BUSINESS, ENTERPRISE AND REGULATORY REFORM News Release (2008/22)
issued by The Government News Network on 30 January 2008
energy market remains the most competitive in the EU and G7 it was
revealed today, with the publication of independent research.
Business Secretary John Hutton hailed the report as evidence that
the UK market was delivering for consumers, and called for more
open and transparent markets to be replicated throughout the rest
The report, from the Oxford Economic Research Associates (OXERA),
monitors the competitiveness of the energy market by assessing a
range of factors. These include the market shares in generation
and supply, the separation of transmission from generation and
supply and the availability of regulated third party access to gas
and electricity transmission and distribution networks.
Only 11 EU members and none of the other G7 countries have
currently deregulated their energy markets sufficiently to be
assessed. A further eight EU members are expected to qualify to
be assessed in 2007.
Business Secretary John Hutton said:
"Creating an open and competitive energy market has meant
that UK consumers have consistently benefited from amongst the
lowest energy prices in Europe. While it is true that wholesale
energy prices are rising, greater choice and transparency are
clearly the best protection against these costs being
disproportionably passed onto consumers.
"That is why we want to see the UK's open and
transparent markets replicated throughout the rest of Europe.
Liberalised energy markets - such as the one we have in the UK -
could save EU consumers tens of billions of euros a year.
"We welcome the robust actions the European Commission has
already taken to liberalise European energy markets, and we will
continue to encourage and support further work."
Notes to editors:
1. The Department for Business has a Public Service Agreement
target that the UK should be among the top three most competitive
energy (gas and electricity) markets in the EU and G7. The
achievement of this target is independently monitored each year
and the results published. The work is carried out by Oxford
Economic Research Associates (OXERA).
2. Today the final results of the 2005 analysis and the
preliminary results for 2006 have been published. They show that
the UK has the most competitive markets for gas and electricity in
the EU and G7. This has been the case over the whole PSA period (2004-08).
3. Last September, the Commission published proposals - Third
Package of Energy Liberalisation - for a real step change in
opening up Europe's energy markets. The UK strongly supports
these proposals which would prevent incumbent energy players from
keeping others out of the market and promote competition.
4. The Oxera report is available electronically from BERR Press
Office or at: http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/markets/competitiveness/page28432.html
5. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
helps UK business succeed in an increasingly competitive world.
It promotes business growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads
the better regulation agenda and champions free and fair markets.
It is the shareholder in a number of Government-owned assets and
it works to secure, clean and competitively priced energy supplies.