The code of practice for energy brokers and third party intermediaries (TPIs) proposed by Ofgem is being ditched – for now.
The code is a set of standards that sets the benchmark for responsible, high quality TPIs who act as intermediaries between business customers and suppliers. It is supposed to protect business energy users from rogue brokers using unprofessional and misleading tactics.
It’s had a long gestation period with Ofgem talking about its importance to ELN two years ago.
The code was referred as part of a wider review of the energy market, to the competition watchdog later that year. They found “inconclusive evidence” of TPI malpractice concerning mico-businesses.
The regulator therefore postponed its work on the TPI code and told brokers to take on voluntary principles to treat businesses fairly.
Ofgem told ELN: “We have recently issued a call for evidence to gather more information about how TPIs treat non-domestic customers. Once we have collected this evidence, we will consider our position in the spring.
“In the meantime, we will continue to monitor TPI behaviour and have powers to enforce the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations.”
Suppliers currently have to meet standards of conduct for their dealings with micro businesses, which requires them to treat them fairly on billing, contract issues and switching. The rules are backed by Ofgem’s powers to levy fines if necessary.