RECCo publish Third-Party Code of Practice

Today, we have published the Third-Party Intermediary Code of Practice (TPI CoP) for non-domestic energy brokers and aggregators. This Code of Practice has been developed following workshops held with TPIs and Suppliers earlier this year and subsequent engagement with both these groups, consumers and other interested parties.

Consultation process

In addition to the workshops and bilateral discussions held earlier in the year, the draft TPI CoP was published for consultation, closing on the 15th of September.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to engage in our workshops and provide feedback to our consultation.

We are pleased to confirm that there was a strong consensus on the need for a document such as the TPI CoP to raise standards and ensure that they are applied by all parties, ensuring a level playing field.  We have reflected upon comments and suggestions on the draft text and incorporated them into the TPI CoP as appropriate.

Some respondents did suggest that the consultation period should be extended to allow for the engagement of a number of parties who may not have been aware of the consultation. Whilst we acknowledge that wide participation in the consultation process is desirable, we were encouraged to have received fifteen responses covering TPIs, suppliers and other stakeholders.  We have not had any submissions since the 15th of September deadline, and it is not certain that any further responses would have been received had we formally extended that date. We consider that proceeding with the publication of the TPI CoP at this stage will help raise awareness of it and, as importantly, place the document under the change management procedures of the REC.

We will continue to consider comments on the TPI CoP and, if appropriate, seek to incorporate them into a future version, either as part of the next scheduled phase of its development as set out below or as an update ahead of any change to its status.

The published version 1.0 of the TPI CoP can be accessed here.  We have also published a  summary of the responses to the consultation and our views on them here.

Is the TPI CoP Mandatory?

We are developing an assurance and accreditation framework that will allow the TPI CoP to become a mandatory requirement. However, we are publishing the TPI CoP at this stage as a non-binding Category 3 part of the Retail Energy Code (REC) to:

  • Raise awareness of the TPI CoP and allow parties to better prepare to meet its requirements;
  • Allow TPIs to be early adopters of the TPI CoP principles voluntarily and improve standards of service for their non-domestic consumers sooner than may be possible under a mandatory scheme; and,
  • Gain further insights that will better inform the assurance and accreditation framework requirements, which will continue to be developed and submitted to Ofgem for approval as part of REC Change Proposal R0137.

As part of R0137, we propose to introduce a requirement that non-domestic suppliers only use a TPI that adheres to the principles set out in the TPI CoP.  The accreditation framework will provide a means of efficiently and robustly demonstrating each TPI’s adherence to the principles contained in the TPI CoP rather than requiring each Supplier to undertake individual audits.  We will continue to engage with Suppliers, TPIs and other stakeholders in the development of the assurance and accreditation scheme.

How do you sign up to the CoP?

We will publish and maintain a register of TPIs who are willing to self-certify that they will voluntarily adhere to the principles set out in the TPI CoP.

Any TPI wishing to be added to the voluntary register may apply here.

If Ofgem accepts Change Proposal R0137, we will contact all TPI organisations who have registered as being part of an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme, as voluntarily adhering to the TPI CoP, or otherwise contact RECCo to receive updates on our proposals and provide notice of the date the mandatory requirements will come into effect. That notification will also detail any transitional arrangements that may apply, as will be developed as part of Change Proposal R0137.

At this stage, we cannot provide a firm timetable for the development, acceptance and implementation of R0137, but we would not expect this to be any sooner than Q1 2024/25.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about the CoP, please get in touch with enquiries@recmanager.co.uk

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