As it stands, the single EU market allows energy providers to operate across borders.
The UK government is still considering its final position on the single market for energy, deciding what kind of relationship the UK wants to have with EU. This could prove problematic as the common market allows electricity and natural gas to flow across borders, friction-free. However, the options that were outlined in the governments white paper will deliver huge change to the energy sector.
Jane Lucy, chief executive of The Labrador, a ‘smart’ utility switching service provider, commented: “Leaving the political implications aside for one moment, we must all rally behind the concept of cheap, reliable energy for all.
“It has to be considered a basic right to live safely and healthily, and all players in the negation should be striving to meet this aim, rather than score political points against one another.
“For too long, UK consumers have been subjected to constant price rises. We need transparency and democracy reinstated within the energy sector to ensure that we are being served with cheaper energy today, and reliable energy for tomorrow.
“There are many potential outcomes to the negotiations, but being outside of the single market may increase the risk of relying on volatile exporters such as Russia. This may increase the costs for suppliers and distributors, adding to the end cost to the consumer.
“According to EnergyUK, which represents energy companies in this country, the uncertainty is causing mayhem and could lead to price rises across Britain.
“As it stands, power flows between the UK, Northern Ireland, Ireland, France and the Netherlands through four interconnector cables. There is currently a project underway to increase that capacity four-fold. Under current plans, the UK is seeking to cement closer ties with the European market, rather than establishing new ties outside of the European Union.
“Major industry players have argued that the current trading arrangements are the only viable option to keep energy reliable flowing into the UK – gas imports into the UK are valued at £11.7 billion as the UK is the third-largest energy user.”
19 Jul 2018