Policy & regulation

Latest updates and analysis on how government and regulators' decisions will impact the sector 

Editor's picks

Ofgem’s proposal to make energy suppliers repay surplus credit balances has received mixed reactions. Is the regulator cracking down on unsustainable business models or choosing short-term wins over a permanent fix for a broken market? Adam John asks what this latest crackdown says about the nature of regulation in energy retail.
Analysis
The “significant premium” National Grid has agreed to pay for Western Power Distribution could undermine the former’s argument that the cost of equity being offered by Ofgem in RIIO2 is too low, according to Investec senior analyst Martin Young. He shares his thoughts on the deal with Utility Week as well as his predictions for the sale of National Grid’s gas transmission arm.
News

Featured

The principle of no customer being left behind in the shift to a smarter, more flexible energy system is hard to argue with. However, some experts believe that in the short-term a just transition is just impossible. As part of our Countdown to COP campaign, James Wallin examines different pathways to fairness – from ensuring the most vulnerable benefit first to the introduction of non-participant tariffs.
Analysis
The publication of John Penrose’s review into the effectiveness of UK regulation could be dismissed as simply another Whitehall shelf-filler. However, David Blackman argues that Penrose’s proximity to the centre of power mean his views are more likely than most to be acted upon. So, what could this mean for utilities?
Comment
It is crucial that the water sector is not excluded from decarbonisation incentives so it can play a full role in the path to 2050, says Dr Keith Colquhoun, Climate Change & ESG Manager at Thames Water. As part of our Countdown to COP coverage, he also discusses the water sector’s ambitious target to reduce operational emissions to net zero by 2030.
Interviews

Latest in Policy & regulation

Denmark will take over the presidency of the European Union for six months in January and has signalled that it plans to pursue its national championing of renewables and energy investment at a European level. David Hayhurst reports
News
Gas network companies have warned the government that there is a "policy void" on the future for gas in domestic heating, as they prepare to commission a study looking at the costs and other implications of replacing gas with low-carbon electricity for domestic heating.
News
Businesses know energy is expensive, but are reluctant to invest in efficiency measures. As cold weather starts to kick in for the first time this year, Richard Postance tells the government to educate and reassure.
News
DNOs know they have to transform their networks into smart grids, but what exactly will this entail? Brendan Coyne sat in on senior managers discussing the issue at the EIC.
News
Timelines in the water sector are so long that it is more important for policy to be right than to be hasty. The final appearance of the Water White Paper last week made my wait worthwhile because, after thorough consideration, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has adopted many of the pro-competition measures set out in my "gradualist" 2009 independent review of competition and innovation; some others are deferred for more detailed consideration. All are set out in a few unobtrusive pages of a wider document.
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