10. Competition Assessment
Will the Measure directly or indirectly limit the number or range of suppliers?
The transition to zero emissions heat will alter the market for heating systems, energy efficiency and energy. However, this need not have a detrimental impact on the number or range of suppliers as existing firms are likely to be able to switch from supply associated with fossil fuel to zero emissions, and policy development will seek to ensure barriers to entry are minimised, and firms are supported to switch to ensure a just transition
Will the measure limit the ability of suppliers to compete?
The Strategy proposes development of regulations that would place restrictions on some suppliers to continue to supply certain products (e.g. fossil fuels or fossil fuel boilers). These regulations are subject to further policy development and consultation, which will allow a fuller assessment of the impact of specific proposals.
Will the measure limit suppliers incentives to compete vigorously?
There are no measures in the Heat in Buildings Strategy which limit suppliers' incentives to compete vigorously by either incentivising suppliers to coordinate their behaviour, exempting suppliers from competition law, or introducing or amending an intellectual property regime.
Will the measure limit the choices and information available to consumers?
The Heat in Buildings Strategy proposes a comprehensive regulatory framework which when introduced may limit the choices of heating systems to zero emissions heating systems, and within that limit choice further to certain types of zero emissions heating system depending on various factors including location, local infrastructure availability and proximity to the gas grid.
Regulations requiring installation of zero emissions heating systems will limit choices available to consumers, though by supporting development of zero emissions alternatives, such as heat network connections or hydrogen, that are currently unavailable to individual consumers (for example, due to infrastructure limitations), the total range of options available need not reduce in all cases. Development of regulations will be accompanied by further Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments of the specific proposals as they develop.
The Strategy commits to scaling up advice services and the development of further public engagement, enabling people to actively participate in decisions that involve them. Information about options will form an important part of this activity, and will potentially identify additional policy measures needed to ensure consumers are able to make informed choices.
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