How we work
Our aim is to make a positive difference for energy consumers. This aim underpins all aspects of our regulatory activity and the way that we work with stakeholders.
Our approach to regulation
We continually seek to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our approach. This includes setting out the costs and benefits, as well as the social and environmental impacts, of all major decisions.
We regulate only where necessary to protect consumers’ interests and we carefully consider whether any regulatory requirement we are proposing to introduce is proportionate and necessary to protect consumers.
Key to how we work is our responsibility, subject to our Enforcement Guidelines, to carry out investigations into company behaviour when we believe they may have breached a condition of their licence, or have breached the requirements of consumer protection or competition legislation.
We have the power to require disclosure of information, and to impose fines and enforcement orders on companies where we find that a breach has occurred (apart from breaches of consumer law where penalties cannot be imposed).
You can read details of our closed and current investigations, and of enforcement actions we have taken, in our section on Investigations.
Working for consumers
As a regulator we work closely with suppliers to improve their performance in several areas including how they:
- handle consumer complaints
- fulfil their social obligations
- provide support for vulnerable consumers.
We carry out a wide range of research and publish reports and data to explain our findings. Much of this takes place through our Consumer First research programme – you can read more about this in our section on how we engage on consumer issues.
We have grouped our regulatory activity around four themes which you can read about in more detail in the following pages: