Energy cost review launched to examine electricity supply chain


An independent review of the UK energy market has been announced by government to look for ways of reducing costs in electricity generation, transmission, distribution and supply

The independent review into the cost of energy, announced by business and energy secretary Greg Clark, will be led by Professor Dieter Helm CBE. The review will look specifically at how the energy industry, government and regulators can keep the cost of electricity as low as possible, while ensuring the UK meets its domestic and international climate targets.

This builds on a commitment made in government's Industrial Strategy green paper and will consider the whole electricity supply chain – generation, transmission, distribution and supply. It will look for opportunities to reduce costs in each element and consider the implications of the changing demand for electricity, including the role of innovative technologies such as electric vehicles and energy storage.

Dieter Helm is professor of economic policy at the University of Oxford, a fellow in economics at New College Oxford and a former member of the Council of Science and Technology, advising the UK Prime Minister from 2004 to 2007.

"I am delighted to take on this Review," Helm said. "The cost of energy always matters to households and companies, especially now, with huge investment requirements to meet the decarbonisation and security challenges ahead over the next decade and beyond. Digitalisation, electric transport and smart and decentralised systems offer great opportunities.

"It is imperative to do all this efficiently, to minimise the burdens. Making people and companies pay excessively for policy and market inefficiencies risks undermining the objectives themselves. My review will be independent and sort out the facts from the myths about the cost of energy, and make recommendations about how to more effectively achieve the overall objectives."

An advisory panel will support the reviewer by providing expert insights in a personal capacity:

  • Terry Scuoler CBE, Chief Executive of EEF, the Manufacturers’ Organisation
  • Nick Winser CBE, Chairman of the Energy Systems Catapult
  • Laura Sandys, Chief Executive of Challenging Ideas
  • Isobel Sheldon, Engineering & Technology Director of Johnson Matthey Battery Systems
  • Richard Nourse, Managing Partner of Greencoat Capital LLP