Price freeze “will distort the market”, says Littlechild

Ex-energy regulator Stephen Littlechild takes issue with Labour’s energy market reform proposals this month’s New Power:

On the price freeze: “It’s going to distort the market, it’s going to discourage investment, it’s going to impact not just on the retail side. These big companies are also considering building generation and some of the decisions they have to take – whether to open or close plant – are going to be influenced by the climate of political opinion. All the arguments are against it.”

On forcing vertically integrated companies to separate:

“So we are saying it’s an advantage to be vertically integrated and you can compete more effectively if you are integrated, and so for that reason we are going to ban everyone that is vertically integrated? That sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

Read more in this month’s issue.

Hear more from Stephen Littlechild at the Utility Regulation conference on 5 December.

And more at the conference: Have regulators been influencing policy too much with their many and varied incentive mechanisms? Is it possible to incentivise investment in infrastructure for the renewable future without over-burdening consumers? How are firms’ investment decisions being influenced by instability in the regulatory environment? What effect is uncertainty and procrastination on energy policy having on investment? How will network owners, suppliers, regulators and investors be able to work together to develop, adapt and deliver the utility business model to make our 21st century utility systems work?

Join delegates and distinguished speakers for this fascinating debate at the ninth annual Utility Regulation seminar where these issues will be addressed together with the annual updates from the CEOs of Ofgem, Ofwat and WICS