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RPI-X, competition as a rivalrous discovery process, and customer engagement – Paper presented at the Conference The British Utility Regulation Model: Beyond Competition and Incentive Regulation?

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  • Littlechild, Stephen

Abstract

This paper considers the continued relevance of competition for utility regulation, especially in the context of Britain. It does so in three steps. First, it considers the context in which RPI-X entered the policy debate and became a central aspect of subsequent utility reforms. Second, it considers the contemporary context of British utility regulation. Third, this paper points to some significant new departures in British utility regulation that might allow for an extension of the emphasis placed on 'discovery' in the initial 1983 report, namely growing emphasis on negotiated settlements and customer engagement. The paper assesses some recent experiences, with a specific emphasis on water regulation in Scotland. The paper concludes by suggesting the scope for competition in designing and setting price controls.

Suggested Citation

  • Littlechild, Stephen, 2014. "RPI-X, competition as a rivalrous discovery process, and customer engagement – Paper presented at the Conference The British Utility Regulation Model: Beyond Competition and Incentive Regulation?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 152-161.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:31:y:2014:i:c:p:152-161
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2014.09.008
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    Cited by:

    1. El Hage, Fabio S. & Rufín, Carlos, 2016. "Context analysis for a new regulatory model for electric utilities in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 145-154.
    2. Zhang, Yanfang & Nie, Rui & Shi, Xunpeng & Qian, Xiangyan & Wang, Ke, 2019. "Can energy-price regulations smooth price fluctuations? Evidence from China’s coal sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 125-135.
    3. Lodge, Martin & Stern, Jon, 2014. "British utility regulation: Consolidation, existential angst, or fiasco?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 146-151.
    4. Pinto, Francisco Silva & Simões, Pedro & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2017. "Raising the bar: The role of governance in performance assessments," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 38-47.

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