Sustainable Development Commission calls for Ofgem's role to be rethought to better tackle climate change

The Sustainable Development Commission has called for Ofgem’s role to be re-evaluated to enable the body to tackle carbon emissions more effectively.

The Commission’s government advisory body report, released this week, says the regulator's strategy must be overhauled if it is to meet the carbon reduction and renewables targets.

The report entitled ‘Lost in Transmission – The role of Ofgem in a changing climate’ argues that reducing greenhouse gas emissions should be made central to Ofgem's remit in order to meet the needs of future consumers.

Commissioner for Energy at the Sustainable Development Commission, Bernie Bulkin said: “Today's energy industry faces very different challenges, and the next decade will be a crucial time for making the changes needed to eliminate carbon from the system by 2050.”

He added Ofgem’s central focus should be “creating a sustainable system which costs as little as possible, rather than making a low cost system as sustainable as possible."

The Sustainable Development Commission's recommendations included:

  • Introducing a greenhouse gas incentive package into the Price Control Reviews for the distribution and transmission industries
  • Providing consumers with better information through smarter metering and billing to help them make decisions about their energy consumption
  • Changing the current market arrangements to make it easier for smaller, low-carbon generators and suppliers to compete in the market
  • Increasing innovation spending on networks and addressing transmission issues in order to speed up the connection of renewable technologies and reduce losses from the system
  • Re-thinking heat provision to move to low-carbon networks across towns and cities