Press release

Energy price cap architect picked to put consumers at the heart of energy watchdog

Professor Martin Cave selected by Secretary of State for Business and Energy to lead regulator Ofgem, putting consumers at the heart of its work.

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  • Professor Cave recommended price cap in landmark independent report into competition in the energy market
  • the government has also confirmed appointment of 2 non-executive directors on the Ofgem board with track record of championing consumer protection

Professor Martin Cave, former Deputy Chair of the Competition Commission and Deputy Panel Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority, is the preferred candidate to be the new Chair of the energy regulator, Ofgem.

This comes just days after Andrew Tyrie, the former chair of the Treasury select committee, took up his role as chair of the Competition and Markets Authority as the government moves to ensure robust regulators place consumers at their heart of their work.

In addition to his distinguished regulatory career, Professor Cave is an eminent economist who has undertaken several roles in government including as economic adviser to Ofcom between 2003 and 2006. He has led a number of high profile reviews within government and has a deep understanding of the energy sector. As part of the CMA’s 2016 review of the energy market Professor Cave wrote the dissenting opinion, saying that the report’s proposed reforms did not go far enough and that a temporary price cap was needed to protect consumers from unfair energy price rises.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

We are determined to see active regulators who put consumers interest at the heart of their work, the appointment of Professor Cave to lead Ofgem will ensure that.

Professor Cave has an impressive track record and is well respected for his work regulating the utility markets. I have no doubt he will use his wealth of expertise to protect consumers and help create an energy market that works for everyone.

Professor Cave said:

It is a real honour to be recommended for one of the most important roles in the energy sector. The work that Ofgem has done with government over the last 12 months has helped consumers get a better deal for their energy. Seismic change is afoot in this sector and I will work to ensure that the regulator continues to protect consumers while working with government and those across the sector to build an energy system fit for the future.

Ofgem’s role is to protect the interests of existing and future electricity and gas consumers. It does this in a number of ways including promoting value for money; promoting security of supply and sustainability for domestic and industrial users; and the regulation and the delivery of government schemes.

The post of Ofgem Chair is subject to a pre-appointment hearing by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee. This will take place on 3 July 2018.

The current Ofgem Chair, David Gray, will end his term on 1 October 2018.

Non-Executive Directors

Lynne Embleton and Ann Robinson have also been confirmed as the new Non-Executive Directors of the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem).

Greg Clark continued:

I am also delighted to appoint Lynne Embleton and Ann Robinson to the Ofgem board – both have a strong reputation for improving the service consumers receive and effectively advocating for rights on their behalf.

Lynne Embleton is currently the CEO of IAG Cargo where she is leading transformation based on infrastructure investment, customer focus, culture and digital technology. She has previously served on the board of British Airways as the Managing Director at Gatwick and as Strategy Director.

Ann Robinson is a noted consumer champion with significant experience in energy and consumer policy. Ann worked in the Civil Service before becoming Chief Executive of Scope. She then spent a period as Director General of the British Retail Consortium and she is the former Executive Chair of Energy Watch. Over the last few years Ann has been a consultant advising a number of organisations on consumer issues including uSwitch. The Gas Safe Register and charities such as Scope.

Notes to editors

The Chair of Ofgem has responsibility for:

  • addressing the significant consumer detriment in the retail market
  • responding to rapid technological change in the electricity market, allowing the emergence of smart, decentralised technologies, implementing plans for a more independent electricity transmission system operator and more active system management at a distribution level
  • improving value for money from the next round of price controls for gas and electricity networks under the RIIO (Revenue=Incentives+ Innovation+Outputs) framework, due by 2022, and reforming charging systems so that they provide the right investment signals while minimising consumer costs
  • supporting continued security of supply and efficiency
  • operational performance of eServe, which delivers a number of government programmes

Martin Cave

Martin Cave has worked as Deputy Chair of the Competition Commission and Deputy Panel Chair of the Competition and Markets Authority from January 2012 to January 2018.

He has also conducted a number of independent reviews for the UK government. These include:

  • appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to conduct an independent review of radio spectrum Management 2001 to 2002
  • appointed by the Chancellor of Exchequer to conduct an independent audit of major spectrum holdings, 2004 to 2005
  • appointed by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to undertake an independent review of the regulation of social housing, 2006 to 2007
  • appointed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Defra to conduct a review of competition and innovation in the water sector, 2009 to 2010
  • appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport to chair an expert panel on airport regulation, 2008 to 2009

He is also an eminent economist who has undertaken a number of roles in government including as economic adviser to Ofcom between 2003 and 2006.

Published 25 June 2018