Regulating opportunism in the electricity industry and consumer interests

Eva Niesten, Albert Jolink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents evidence on opportunistic behaviour by network operators in the liberalized British, Dutch and French electricity industries. The evidence is supplied by 303 regulatory decisions on dispute resolutions for the period 2002-2010. We observe a significant difference in how the regulators resolve disputes between network operators and producers on the one hand, and between network operators and consumers on the other hand. Consumers are negatively affected by the opportunistic behaviour of network operators, mainly by paying tariffs that are higher than is allowed by law. Policy recommendations focus on the protection of consumer interests in competitive electricity markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalUtilities Policy
Issue number1
Early online date10 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer interests
  • Electricity industry
  • Opportunism
  • Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Development
  • Law
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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