Ofgem scraps rulebook on supplier-customer contact

Ofgem is planning to scrap “prescriptive” rules on how energy suppliers must communicate with their customers. In an open letter to industry stakeholders, the regulator says it plans to reform […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Ofgem is planning to scrap “prescriptive” rules on how energy suppliers must communicate with their customers.

In an open letter to industry stakeholders, the regulator says it plans to reform the rules relating to what, when and how it expects suppliers to communicate with customers.

It suggests relying more on principles rather than detailed rules, which it believes will provide consumers with “comprehensive protection”, promote innovation and competition as well as put responsibility on suppliers to deliver positive customer outcomes.

That will involve relying more on Ofgem’s Standards of Conduct.

However, areas where the regulator feels there is “only one acceptable way of doing things” and where a clear minimum standard is expected, it will retain prescriptive customer communication rules.

Neil Barnes, Associate Partner, Consumers and Competition said: “We no longer consider that having a significant volume of prescriptive customer communications rules in our supply licences is the best way to deliver positive outcomes for consumers.

“While there will continue to be areas where prescription is appropriate, we have increasing evidence that our existing prescriptive framework cannot keep up with market developments. The market has evolved and so too must our rulebook.”