Energy Regulation in Great Britain

On 13th November 2019 CEPMLP’s Wednesday Visiting Speaker Series featured David Ashbourne from Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) who spoke about ‘Energy Regulation in Great Britain’. David Ashbourne is a partner and advisor to the Ofgem Board and honorary lecturer of CEPMLP.  He has unique expertise in the Energy Sector having spent 15 years working in the major energy companies (British Gas, BG, Transco and National Grid) and working as the senior lawyer within Ofgem and for the last 15 years, dealing with infrastructure and charging matters and advising the Ofgem Board.  

In the talk, Mr. Ashbourne explained the mandate and structure of Ofgem and the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA) as an independent regulator whose major duty is to protect the interests of existing and future consumers, and whose role includes issuing licences, monitoring, and enforcement. He illustrated how the Great Britain gas system works, and how the electricity industry is structured including: the price control; and the obligations of the network companies involved in the sector.  He explained the Revenue Incentives Innovation Outputs (RIIO) approach to regulation and the current development of RIIO 2. The audience learnt that Ofgem’s strategic narrative is decarbonisation at the lowest cost, enabling competition and innovation, and protecting consumers. He noted that because of the operational and future Interconnection Network there will always be an advantage of having commercial and physical links with Europe. He also highlighted Great Britain’s progress in meeting the challenges of a smarter, cleaner energy future.

The talk was chaired by Dr. Xiaoyi (Shawn) Mu.

(By Loyola Karobwa, Jocyline Omondi, Mahmud Sulugambari)