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The Consequences for Consumer Welfare of the 2001-2003 Electricity Distribution Price Review in The Netherlands

  • Nillesen , P.H.L.
  • Pollitt, M.G.

The Dutch regulatory process for setting the first X-Factors in the electricity distribution sector has gone badly wrong. During two-and-a-half years four different X-Factors were published by the regulator. These X-Factors fluctuated wildly. We demonstrate that Dutch electricity consumers will pay at least €300mln. more over three years for the distribution of electricity than might otherwise have been the case. We estimate that benefits for companies in terms of extra revenue from lowered X-Factors amounts to 3~5 percent of total asset value. We provide a history of the regulatory process and analyse the impact of the different X-Factors on the final bills of consumers. The negative political reaction to the perceived problems of regulation has hampered the course of deregulation and the privatisation of the municipally-owned electricity companies. The Minister of Economic Affairs and the majority of Parliament want the complete ownership unbundling of the sector by 1 January 2007.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0446.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: Sep 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0446
Note: CMI, IO
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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  1. Courty, Pascal & Marschke, Gerald, 2002. "An Empirical Investigation of Gaming Responses to Explicit Performance Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 3164, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Preetum Domah & Michael G. Pollitt, 2001. "The restructuring and privatisation of the electricity distribution and supply businesses in England," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 107-146, March.
  3. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, June.
  4. Crew, Michael A & Kleindorfer, Paul R, 1996. "Incentive Regulation in the United Kingdom and the United States: Some Lessons," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 211-25, May.
  5. Severin Borenstein & James B. Bushnell & Frank A. Wolak, 2002. "Measuring Market Inefficiencies in California's Restructured Wholesale Electricity Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1376-1405, December.
  6. Berg, Sanford, 2000. "Developments in Best-Practice Regulation: Principles, Processes, and Performance," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 11-18, July.
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