The Utility Regulators: The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, the Water Services Regulation Authority, and the Office of Rail Regulation
This chapter applies the arguments developed in Chapter 1 the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat), and the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). It discusses their reform after the 1998 review of utility regulation, and describes their functions. Their developing relations with government are outlined, for example in relation to climate change and social policy where partnership with governance rather than independence is developing. There is analysis of their duties, particularly in relation to consumers and discussion of their major role as economic regulators, notably in promoting competition. There is also discussion of their role in protecting human rights and in promoting social solidarity, notably through work on sustainability. Finally, there is a discussion of their procedures, in particular those for consultation, and of Parliamentary scrutiny and representation of the consumer interest.
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