UK launches independent energy review

The UK Government has launched an independent review to look at ways of reducing electricity costs. One of Britain’s leading energy experts, Professor Dieter Helm, will look specifically at how […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK Government has launched an independent review to look at ways of reducing electricity costs.

One of Britain’s leading energy experts, Professor Dieter Helm, will look specifically at how the energy industry, government and regulators can keep power costs as low as possible, while ensuring the UK meets its climate targets.

The Oxford University professor aims to “sort out the facts from the myths about the cost of energy” at a time when there are concerns around rising bills.

The news comes just days after British Gas said it would increase electricity prices by 12.5% for around three million customers.

The review will consider the whole electricity supply chain, i.e. generation, transmission, distribution and supply as well as opportunities to reduce costs in each element, taking into account the rollout of smart meters and the role of technologies such as electric vehicles, storage, robotics and artificial intelligence.

It will also consider energy and carbon pricing, energy efficiency, distributed generation, regulation of the networks and innovation and research and development, however, it will not propose detailed tax changes.

Gas bills and the energy price cap, which was pledged by the Conservative Party before the election, also won’t be considered.

Professor Helm said: “The cost of energy always matters to households and companies and especially now in these exceptional times, with huge investment requirements to meet the decarbonisation and security challenges ahead over the next decade and beyond.

“Digitalisation, electric transport and smart and decentralised systems offer great opportunities. It is imperative to do all this efficiently, to minimise the burdens. Making people and companies pay excessively for policy and market inefficiencies risks undermining the objectives themselves.

“My review will be independent and sort out the facts from the myths about the cost of energy and make recommendations about how to more effectively achieve the overall objectives.”

The review will report at the end of October.

Last month the government and Ofgem set out plans to encourage consumers to generate, store and use their own energy and announced the first phase of a £246 million battery storage challenge.