‘We want collaboration, not competition’

Third party intermediaries (TPIs) and energy suppliers need to work more closely together. That was one of the main messages from the panel debate today at the Energy Live Consultancy […]

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By george marshall

Third party intermediaries (TPIs) and energy suppliers need to work more closely together.

That was one of the main messages from the panel debate today at the Energy Live Consultancy Conference (ELCC) at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

The debate spanned a range of important energy issues, including the impending deregulation of the water market, the impacts of last year’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report, possible competition arising between suppliers and TPIs and the possible effects of Brexit upon the industry.

Gillian Noble, Sales Director at ScottishPower believes increased collaboration is needed between power companies and TPIs.

She said: “What I think I’d like to do is see us work a bit closer together and it is difficult to just get the right balance.

“When we see tenders come out that go a bit deeper than ‘what is your energy price’, ‘what is the management fee’, ‘what’s your risk and imbalance’, actually that we would have the opportunity to respond to full rounded tender and I’d like to think there’s a time we could come together to do that.”

Tony McHardy, Corporate Director at Water Plus, discussed water companies moving to provide a wider range of services and how that could change interactions with other companies.

He said: “Just in looking at some of the products and services there may be some grey areas that we wouldn’t set out to compete, we would set out to collaborate to try and dovetail to deliver those services, the correct services to the customer.

EY Partner Rob Doepel said the year following the CMA report had been disappointing and political risk had increased over the period.

He said: “I think there was a lot of disappointment in many ways that there wasn’t further action taken.

“But one thing I would say, is what’s happened in the last year, is I think the political risk has increased – already we’ve had some indications around things like a price cap, regardless of any CMA outcome.”