Innovation delivers benefits for citizens, consumers and the economy and is high on the agenda for UKRN members. We were therefore pleased to see the government’s recent consultation on encouraging innovation in regulated utilities, which recognises the work regulators are doing in this area.

The UKRN’s response to the consultation focuses on the importance of innovation. We stress the role of regulators in creating an environment that supports and encourages innovation, while also ensuring consumers continue to be protected. We also point to the need for regulators to adapt how they work in order to respond to new business models and ways of doing things. Much of this work is already being done, but we also suggest some ways in which government may be able to support regulators in their work to promote innovation.

It is also clear that there is great benefit in regulators sharing their experiences in this area. This helps regulators learn from one another and work together to make improvements. Our response notes the key role played by the UKRN in bringing regulators together; providing a forum to share best practice, work through challenges and apply learning across sectors.