Introduction to Sark’s new Electricity Price Control Commissioner Shane Lynch

Shane Lynch was sworn in as the island’s Price Control Commissioner in early December 2022 and has recently published an introductory note on the website for the Sark Electricity Price Control Commissioner, He confirmed that, during his visit to the Bailiwick, he met with islanders, Alan Witney-Price of Sark Electricity Ltd, and other stakeholders, and has spent his time since familiarising himself with Sark’s power supply generation history and current position.

After summarising his extensive background in the energy sector, Mr Lynch added in his note:

‘Whilst the scale of the natural monopolies in Northern Ireland compared to the one in Sark differ materially, the same underlying principles of best practice regulation apply.

I am grateful to my predecessor, Dr. Tony White, for the work that he has done over the past 5 years in establishing the Office of the Commissioner and in developing a framework for best practice regulation. With my background in regulation, I fully recognise the start- up challenges that he faced and the enormity of what he has achieved.

On 26th October 2022, the then Commissioner formally determined that the prices SEL charged at that time were neither fair nor reasonable. The standard tariff at that time was 65 p/kwh.

According to Section 15(1) of the Control of Electricity Prices (Sark) Law, 2016 (“the 2016 Law”), the Office of the Commissioner may now make a price control order (“PCO”). However, before making a price control order, I must formally consult with the regulated electricity supplier and I may consult with others.

Today the standard tariff published on the SEL website remains at 65 p/kwh and fuel prices have fallen since the formal determination on 26th October 2016. I still have some material to review and by the end of next week I intend to decide if I will proceed to a consultation on a PCO.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at [email protected].’

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