Ofgem initiated the TPI code of practice project to impose a mandatory code for TPIs in order to improve standards and customer experience. Last year, they consulted on options and the majority of respondents supported the code of practice. Ofgem suggested that this could be enforced through a licence condition on suppliers, to only work with TPIs who adhere to the code. The next step was to be a consultation on detailed governance arrangements of this option.
However, since then the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has identified microbusiness customers and the role of TPIs as areas for further examination as partÂ of their review into the energy market. For this reason, Ofgem has decided to delay the planned consultation of the TPI code of practise until there is â€œgreater clarity, so we [Ofgem] can determine the appropriate level of interventionâ€.
Ofgem has stated the following reasons for their change in plans:
â€¢ To reduce regulatory uncertainty by clarifying external conditions before finalising their proposals for consultation
â€¢ To reduce the burden on industry by not asking for consultation responses where there is uncertainty over the approach and direction
â€¢ To ensure that any proposed regulation takes into account the views of all stakeholders, (including the outputs from the CMA investigation), and delivers on their strategic customer outcomes.
Ofgem has recognised the need to define the standards they expect TPIs to meet, so working with the Citizens Advice Bureau and a number of basic principles which all TPIs are expected to follow have been developed.