In the 1980s the energy market was owned and regulated by the Government and tightly controlled. 

THEN... 1980s

Tightly regulated

Government ownership and
control meant tight regulation
of the energy industry.

Regulation by OFGEM is
designed to protect consumers
and enhance competition
between suppliers.

Regulation by OFGEM

NOW... 2010s

Regulated to deliver competition

THEN... 1980s

Government owned

The UK's energy businesses
were nationalised utilities
owned by the government.

Today energy providers are large
private companies, traded on the
stock exchange in the UK and
abroad.

Privately owned

NOW... 2010s

Privately owned

THEN... 1980s

No choice of supplier

There was little competition
between suppliers, and businesses
and consumers had to buy energy
from their local electricity or gas boards.

Deregulation and competition has
opened-up access to a wide choice
of different energy suppliers.

Wide choice of suppliers

NOW... 2010s

Wide choice of suppliers

THEN... 1980s

Few tariffs to choose from

Customers were given
little or no choice over
their energy tariffs.

Today energy providers are large
private companies, traded on the
stock exchange in the UK and
abroad.

Wide range of tariffs

NOW... 2010s

Wide range of tariffs

THEN... 1980s

Customer service by phone or post

In the time before the internet
and 24 hour contact centres, many
transactions were carried out by post.

Customer service is now available
when it's convenient for 
customers - online and over
the phone.

Customer service by phone and email

NOW... 2010s

Customer service by phone and online

THEN... 1980s

Energy sourced domestically

With supplies of North Sea gas and
a growing nuclear industry, much of
the UK's energy came from
domestic sources.

With supplies from the North Sea
dwindling, energy providers are
increasingly competing for energy
on world markets.

Energy sourced on world markets

NOW... 2010s

Energy sourced on world markets

Competitive market

Today, energy is a traded commodity that's bought and sold on open markets throughout the world.
With regulation designed to promote competition, the energy supply market in Britain is one of the most
competitive in the world, And there is a range of providers to choose from.


Every week we provide over 600 business energy customers with quotes online.

Unstable prices

In the past, energy prices were relatively stable. For over 30 years the UK benefitted from energy on
its doorstep - the North Sea. But, as supplies have dwindled, we've had to look elsewhere.

Other pages in this section

Other pages in this section

Did you find this page useful?


Did you find this page useful?

Yes or no, we'd love to hear your feedback so we can make this website better.



Send us your feedback

Social mediaFacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogle Plus