A vision for a customer-centric energy market

Energy UK has today published a new report, Empowering people: industry’s vision for a customer-centric energy market, which explores the actions needed to achieve a future retail market which works for customers, the central role customers play in this future, and addresses the challenges and opportunities industry and Government will have to face together on this journey.

The retail energy sector is undergoing a huge transformation, driven by geopolitical shifts, climate priorities, and technological innovations. The recent energy crisis has exposed fragilities in the retail market. The affordability crisis resulting from high wholesale prices and the low level of investment in energy efficiency over the last decade, combined with a challenging regulatory environment threaten to hold back the investment and innovation needed to improve customer outcomes and deliver Net Zero.

The report argues that, as we emerge from the crisis, industry, Government and the energy regulator have an opportunity to rebuild an efficient and dynamic retail energy market focused on improving people’s lives, and sets out the policy actions needed to ensure customers are supported, and to attract the private investment needed to enable innovation under three themes:

  1. Customers must be supported and protected as the market evolves.
  1. Regulation must balance supplier obligations with incentives for competition, investment and innovation
  1. Customers must benefit from smart flexibility

Daniel Portis, Deputy Director, Energy UK said:

“After a continued focus on increasing competition and driving down prices to unsustainable levels, the volatility in international energy prices has exposed fundamental flaws in the retail market design, resulting in outdated mechanisms to support customers, a lack of innovation, and suppliers exiting the market. 

“The future paints a different picture. One in which energy suppliers not only provide an essential service, but one in which people will benefit from greater choice, from how they minimise their bills through to how and when they decarbonise their homes and benefit society as a whole with a more efficient system. 

“Energy UK and our members are excited by this vision. Innovative, flexible products and services are already available and benefitting homes across the country, but changes need to be made to ensure all customers can reap the rewards.   

“By working together with Government and the regulator we can create an energy market that is fair, resilient and competitive, and fundamentally works for customers.”  

Download the report here.