Regulation by or on behalf of the State plays an essential role in ensuring that economic activity by individual economic actors in consistent with wider national policy objectives, including consumer protection, environmental quality, provision of essential services, competition, and health and safety. As part of the Action Plan for Jobs 2012, Forfás undertook a study to identify changes in the operation of sectoral regulators that would enhance cost competitiveness. The sectors examined in the report are energy, telecommunications, transport, waste and water. The report also assesses Ireland’s cost performance in these sectors relative to our key competitor countries and the drivers of costs, in particular what drivers are within and outside our control in each of the sectors studied. The study finds that in many cases policy actions have a more significant impact on cost competitiveness than regulatory changes. There are, however, a number of areas where changes to the operation of the sectoral regulators could have a real and positive impact on cost competitiveness. These changes relate to the focus of regulatory mandates, the level and adequacy of resources, enforcement powers and sanctions available to the regulators, and the efficiency of the appeal process.