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Utility companies: electricity industry

Research guide

Published: 07 Mar 2019 Updated: 16 Nov 2022 Update History

Exclusive content
Access to our exclusive resources is for specific groups of students, subscribers and members.

Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.

We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com.

Trends and forecasts

European Power and Utilities Report
Quarterly report published by KPMG on the European power and utilities sector. Areas covered include prices and margins, financial performance of European power and utilities companies, regulatory developments, mergers and acquisitions and future outlook for the sector.

Energy Outlook
Annual publication from BP projecting long-term trends in energy production, trade and consumption around the world. The full report, individual region and country factsheets and Excel data tables are available to download.

Market research

Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis. 

Some free information is available from the following market research specialists, ranging from industry news to executive summaries of the reports.

A full listing of reference products and research reports on the production, collection and distribution of electricity from Euromonitor, with a range of global, country and company level reports. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.

Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors, including electricity production, transmission, distribution and trade. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available. The company also produces global industry research reports.

Report from Mintel covering the UK electricity industry. The website includes a summary and the option to view a contents listing.

Industry news

The Library can carry out industry news searches for ICAEW members and ACA students.

Statistics on the UK

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy compiles annual, quarterly and monthly statistics on a wide range of topics within the electricity industry, including:

  • supply and consumption;
  • fuel use;
  • plant capacity;
  • plant loads, demand and efficiency;
  • the number of power stations.

Ofgem (Office of Gas and Electricity Markets)

Ofgem regularly compiles various data and statistical reports giving comparisons for:

  • electricity;
  • competition;
  • energy;
  • UK electricity consumption;
  • UK electricity consumption by region;
  • network statistics; and
  • industry milestones.

Office for National Statistics

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:

  • number of enterprises;
  • total turnover;
  • approximate gross value added at basic prices;
  • total purchases of goods, materials and services;
  • total employment – average during the year;
  • total employment costs;
  • total net capital expenditure;
  • total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
  • total net capital expenditure – disposals;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.

The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:

  • Manufacture of electric motors, generators, transformers and electricity distributions and control apparatus (27.1)
    See Section C: Manufacturing
  • Electric power generation, transmission and distribution (35.1)
    See Section D: Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
  • Construction of utility projects for electricity and telecommunications (42.22)
    See Section F: Construction

Statistics on Europe


Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover or gross premiums written
  • production value
  • value added at factor cost
  • gross operating surplus
  • wages and salaries
  • social security costs
  • gross investment in tangible goods
  • gross investment in land
  • gross investment in existing buildings and structures
  • gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
  • gross investment in machinery and equipment
  • number of employees
  • number of persons employed per enterprise.

Statistics within the database are available for:

  • Manufacture of electric motors, generators, transformers and electricity distributions and control apparatus (C271)
  • Electric power generation, transmission and distribution (D351)
  • Construction of utility projects for electricity and telecommunications (F4222)

See database section ‘SBS – industry and construction’.

Global statistics

International Energy Agency

The International Energy Agency (IEA) provides statistics on electricity by country and region. Figures include:

  • production by source
  • total production
  • domestic supply
  • transformation
  • energy industry own use
  • final consumption.

The IEA also publishes several annual statistical reports on the sector, including Electricity Information. Each report contains detailed country-by-country data and analysis of historical and current market trends. They can be purchased from the OECD and IEA bookshops.

">IEA bookshops.



BP produces an annual Statistical Review of World Energy containing detailed data on reserves, prices, trade, production and consumption of different energy sources broken down by country, region and sector. Historical data is also available to download. The report covers oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, hydroelectricity, renewable energy and primary energy.

UN Industrial Commodity Statistics Database

The UN provides statistics on the quantity of goods produced by country in the Industrial Commodity Statistics Database.

Figures are available for:

  • Electrical energy (17)


The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has compiled and published World Statistics on Mining and Utilities 2018, providing data by country on the production and distribution of electricity.



Average employment costs within this sector are available from Table 14 of the Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for:

  • energy plant operatives; and
  • managers in mining and energy.

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.

Legislation and regulation


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has a section on engineering, which includes latest regulations affecting this industry.

Beyond Brexit: food, environment, energy and health
House of Lords select committee report March 2021) on what the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) means for food trade, fisheries, environment and climate change, energy and carbon pricing, chemicals and health.

Impact of Brexit on the energy sector
Publication from law firm Norton Rose Fulbright (February 2021) on the impact of Brexit on the energy sector. Covers a range of areas including nuclear power, renewable energy and gas.

Trading electricity with the EU
Guidance from GOV.UK on how cross-border trading and supply of electricity will be affected from 2021 when the transition period after Brexit ends.

Import and export

Trade Tariff

The Trade Tariff is a useful Gov.uk database listing tax, duties and licenses for the import and export of goods between the UK and other countries. The database is searchable by product or commodity code and results can be filtered by date and country. Information also includes links to relevant conditions and regulations.

See import and export information for:

UK key players, ratios and trends

A range of reports on this sector are available to ICAEW members and ACA students via the Library.


Reports on this sector can be supplied by the Library to ICAEW members and ACA students.

UK benchmarking

The Library can supply benchmarking reports to ICAEW members and ACA students.

Trade bodies

Trade journals and publications

Trade journals, B2B magazines and specialist consumer magazines are another useful source of news and statistics.

Further resources

Energy industry guide: British Library
British Library industry guides provide listings of resources for industry-specific information, including print directories and materials held by the British Library.

Contact the British Library Business and IP Centre for more information.

Further reading

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post or email through our document supply service.

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