Economic regulation emerged as a central feature of the UK’s energy supply industries (gas and electricity) since their privatisation and restructuring in the 1990’s. While the promotion of competition and consumer choice in the market is still a cornerstone of energy regulation, the need to facilitate a transition to lower carbon energy sources, and to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions, is posing new questions about the role and remit of the energy regulator.

This project will examine how regulatory governance is being reshaped through new interactions between the energy regulator, network companies, and key regional and local energy actors. The overall aim of the project is to improve regulatory outcomes in terms of finding innovative solutions to the challenge of integrating low carbon technologies whilst achieving an equitable distribution of costs between different users of the networks.

Key research tasks will involve:

  • An analysis of OFGEM’s existing and evolving approach to stakeholder engagement with key decentralised energy actors, including the devolved institutions (Scotland, Wales), mayoral combined authorities (MCAs) and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs).
  • A study of regulatory governance across the utility industries internationally, focusing on processes of structured engagement with decentralised actors.