Protecting consumers during the energy transition to net zero: Call for evidence


Consultation opened on . Closing date at 16:06.


Today we launch a call for evidence on how best to protect consumers during the energy transition to net zero

The Utility Regulator and Consumer Council NI have jointly produced this Call for Evidence (CfE) and an associated series of questions for stakeholders to consider, regarding how energy consumers will be protected during the transition to a decarbonised energy system.

This is in response to a request from the Department for Economy (DfE), and to fulfil one of the actions emerging from DfE’s new Strategy for Achieving Net Zero Energy.

The aim of this Call for Evidence (CfE) is to assess the future need for the protection of energy consumers during the transition to energy decarbonisation, including a report documenting research on lessons learned in other jurisdictions.

To provide context for this CfE and to aid respondents to provide evidence we have considered:

  • The current consumer protection landscape.
  • Principles and goals for consumer protection in a more decarbonised energy world.
  • Dimensions for future consumer protection:
  1. What coverage and energy/sectors/technology require inclusion within any future consumer protection arrangements;
  2. Which business practices which provide consumer outcomes should be covered by any potential enhanced consumer protection framework, and;
  3. Which groups of energy consumers need covered by any new consumer protection policies.

NI consumers may also need general high level protections which sit over and above any specific protections identified through considering these  three dimensions. We are calling these the ‘general protection principles’. These may apply to all NI consumers in relation to the energy market interactions or outcomes and provide an overarching protection umbrella.

Respondents to this CfE can consider providing evidence under the three dimensions noted above separately, or in relation to what general consumer protection principles should exist for all NI energy consumers.