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UK: National Infrastructure Commission review of energy, telecoms and water infrastructure regulation

  • United Kingdom
  • Energy and infrastructure


The UK’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) is to examine regulation of the UK’s water, energy and telecoms sectors, to assess what changes might be necessary to facilitate future investment in infrastructure, while promoting competition and innovation and meeting the needs of both current and future consumers. The NIC looks at the infrastructure needs in the UK over the next 30 years, making recommendations for how to deliver new infrastructure, and how such infrastructure will be financed.

Further to a letter from the Chancellor, the NIC is required to undertake a study into the regulatory framework behind the water, energy and telecoms sectors. The terms of reference for the study can be found here.

The NIC published a call for evidence in February 2019, inviting interested parties to submit their ideas and solutions to the questions set out in the call for evidence document. Contributors are asked to highlight when they consider the economic regulation of water, telecoms or energy has been successful or when it has failed to meet the three desired objectives of a future regulatory framework for infrastructure:

• facilitate future investment needs;

• promote competition and innovation; and

• meet the needs of both current and future consumers.

In providing their responses, contributors are asked to provide examples of when competition, regulation and the increase in data availability have impacted upon investment and innovation in the three key sectors being focussed on. Views are also being sought on the proposal for a multi-utility regulator covering energy, digital and water.

Interested parties were asked to submit ideas and evidence in response to the call for evidence by 12 April 2019. Following this, the NIC will review the responses received, and these will inform the NIC’s assessment of the regulatory framework and any changes required to maximise competition and innovation whilst also ensuring regulatory consistency.