Produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills

The following Energy practice note produced in partnership with Herbert Smith Freehills provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Ofgem
  • What is Ofgem?
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Strategy and policy
  • Key objectives
  • Price control of monopoly activities
  • Delivering government programmes
  • Operating costs
  • Coordination with European energy regulatory bodies
  • Enforcement powers


What is Ofgem?

The Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA) regulates the power and down-stream onshore gas industries in Great Britain under the Utilities Act 2000 (UA 2000), amended on expiry of the implementation period, by the Electricity and Gas etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, SI 2019/530. GEMA acts through, and so is often referred to as, 'The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets' (Ofgem).

Companies involved in the generation, supply, transmission or distribution of electricity, or the supply, shipping, distribution or transmission of onshore gas in Great Britain, or the operation of an interconnector require a licence from Ofgem.

Roles and responsibilities

Ofgem's primary responsibility under the Gas Act 1986 (GA 1986) and Electricity Act 1989 (EA 1989) is to protect the interests of current and future consumers in relation to gas and electricity distributed through the pipeline infrastructure and the electricity distribution and transmission systems in Great Britain. Ofgem also has a broad range of regulatory, reporting, administrative and enforcement responsibilities in the energy sector, including:

  1. administering government functions, through its separate E-service business unit, relating to low carbon and social initiatives including the outgoing Renewables Obligation (RO), Feed-in Tariffs (FiT) and the Renewable Heat Incentives (RHI) (among others)

  2. implementing Electricity Market Reform including regulating the electricity transmission operator, National Grid Electricity Transmission, administering the Capacity Markets (CM), Contracts for Differences (CfD) and backstop

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