Regulatory Institutions in Liberalised Electricity Markets

(Paris) — 5 April 2001

Electricity market liberalisation is gathering pace in IEA countries, and regulation of the electricity supply industry is changing rapidly. In theory, a perfectly competitive market would not need regulating. But some key features of the industry do need regulation in the transition phase and beyond.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) published today Regulatory Institutions in Liberalised Electricity Markets. It argues that reforming regulatory institutions is fundamental to developing and sustaining a competitive electricity market and ensuring a level playing field for market participants.

This does not mean however, that there is only one way to set up regulatory institutions. While independent regulatory agencies are increasingly common, national approaches reflect different political and legal traditions in each country as well as different models of organisation of the electricity supply industry. This new publication examines the approaches taken by individual IEA countries, including the role, structure and procedures of electricity regulators, and their relationship to government.