Energy regulator considers TPI code of practice

adminUtilities Market Regulation

The energy regulator, Ofgem, is considering new ways to monitor Third-Party Intermediaries (TPIs) in the business retail market.

Ofgem Logo

Will Ofgem step in to regulate brokers and consultants? Does it even have the power to do so?

As part of its Retail Market Review, the energy regulator Ofgem is looking at ways to rid the business energy market of ‘rogue TPIs’.

There is currently no mandatory form of regulation for energy brokers, consultants and switching websites that serve the UK business market.

This means there are no official channels to seek redress with if you believe your broker or consultant has acted incorrectly.

There is a voluntary code of conduct run by the Utilities Intermediaries Association (UIA). We have been fully accredited members of the UIA since 2010.

Ofgem has already widened the scope of what defines a ‘micro-business’ this year, meaning an extra 160,000 organisations are more protected from energy suppliers’ confusing tariffs and contracts.

UIA BoatmarkAlways committed to fairness, transparency, and honesty
Utilities Savings is fully accredited by the Utilities Intermediaries Association, so we’ll always give you the best deal we can. Read more

Ofgem’s report will ultimately have one of three outcomes:

  • “Keeping the status quo”. Doing nothing, essentially.
  • Issuing non-binding guidance for TPIs. This equates to ‘optional rules’.
  • Issuing binding guidance for TPIs. This would be a mandatory code of practice enforced by Ofgem.

Gill Walton of the Utilities Intermediaries Association said that Ofgem’s stance is too “vague and unhelpful”:

“Ofgem do not appear to have any real idea of where they wish to take this and currently it is both vague and unhelpful to the market.”

“Indeed it is questionable as to whether this issue is even within their gift under current legislation, a question which has been asked but to date remains unanswered,” she added.

Ofgem’s Retail Market Review has been taking place since 2010, and the various stages of it are detailed on our handy guide here.

Sources: Can Ofgem code get rid of energy TPI cowboys? – Energylivenews | Third Party Intermediaries: exploration of issues and options – Ofgem