The DGES outlines the next steps towards increasing competition in the NI electricity market

Published: 04 March 2003

Consultation opened on 04 March 2003. Consultation closed 30 April 2003.

Summary

Electricity Regulator, Douglas McIldoon, today published a paper outlining the next steps in relation to increasing competition in Northern Ireland’s electricity market.

Electricity Regulator, Douglas McIldoon, today published a paper outlining the next steps in relation to increasing competition in Northern Ireland’s electricity market.

In a period of increasing costs for the business community it is essential that further steps are taken immediately to drive down electricity costs. With the imminent arrival of more efficient generation capacity this is the right time to press ahead with generation competition.

Commenting Douglas McIldoon said:

“Care must be taken to design a liberalised market that not only works to put pressure on prices but also integrates the public policy objectives of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fuel poverty. As well as freeing energy producers, suppliers and customers to trade more freely, customers must be informed and empowered so that the market works for them.

It is particularly important that we ensure that the liberalised market does not increase pollution. Therefore it must be Combined Heat and Power and renewable friendly and not exclusively fossil fuel focussed.

We must also seek to reduce the cost of electricity generation by ensuring that all generators are able to fully tap their potential”.

The paper stresses that an island-wide electricity market will only be in the interests of customers here if it produces on a long-term basis even lower cost cleaner energy than Northern Ireland can produce on its own. OFREG will be exploring this area fully with its counterparts in the Republic of Ireland over the next two years as the proposals contained in today’s paper are implemented.

The paper “Competition and Customer Empowerment: The next steps in the Northern Ireland Electricity market” is available by clicking HERE or alternatively a paper copy may be obtained from Ofreg, Brookmount Buildings, 42 Fountain St, Belfast BT1 5EE, Tel: 028 9031 1575, Fax: 028 9031 1740.

Comments on issues contained in the paper should be sent to Orla Mullan at Ofreg, Brookmount Buildings, 42 Fountain Street, Belfast, BT1 5EE or FAX 028 9031 1740 or (email orla.mullan@ofregni.gov.uk) by 30 April 2003

Copies will be made available in large print, Braille, audio cassette and a variety of relevant minority languages if required.

Replies will only be treated as confidential if the respondee clearly indicates that they should be so treated

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