Application by Utilities ADR to be a certified ADR provider in the energy sector: Ofgem decision following responses to our open letter

Publication date
21st March 2018
Information types
Policy areas

Ofgem is the competent authority for approving redress schemes under the Consumer, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 and the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015 (‘ADR Regulations’) in line with approval criteria.

We received an application from a potential provider to be approved under the ADR Regulations and sought views on it.

In its response to our Open letter CDRL indicated, in a development on previous correspondence, that Utilities ADR sought certification under the ADR Directive to cover non-regulated energy complaints only. Our understanding of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Regulations 2015 is that Ofgem only has the ability to certify an ADR scheme in respect of the total area covered by its regulatory responsibility. For this reason we do not consider that we are legally able to provide certification in the way it has been requested by Utilities ADR and therefore are not intending to consider this application further.

We note that Consumer Dispute Resolution Ltd, who run Utilities ADR, is already certified by Trading Standards for the purposes of complaints relating to non-regulated providers of goods and services. In such circumstances, even if Ofgem had the power to provide certification in the limited way which has been requested, we would need to consider whether it would be appropriate to proceed with a certification which overlaps with one already granted by a competent body and may consider whether processing such an application would constitute the best use of Ofgem’s limited resources.