Incentive Regulation of Electricity Distribution Networks: Lessons of Experience from Britain

Tooraj Jamasb*, Michael Pollitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper reviews the recent experience of the UK electricity distribution sector under incentive regulation. The UK has a significant and transparent history in implementing incentive regulation in the period since 1990. We demonstrate the successes of this period in reducing costs, prices, and energy losses while maintaining quality of service. We also draw out the lessons for other countries in implementing distribution sector reform. We conclude by discussing the place of incentive regulation of networks within the wider reform context, the required legislative framework, the need for appropriate unbundling, the importance of quality of service incentives, the regulatory information requirements, and the role of sector rationalisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)6163-6187
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Electricity distribution
  • Regulation
  • Benchmarking

Cite this