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Abstract

The British Energy regulator will soon review a non-discrimination licence condition which it imposed to ensure that energy retailers charge the same mark-up in different regions. Many consumers are loyal to incumbent firms, necessitating heavy discounting by entrants to attract customers, which had led to regional price discrimination. Matching characteristics of the energy market to models of discrimination, we identify the necessary conditions for the licence condition to have a positive effect for consumers, and explore whether the policy has helped potentially „vulnerable? consumers. We conclude that the most likely effect of the licence condition is to reduce competition in the mainstream energy markets, and welcome the regulator?s latest review of the retail market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F236-F252
JournalThe Economic Journal
Volume122
Issue number562
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012

Keywords

  • competition (economics)
  • energy market
  • energy policy
  • numerical model
  • regulatory approach

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