Confidence Code for energy price comparison sites
The Citizens Advice service agrees that the proposed Code drafting reflects the policy changes of the decision document published in January 2015. The Citizens Advice service also shares the regulator’s aim to ensure that the Code reflects recent and potential future market changes so it remains fit for purpose. The decision to incorporate the guidance notes into the draft Code requirements seems sensible, and we agree that it should simplify and aid the readability of the document.
The Citizens Advice service would like to see an Ofgem-run accreditation scheme for all domestic TPIs accompanied by a new licence requirement on suppliers requiring them to only deal with accredited providers. Unless there is a robust incentive on Price Comparison Websites (PCWs) and other related TPIs, these providers can choose to leave what is currently a voluntary Code. We believe this approach would deliver the best outcome for consumers, as it will ensure all of the PCWs, including the largest companies, are brought within the accreditation scheme. The disintegration of the Code would drastically reduce consumer protection on energy PCWs – which is clearly not in the long term interests of energy consumers.