Who regulates Utilities in the UK

Who’s who?

The UK’s utility companies, including water, gas, and electricity companies, are governed by a complex system of regulations and oversight bodies.

General regulators

At the national level, the government sets the overall policy framework for the utility sector, including setting targets and standards for performance and customer service. The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for the overall regulation of the energy sector, while Ofwat regulates the water sector and Ofgem regulates the gas and electricity sectors.

These regulatory bodies are independent from government and are responsible for setting the rules and standards that utility companies must follow. They also have the power to fine or revoke licenses of companies that fail to comply with the rules. They are also responsible for monitoring the performance of the companies and protecting the interests of consumers.

In addition to these regulatory bodies, there are also industry organizations that represent the utility companies and provide a forum for discussion and collaboration between the companies. These include the Water UK, the Energy Networks Association, and the Energy UK.

Consumer centric regulators

Furthermore, there are consumer organizations such as the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), Citizens Advice, and Energy Saving Trust that work to protect the rights of customers and provide advice and support to help them manage their utility bills and understand their rights.

The utility companies are also subject to oversight by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which is responsible for ensuring that competition is fair and that customers are not being taken advantage of.


Overall, the government sets the over arching policy framework, while independent regulatory bodies such as Ofwat, Ofgem and BEIS are responsible for setting the rules and standards that the utility companies must follow, monitoring their performance and protecting the interests of consumers. Industry organizations and consumer organizations also play a role in representing the interests of the companies and customers respectively

18th January 2023
Tom McNamara


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