Ofgem, the UK gas and electricity regulator, has confirmed that it is investigating complaints against United Utilities concerning the tendering process for connecting customers. United Utilities is co-operating with the enquiry but could face a tough fine should the allegation, that it gave preference to its own people during tendering processes, be upheld.

A spokesman for Ofgem said, “We confirm that we have started an investigation using Ofgem’s powers under the Competition Act 1998. It is a fact-finding exercise and we will seek to establish whether there has been any infringement of the act.”

Ofgem seeks to ensure that tendering processes are conducted fairly, given that each electricity company has a regional monopoly.