The paper suggests to look at the results achieved by the regulatory and structural reforms in the Italian electricity sector focusing on the role of the sectoral Regulatory Agency. The appraisal of its performance requires, first of all, to set a benchmark. Following the contributions of Baldwin and Cave (1999) and Levy and Spiller (1996) we define a set of criteria to evaluate regulation according to its two components: regulatory governance and regulatory incentives. As far as regulatory governance is concerned, Agency's actions are inquired to examine whether they are taken according to its mandate and whether they follow fair, transparent and accessible procedures. According to regulatory incentives, the Agency's performance is evaluated according to the efficiency of the results achieved by its decisions. The analysis is set in terms of: degree of competition achieved; price reduction; investment levels and new entrants; variety and quality of services. To separate the two components when evaluating the Regulatory Agency's performance allows us to point to the relevance of the specific institutional endowments - legislative, executive and judicial institutions - which characterize Italy.