Westminster Business Forum

The future for regulation and competition for UK utilities - infrastructure investment, innovation and consumer value in the telecoms, water and energy markets

Morning, Tuesday, 26th February 2019

15Hatfields, Chadwick Court, London SE1 8DJ


It is scheduled to take place at the time when the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is considering submissions to its review of the regulatory regime for utilities.

The review is being conducted at the behest of the Chancellor in order to develop models that can better deliver increased levels of investment in innovation and infrastructure whilst protecting value for consumers.

The conference will provide an opportunity to gain insight on the progress of the review and initial thinking on the consultation responses, as well as to feed into discussion on the future shape of UK utilities regulation landscape.

Delegates will consider how best to reform regulatory systems so as to achieve the aim of incentivising the long-term investment in innovation and infrastructure needed to meet the challenges of evolving technology and climate change.

We also expect discussion on possible tensions between any such changes to regulatory focus and the established drive for highly competitive supply markets that are responsive to consumer concerns and focused on low prices.

Those attending will also examine the options for the future shape of the regulatory models - including a potential new single ‘super-regulator’ for utilities in order to deliver greater collaboration in areas such as data sharing, addressing cross-cutting policy issues and major infrastructure projects - and implications for the roles of Ofcom, Ofwat and Ofgem.

We expect keynote discussion to bring out latest thinking on how the concurrency regime is working in supporting effectiveness, coordination and collaboration between sector regulators.

The conference also follows publication of the recent CMA ‘loyalty penalty’ study which makes recommendations to tackle concerns that existing customers in the mobile phone and broadband markets are being penalised by being charged higher prices than new customers following a super complaint by Citizens Advice.

Delegates will discuss the CMA’s recommendations which include regulators using enforcement powers to tackle harmful practices and the introduction of a targeted price cap for those that are worst hit.

Following the collapse of a number of energy providers, we also expect discussion around Ofgem’s review of licensing arrangements focused on financial resilience and protecting customer service.

Further sessions discuss how to ensure any regulatory system protects vulnerable consumers looking at progress and next steps following recommendations made in the NAO’s Vulnerable consumers in regulated industries report and following recent concerns around growing consumer debts owed to utility companies, and the introduction of a price cap in the energy market.

Keynote Speaker

Rich Sullivan-Jones

Audit Manager, Regulation, Consumers & Competition, National Audit Office

Keynote Speakers

Sharon Horwitz

Director, Sector Regulation Unit, Competition and Markets Authority

Sarah Hayes

Project Director, Regulation, National Infrastructure Commission

Rich Sullivan-Jones

Audit Manager, Regulation, Consumers & Competition, National Audit Office

Clive Carter

Director of Strategy, Ofcom


Baroness McIntosh of Pickering

Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Water Group

Lord Teverson


Ian Thompson

Senior Consultant, Economic Insight

Noel Beale

Director, Competition, Regulation, Burges Salmon

Piers Thompson

Director, Policy and Research, Global Infrastructure Investor Association

Audrey Gallacher

Director of Policy, Energy UK

Natasha Hobday

Group Policy and Regulation Director, First Utility

Darren Rice

Head of Policy and Regulatory Strategy, Anglian Water

Joe Perkins

Chief Economist, Ofgem

Sharon Darcy

Director, Sustainability First

Ilsa Godlovitch

Director, WIK