Five things we learnt from Energy Spectrum | 666

The Labour Party’s Bringing Energy Home plan, published on 16 May, set out the party’s proposals for bringing GB’s energy networks back into public ownership. In doing so, they firmly switch the political spotlight from suppliers on to network companies and challenge the industry more generally on fairness and its own efficiency. We look more closely at the plans in this week’s Energy Perspective, arguing that while the party’s ambition for ownership change may never be achieved, the proposals offer a challenge to those who believe in the market to deliver decarbonisation, particularly with regards to equity, vulnerability and cost to consumer.

The speech that Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Andrew Tyrie gave to the Social Market Foundation on 8 May follows up reform proposals from February. In this week’s Policy section, we discuss it further, suggesting it was an important speech from Tyrie that was assertive in its questioning of how markets, especially energy, banking and insurance, serve vulnerable customers, including those who are “time poor”. We await the government’s response to the CMA’s proposals to inform the discussion further. 

We find, in this week’s Regulation section, that the expected cost of delivering faster and reliable switching to customers has risen. The news comes courtesy of the regulator’s Full Business Case for Ofgem’s Switching Programme. We suggest it is disappointing but well-precedented for an industry programme to see its projected costs rise and that Ofgem continues to highlight the benefits consumers should see – which are substantial – but it is becoming less clear that they outweigh costs.

In our Industry Structure section, we look more closely at the Q119 results from Innogy and E.ON. The general consensus here seems to be a notable profit squeeze arising primarily from the default price caps. In the case of E.ON, that squeeze is material enough to be impacting of overall Group financial performance and also expectations going forwards.

In this week’s Nutwood, Cornwall Insight’s Dr Craig Lowrey discusses in detail how various global pressures are continuing to overshadow market sentiment and direction in the crude market.

Related thinking

Commercial and market outlook

Ofgem outlines thinking on protecting credit balances and RO payments

This article is an extract from our Energy Spectrum publication issued on Monday 25 April. If you are interested in receiving critical policy, regulatory, market and transactional developments across the energy sector, and would like a free full sample of Energy Spectrum, please request a copy here. You only need...

Home supply and services

“Green” tariffs in the spotlight as BEIS commences review

With the announcement on 16 August of a call for evidence on Designing a Framework for Transparency of Carbon Content in Energy Products, consultant Josephine Lord looks at the issues being considered and what the future may hold for so-called “green” tariffs. The call for evidence is the first step...

Regulation and policy

Electricity transmission charging reform – overtaken by changing priorities?

Charging for the transmission network is never out of the development process for long. From major reviews, such as that initiated under Project Transmit in 2010, to significant reforms such as removing the triad benefit from distributed generation in 2018, and a host of smaller developments, change seems the only...

Energy storage and flexibility

How nuclear energy can help the UK reach its net zero goals

This article was originally written in Energy Spectrum on 21 March 2021. To find out more about a subscription to Energy Spectrum, please contact Nick on There are several challenges to reaching net zero, where its proponents believe nuclear could add value. Some of tomorrow’s main issues concern: How to provide low...


Introducing Energy Spectrum Europe

Cornwall Insight is pleased to announce the launch of Energy Spectrum Europe. This new addition to the Energy Spectrum stable will provide the authoritative, independent insight and analysis of energy markets for which its peers covering Great Britain, Ireland and Australia are rightly renowned. Every month Energy Spectrum Europe will...

Net zero corporates and ESG

Major energy policy and regulatory changes discussed in our December Net Zero Business forum

On 10 December 2020, Cornwall Insight hosted its Net Zero Business Forum. Held four days before the release of the UK government’s Energy White Paper, the focus was on the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan, the Spending Review and the National Infrastructure Strategy. Head of Relationship Development Robert Buckley and Head...

Business supply and services

A look back at 2020 part 3

As we take our first steps into 2021, we continue to look back at the biggest developments in the UK energy markets in 2020, setting us up for the significant year ahead. The mergers and exits from the supply market that were seen in 2019 continued into 2020 and led...

Commercial and market outlook

A look back at 2020

As we take our first steps into 2021, we look back at the biggest developments in the UK energy markets in 2020, setting us up for the significant year ahead. As 2019 turned into 2020, we were still waiting for the Energy White Paper (EWP), a document which had been...