On January 22, 2015, the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change ("DECC") published its response to the consultation to strengthen the regulation of wholesale energy markets through criminal offences together with draft legislation to implement new criminal sanctions for insider dealing and market manipulation. The new sanctions will give more power to the relevant regulators (in Great Britain, Ofgem and in Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation) to address market abuse in the wholesale energy markets. The new powers implement the EU regulation on energy market integrity and transparency ("REMIT") requirement for Member States to create penalties for breach of REMIT that are proportionate, effective and dissuasive. REMIT applies to spot trading in the electricity and natural gas market. The DECC consider that criminal sanctions are more dissuasive than civil sanctions alone. UK legislation implementing the civil sanction regime came into force on June 29, 2013. The DECC acknowledges that it may be necessary to review the UK criminal sanctions regime to align the penalties with UK financial markets legislation for similar offences.
The DECC response is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/397367/government_response_to_c onsultation.pdf and the draft legislation is available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2015/9780111127674/pdfs/ukdsi_9780111127674_en.pdf.