Over the last week, a number of anticipated publications were issued by Ofgem that hold the potential to make a significant change to the requirements on both domestic and non-domestic suppliers. The findings of Ofgem’s non-domestic market review were revealed, alongside a policy consultation on the options available to address the issues it discusses around consumer harms; and a second consultation focused on changes that can be made to improve customer service standards for domestic customers.
The non-domestic market review was initiated by the regulator after reports of consumer harm. The outcome has revealed that there have been some very high deemed contract rates and security deposits, as well as the acknowledgement of difficulties around change of tenancy processes and compliance with the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
Looking ahead, some of the non-domestic proposals from Ofgem indicate that it will:
- Expand the current standards of conduct in the licence to more than just microbusinesses.
- Improve transparency and the role that Third Party Intermediaries (TPIs) have to play in the way non-domestic contracts are arranged and clarity on the costs of their involvement.
On the domestic side, we have seen the regulator’s two main proposals:
- Improving the ease of contacting suppliers.
- Tailoring support to individual needs.
These are now outlined in greater detail in its statutory consultation, which would look to introduce a number of requirements into the licence, while Ofgem seeks further evidence on the cost impact the more prescriptive requirements may have on suppliers.
A decision was also made by Ofgem on further steps towards financial resilience for domestic suppliers. These will build on changes made already under the Financial Responsibility Principle in the supply licence, and will introduce a minimum capital requirement on domestic suppliers.
With the majority of its proposals, Ofgem is looking to implement these by winter this year, likely in the hopes that this winter will not be as tough on consumers across both the domestic and non-domestic sectors.
We keep track of all updates and developments to the supplier compliance landscape for both domestic and non-domestic suppliers through our Energy Supplier Compliance Portal.
We are also hosting our bi-annual supplier compliance webinar at 11am on 10 August to discuss some of the changes seen over the last six months, and what we can expect in the future. Click here to sign up to the webinar.
If you have any questions about our services or would like to sign up for a two-week trial to see our Compliance Portal, please contact Magdalena Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.