of the Secure & Promote licence condition. Secure and Promote was introduced in 2013 to improve liquidity and market access for small and new entrant electricity suppliers. Small suppliers face a number of challenges in their electricity procurement – typically they do not…

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Helm energy price review: time to confront the sacred cows

The Government has this week appointed Dieter Helm, professor of economic policy at Oxford University, to lead a review into the cost of energy. He will chair a panel of experts including Nick Winser, executive director at National Grid and former Conservative MP Laura Sandys, who will examine the entire electricity supply chain and consider…

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RIIO reform: current regime too generous to network companies

On the 12th July, Ofgem issued an open letter launching the process for establishing the next round of price controls, known as “RIIO-2”, for the GB gas and electricity systems. These price controls determine the amount of allowable expenditure for network companies (which includes owners and operators of the transmission and distribution networks) and the…

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Barriers to effective retail competition need to be removed

Retail price caps continue to make the news, as “dealing” with rising energy prices is seen as a popular move in the run up to the General Election. As has now been argued many times, including in this blog, price caps are unlikely to be beneficial, with many unintended adverse consequences likely. The question is,…

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Can energy price caps ever work?

Last week the Conservative Party has announced a manifesto commitment to an energy price cap, despite warnings from across the industry, including in this blog, that the idea is unlikely to work, and may have significant unintended adverse consequences. In his recent address to Centrica shareholders, Iain Conn made reference to failed caps in New…

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