Frontier comments on the Helm Review of Energy Costs

Matthew Bell, Director in Frontier’s Public Policy Practice, today provided an instant reaction to Dieter Helm’s eagerly anticipated review of UK energy costs. Matthew was formerly Chief Executive of the UK Committee on Climate Change. His reaction focuses on how the review handles climate issues.

The ‘Cost of Energy Review’ was commissioned following concerns in the UK that energy costs were unnecessarily high for both businesses and consumers. There is some debate about the causes of high energy costs and their impacts, with some people focusing on whether policies to lower greenhouse gas emissions are to blame.

The review makes a series of headline-grabbing recommendations: substituting much low-carbon policy with a uniform carbon tax and border tariff adjustments; and fundamental changes to how wholesale power markets work and energy networks are regulated. However, digging into the detail, Matthew argues that in practice the changes that Helm is recommending are more pragmatic and unlikely to be as dramatic as the headlines suggest. Furthermore, the Review was deliberately commissioned to be independent from government. The government has said it will consider its findings.

Frontier regularly advises public and private sector clients on climate and energy issues.

For more information, please contact or call +44 (0) 20 7031 7000