Drawing from the most recent work on economic regulation, this book introduces readers to the main principles and examines how economic regulation is applied in four key public utility industries - electricity, gas, water and telecommunications. Written for students and practitioners with little prior knowledge of economic regulation, this is an accessible, non-technical entry point to the subject area, exploring the fundamental questions: Why do we regulate? What are alternatives to regulation? Which institutions are involved in regulation? What have been the impacts of regulation? Readers will gain a clear understanding of the basic principles that apply to all regulated sectors, as well as the regulatory choices that reflect the specific economic and physical characteristics of different industries. Case studies demonstrate connections between regulatory theory and practice, and extensive references provide readers with resources for more in-depth study.