Moffatt Associates – Energy Viewpoints

Moffatt Associates devised a research format for monitoring trends in energy market prices and canvassing market views on future market developments and the implications of public policy actions at both the EU and national level.

The “Energy Viewpoints Bulletin” is distributed free of charge electronically and is now read by over 2000 market participants every quarter.

This regular, quarterly survey, sponsored by APX and produced in association with EFET, summarises expectations about future energy market prices, based on responses from a research panel of 80 market participants covering most of Europe. This panel is a representative sample of regulators, generators, suppliers, traders and analysts.

Every quarter, MA canvasses views on wholesale market developments in power, gas and CO2. In addition, we select a special topic for investigation each quarter and we invite contributions from leading market participants. The survey itself takes the form of a detailed telephone questionnaire and is conducted on a strictly confidential and non-attributable basis.

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Moffatt Associates – EU Wholesale Markets Study

To execute this study Moffatt Associates conducted what is probably one of the most extensive surveys of energy market participants ever undertaken.

The aims of the study were to identify and evaluate key factors impacting on the liquidity and efficiency or EU wholesale electricity and gas markets. Between mid-January and early May 2008, MA devised and conducted a major market research programme. Given the diverse and varied nature of wholesale energy markets, MA decided to employ a two-stage research methodology involving (a) the use of face-to-face discussions to identify and weight the relative importance of key commercial and policy issues impacting on the operation of wholesale energy markets, and (b) following this with a more detailed survey across a wider market sample to obtain quantitative and qualitative feedback on a range of specific issues arising from the face-to-face discussions.

This involved:

In-depth interviews and discussions with (20) senior executives representing all relevant EU stakeholder associations
Nine focus groups held in Brussels, Milan, Madrid, Copenhagen, London and Vienna, involving a total of 113 market participants
An online questionnaire to illicit quantitative responses – a total of 150 market participants completed the questionnaire

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Monitoring Business Energy Costs and Efficiency

Moffatt Associates devised a set of research questions and methodology to explore and evaluate trends in business energy costs, actions taken by companies to increase energy efficiency and the views of industry on the likely business implications of EU and UK energy policy. This was the first time that any serious attempt had been made to analyse the impact of rising energy costs on UK business.

Since 2005, Moffatt Associates has researched and built a UK business contact database covering 500 major energy users and 1000 SME’s. Every year we track trends by carrying out 200 in-depth interviews with senior energy management managers across a representative sample of public and private sector organisations.

This survey is widely used by the UK Government, Ofgem and industry as the benchmark reference for how industry is managing energy efficiency and carbon emissions reductions. Our UK business users survey is publicised widely and is the most comprehensive survey of its kind in the EU.

The survey is currently sponsored by RWE npower in association with the Major Energy Users Council (MEUC) and the UK Federation of Small Business (FSB).

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Moffatt Associates – Ownership Unbundling and Market Transparency

In 2007 DG TREN commissioned Moffatt Associates to conduct a detailed market research programme to assess the likely impact of the Commission’s proposals relating to TSO unbundling and improved wholesale market transparency.

Objectives of this study were as follows:

  • A. Ownership Unbundling
    Impact on non-discriminatory access on tariff levels and price information transparency
  • Subsequent impact on the increase in competition in both generation and supply
  • Required conditions and propensity for unbundled TSOs to (a) increase levels of investments in improving the quality of the network, (b) increase investment in cross-border capacity, (c) work with other TSOs to create regional networks, and operate in such a way that would reduce or eliminate the need for new pan – European regulator and reduce or eliminate the need for heavy national regulation relating to network tariffs and investment incentives
  • Potential benefits to the incumbent of selling network assets – in terms of either returning funds to shareholders and/or channeling new investment into higher margin non-regulated generation and supply businesses locally and/or in other territories in the EU and elsewhere

B. Market Transparency

  • Relative importance and significance of different data in terms of its value in promoting liquidity and competition in different regional markets
  • Type, timing and sourcing of data required in both gas and power by regional market – i.e. including exchange, TSO and OTC data
    Whether it would be better to opt for high mandatory minimum standards across the whole of the EU from day one or opt for variable benchmarks and a regional incremental approach with Nordpool and the UK leading the way
  • Whether most benefit could be secured in the short term by opting to prioritise transparency in power rather than gas

In a period of less than 5 weeks, Moffatt Associates were able to complete a total of 56 in-depth interviews with key participants in the EU energy market including:

  • Stakeholder associations
  • Energy market regulators
  • TSO network operators
  • Financial investors
  • Energy exchanges
  • Dominant incumbents
  • Market traders
  • Market analysts

Our conclusions were included in the EU Commission’s Background Paper accompanying the 3rd Package Directives