Britain’s top nuclear scrutineer Mark McAllister was today confirmed as the incoming chair of energy regulator Ofgem, following endorsement by Parliament’s energy select committee.
Currently boss of the Office of Nuclear Regulation, former theology student McAllister will begin work on November 6, as his predecessor Martin Cave leaves after five years.
With 40 years’ experience in energy, McAllister takes charge of the regulator’s strategic direction as it seeks to build an energy market fit for the future. Reform of markets, incentivising third-party players such as flex aggregators, rationalising charging structures for grid reinforcement, and ending the scandal of decadal waits for connections which now face new generators, all weigh heavily in McAllister’s bulging in-tray.
Responsible for protecting consumers from high energy bills, restoring confidence and resilience in the retail market, and supporting progress towards Net Zero, his leadership will help shape Ofgem’s work in years ahead.
McAllister will also work closely with the government to support more households to move towards cleaner, cheaper energy generated in the UK.
Energy secretary Claire Coutinho greeted the regulator’s confirmation: “I am pleased Mark is set to take up the position of Ofgem chair, bringing outstanding experience in the energy industry to the role.
“By working together with Ofgem”, the minister went on, “we will continue to ensure the energy market works for consumers, delivering lower bills and cleaner energy – with prices already down 55 per cent since their peak.”
McAllister, pictured, said: “Energy prices, security of supply and decarbonisation of the energy system are some of the most important challenges facing the UK today and which Ofgem plays a key role in addressing.
“I am looking forward to working with the new Board, management and entire Ofgem team to protect energy consumers and to help realise a net zero energy system through both our regulatory and delivery responsibilities.
“I am keen to engage with all stakeholders, including industry, consumer groups and charities to find the best solutions to the challenges we face together.”
Mark Foy, ONR’s chief executive and chief nuclear inspector, paid tribute to his departing colleague: “Since joining us in 2019, Mark has always played a leading role within ONR and had very proactive involvement in our Board level interactions with industry duty-holders.
“He quickly established himself as a trusted and influential figure with fellow regulators, government, and industry. We wish him well in his new role and thank him for his significant contribution to ONR.”
Two weeks ago, the government strengthened Ofgem’s board with five new appointments. Joining McAllister are
- Warren Buckley, outgoing chair of Citizens Advice
- Alena Kozakova, director at E.CA Economics
- Graham Mather, president of the Infrastructure Forum
- Jonathan Kini, non-executive director at utlitiies regulator Ofwat
- Dr Tony Curzon Price, a former advisor at Cabinet Office and Number 10, and at D-BEIS, predecessor to D-ESNZ
The government continues this winter to offer targeted support for home energy bills. Measures including £150 for over three million households through the Warm Home Discount, alongside Winter Fuel and Cold Weather payments.
This comes on top of £900 cost of living support for those in need, as well as nearly £40 billion to cover around half a typical household’s energy bill last winter.
Working in conjunction with the Ofgem price cap, the government’s Energy Price Guarantee also remains in place until March 2024.