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Does Electricity (and Heat) Network Regulation have anything to learn from Fixed Line Telecoms?



The purpose of this paper is to examine the lessons from the recent history of telecoms deregulation for the electricity (and by implication heat) network regulation. We do this in the context of Ofgem’s RPIX@ 20 Review of energy regulation in the UK, which considers whether RPI-X based price regulation is fit for purpose after over 20 years of operation in energy networks. We examine the deregulation of fixed line telecoms in the UK and the lessons which it seems to suggest. We then apply the lessons to electricity networks in the context of a possible increase in distributed generation directly connected to local distribution networks. We conclude that there is the possibility of more parallels over time and suggest several implications of this for the regulation of electricity and heat networks.

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