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Chart of the Week


Back to the future: Non-compliance revisited

Emma Bill Lead Research Analyst

In this 'Chart of the Week,' we look at areas of the supply licence that have been subject to compliance engagement from Ofgem from 2017 to 2020. We focus specifically on recurring issues including the rules around protecting prepayment meter (PPM) customers, complaints, and treating customers fairly. This year we have seen Ofgem confirm the closure of a case involving failure to comply with Standard Licence Condition (SLC) 0, an overarching principle for the fair treatment of customers (Figure 1). This is the second infringement of SLC0 by a supplier in as many years. In this instance, the supplier had not provided information regarding deemed contracts, including principle terms and welcome packs. In explaining the outcome of its investigation, Ofgem stated sufficient information provision is needed to enable customers to make informed choices about their energy supply. Another common area that Ofgem has undertaken compliance action is suppliers’ treatment of PPM customers. These violations have included poor customer experience as a result of changes to how PPM customers top-up, breaches of the PPM cap and failure to provide PPM as a payment option to its customers. These issues often disproportionately affect vulnerable customers for which Ofgem has a specific remit to protect. In addition to this, four suppliers were subject to Ofgem’s compliance engagement in 2018 in relation to their complaint performance. Seven others were ordered to come up with complaint handling improvement plans, though were not subject to a compliance case. Mass engagement like this confirms Ofgem’s desire ...

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