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Report proposes new Office for Energy

An Energy and Economics consultancy called Vivid Energy has issued a report detailing the need for an Office for Energy.

The report has the backing of Npower and it sets out how an Office for Energy would provide accurate data and analysis of Britain’s energy sector. It is suggested that the proposed office would either be established as a new organisation or have its base within an already existing organisation.

Among its duties would be to ensure there will be detailed, impartial analysis of such issues as the low carbon energy sector and it would also examine changes to policies and regulations and how they would affect policy goals.

However, the proposed new body would not have the power to suggest laws or regulations and its purpose would not be to replace government bodies that are already in existence. Instead, it would provide support for government and regulators and would function in the same way as the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Commenting on the need to improve consumer confidence in the energy industry, Robin Smale, Director at Vivid Economics, said:

“The UK energy market has been subject to criticism and controversy, due in part to a lack of analysis that is both trusted and clear. 

“There is a case for a new role to enhance consumer and investor confidence by providing much needed trusted and clear analysis across the whole of the energy sector. Many stakeholders see value in this new role, and in identifying options for how this role could be delivered.  With the CMA about to report, now is an opportune time to consider it.”

Other sectors such as healthcare, already have similar body in place and it is suggested that due to the success of these organisations, there would be confidence in a new institution for the energy sector.

The report argues that while there are already several UK energy institutions, it is perceived they have not always been able to provide a “balanced and clear analysis of key issues across the whole of Britain's energy sector”.

Paul Massara, CEO of RWE npower said said:

“Earlier this year I asked Vivid Economics to look at whether there could be a new way to build the debate about energy on a complete foundation of fact and reliable analysis.

“…An Office of Energy would support and empower a continuing open and transparent debate about the competing issues of the trilemma.”  

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