Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Retail energy market reform in the UK - innovation and adapting to change, consumer protection, and next steps for regulation

Morning, Thursday, 6th February 2020

The Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin Street, London SW1X 7DR


This conference focuses on the next steps for developing affordability, competitiveness, and innovation in UK retail energy markets.

It will be an opportuning to discuss the new Government’s commitments to develop a clean energy system and energy affordability, with sessions looking at:

  • Further steps that can be taken for protecting consumers from instances of poor business practice and as a result of collapsed energy suppliers;
  • Accelerating energy efficiency improvements for households, businesses and the public sector; and
  • Plans to maintain the energy price cap.

Delegates will assess options for policy as officials consider findings from consultation on the joint Future Energy Retail Market Review being coordinated by government and Ofgem - which seeks to reform the retail energy market so that it can better support innovation in technology and services, whilst protecting consumers.

Areas for discussion include:

  • What is needed from policy and regulation to develop a market framework that takes advantage of new technology, services, and lower system costs;
  • The way forward for digitisation in energy markets and the use of smart data; and
  • Consumer protection, energy costs, and competition.


There will be keynote contributions from:

  • Jane Walker, Deputy Director, Energy Markets & Affordability, BEIS;
  • Laura Sandys, Chair, Government’s Energy Data Taskforce;
  • Duncan Burt, Director of Operations System Operator, National Grid SO;
  • Mark Coyle, Chief Strategy Officer, Utiligroup; and
  • Clementine Cowton, Director, External Affairs, Octopus Energy.

Further confirmed speakers include: Jonathan Ainley, KiWi Power; Alex Belsham-Harris, Citizens Advice; Dr David Deller, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia; Peter Smith, National Energy Action and Dr Somayeh Taheri, UrbanChain.

The agenda

  • Policy priorities for retail energy markets - innovation, competition and costs;
  • Adapting to market developments, innovation in technology, and consumer habits:
    • Data and digitisation for energy markets - maximising value: flexibility, system operations, and regulation;
    • Challenges for suppliers - business models, competitiveness, and clean energy supply;
    • Network infrastructure and capacity - fit for changing consumer habits, smart technology, and decarbonisation; and
    • Energy market trends, and priorities for policy, competition and consumers.
  • Consumer protection - affordability, energy efficiency, and supplier responsibility to consumers;
  • Preparing networks for net-zero emissions - whole-system change, investment priorities, and enabling grid-connected technologies;
  • Technology, services, and system and market benefits - supply and demand balancing, small-scale energy integration, and developing smart platforms for consumers and retailers; and
  • Designing modern and effective regulation for UK energy markets.

Engagement with policy officials at this conference

This Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum conference has attracted strong interest from policymakers. It will be an opportunity for stakeholders to engage with officials who have reserved places representing: BEISDITDefra; Northern Ireland Civil Service and The Scottish Government.

Keynote Speaker

Jane Walker

Deputy Director, Energy Markets & Affordability, BEIS

Supported by

Keynote Speakers

Duncan Burt

Director of Operations System Operator, National Grid SO

Neil Barnes

Deputy Director, Consumers & Markets, Ofgem

Mark Coyle

Chief Strategy Officer, Utiligroup

Jane Walker

Deputy Director, Energy Markets & Affordability, BEIS

Laura Sandys

Chair, Government’s Energy Data Taskforce

Clementine Cowton

Director, External Affairs, Octopus Energy


Lord Howell of Guildford

former Secretary of State for Energy and Member, House of Lords Constitution Committee


Alex Belsham-Harris

Principal Policy Manager, Retail Energy Policy, Citizens Advice

Colin Brooks

Head of operational policy, Energy UK

Dr Somayeh Taheri

Chief Executive officer, UrbanChain

Jonathan Ainley

Head of Public Affairs and UK Programme Manager, KiWi Power

Dr David Deller

Senior Research Associate, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia