Ofgem outlines what’s fair game for TPIs

Ofgem has sought to reassure brokers and third party intermediaries (TPIs) who want to get involved with a Big Energy Saving Week  that they won’t be breaching the rules of […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Ofgem has sought to reassure brokers and third party intermediaries (TPIs) who want to get involved with a Big Energy Saving Week  that they won’t be breaching the rules of selling to homeowners.

In the last week of October, Citizens Advice is running Big Energy Saving Week, a national campaign to help people cut their fuel bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to.

Ofgem said it welcomes the role which TPIs can play, along with suppliers, to get customers interested, as long as they follow advice about how to advertise both face-to-face and during telephone calls.

Under one of its rules (the Standard Licence Condition 25), TPIs must make sure customers can make “well informed decisions” about energy contracts. All information telesales or salespeople give must be “complete and accurate”, easily understood and must not “mislead” people.

Colin Sausman, Partner for Retail Markets & Research at Ofgem said in a letter to the industry there may be some face-to-face TPI activities which fall outside the rules, one example being not-for-profit organisations which use publicly available information and have no financial interest in whether a customer switches.

He wrote: “We do not consider SLC25 to have the effect of prohibiting TPIs from engaging with customers face-to-face to offer “across the market” comparisons – if appropriate systems and processes are in place.”

The Big Energy Saving Week drive is funded by the big six energy companies and supported by consumer groups. It comes on the back of the success of the first Big Energy Week in January this year which gave advice to more than 75,000 people.