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Redundant regulation? : competition and consumer choice in the residential energy markets

By Monica Giulietti, Catherine Waddams and Michael Waterson

Abstract

The UK energy regulator has recently removed price controls from about 40% of residential energy users, and plans total deregulation of the gas and electricity markets by 2002, relying instead on general competition policy to protect consumers. We examine responses to a specially commissioned survey of over one thousand consumers, to identify determinants of consumer choice between suppliers. We\ud conclude that there are substantial switching costs which seem higher for more vulnerable groups. By assessing the savings which consumers require to switch supplier, we deduce that the incumbent retains considerable market power, suggesting that some continued regulation may be necessary

Topics: HC
Publisher: Warwick Business School, Centre for Management under Regulation
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:22
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