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Do we need to redefine the social contract between utilities and consumers?

Karma Loveday says trust and confidence are necessary for all public-private utilities and asks whether the current relationship can be repaired

Utilities, because of their public-private nature, are highly visible to political and media scrutiny. Since privatisation in England and Wales, the social contract with utilities has been an agreement between investors and companies on the one hand and government (on behalf of society) operating through regulators on the other.

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