Infrastructure – energy, transport, water and communications – needs constant attention and investment to make sure it serves its customers well. The UK’s pipeline of major investments in infrastructure, amounting to around £100bn across all sectors over the next five years, represents investment in improving services for customers and businesses, and accommodating the needs of a growing economy. This creates new opportunities for investors – from the UK and globally – and the role of regulators is to make sure that investment is efficient and translates into the best value for those who use and pay for it.
The UK model of economic regulation independent of government has helped to secure better services at lower cost for consumers over the last decades. It has done that partly by creating a framework where investors can invest to provide more of what customers want, in the confidence of a stable regulated environment. We know that this is valued by investors and gives businesses better access to capital markets. This can lower the cost of investing, reducing pressure on customers’ bills.
Nevertheless regulators know that our regimes can become complex and can be confusing, particularly for newcomers to the UK market. To help investors to understand and access the UK market, the economic regulators have come together through the UK Regulators’ Network to produce an investor guide to UK regulated infrastructure.
The guide aims to help investors to navigate across regulated infrastructure markets and seek out similar opportunities in adjacent sectors, perhaps with more focus on similarities of commercial structure and asset class than on the difference between water pipelines and electricity cables and runways. It will help to ensure that all investors have the information they need to make sense of our regulated utilities and how we regulators approach our work.
The scale of investment in the coming decades makes it essential for consumers that the network utilities on which they depend get access to capital on the best possible terms. Helping investors to understand the particular attractions of the UK helps us to achieve our underlying goal: the best value for consumers.
Follow this link to read the UK Regulators’ Network (UKRN)’s Investors Guide to UK Regulated Infrastructure http://www.ukrn.org.uk/?p=371