npower: provisional order

Opened:
Sep 2018
Company:
npower
Regulation Area:
Sectoral Regulations

Proposal to revoke Confirmed Provisional Order

The Authority is today (13 March 2019) publishing its notice of proposal to revoke the confirmed provisional order imposed on npower dated 26 November 2018. The Authority is satisfied that the terms of the provisional order are no longer requisite for the purpose of ensuring npower’s compliance with SLC 32A, having established that npower has now complied with the direction requiring their participation in the Active Choice Collective Switch Autumn Trial ("the trial").

The Authority is giving this notice in accordance with section 26(6) of the Electricity Act and section 29(5) of the Gas Act.

Any representations or objections with respect to the proposed confirmation are to be made to the Authority by 15 April 2019.

Update

On 21 December 2018, the High Court issued its decision to dismiss npower’s claim for a judicial review on our decision that they should work with us on our ongoing trial of simplified collective switching. The High Court judgment can be found below.

Confirmation of Provisional Order

The Authority decided on 26 November 2018 to confirm, with the modifications set out in the notice of 31 October 2018, the provisional order dated 24 September 2018 (now known as the ‘confirmed provisional order’). In confirming the provisional order, the Authority is satisfied that npower is contravening or is likely to contravene the requirements of SLC 32A and the provisions made by the order are still requisite for the purpose of ensuring npower complies with this condition. The Authority’s reasons for making the decision to confirm the provisional order are set out in the document below.

Next Steps

The confirmed provisional order will remain in place against npower until and if the Authority revokes it, which the Authority may do if it is satisfied that npower is in full compliance with SLC 32A and the provisions of the provisional order in relation to the Collective Switch Trial.

Proposal to Confirm Provisional Order

On 31 October 2018, the Authority published its notice of proposal to confirm, with modifications, the provisional order dated 24 September 2018 imposed on npower following its provisional decision that npower is contravening or is likely to contravene the requirements of SLC 32A. The Authority proposed to confirm the order in the Notice of proposal to confirm the provisional order.

The Authority is giving notice that in accordance with section 26(1) of the Electricity Act and section 29(1) of the Gas Act:

  1. SLC 32A is the relevant condition and requirement for the purpose of the provisional order;
  2. The acts or omissions which, in the Authority’s opinion, constitute or would constitute contraventions of those conditions and requirements, and other factors which in the Authority’s opinion justify the confirmation of the provisional order are those set out in the Notice of proposal to confirm the provisional order.
  3. Any representations or objections with respect to the proposed confirmation were to be made to the Authority by 21 November 2018.  One representation was received and was duly considered.

Issue of Provisional Order

On 24 September 2018, The Gas and Electricity Markets Authority ('the Authority') issued a provisional order to npower Direct Limited, npower Limited, npower Northern Limited, npower Northern Supply Limited, npower Yorkshire Limited, npower Yorkshire Supply Limited (together, ‘npower’), in accordance with Section 25(2) of the Electricity Act 1989 and Section 28(2) of the Gas Act 1986. The Authority has been in discussions with npower regarding compliance with its obligations under:

Standard condition 32A of the gas and electricity supply licences (referred to as ‘SLC’ 32A).

The particular behaviour of concern giving rise to the provisional order is that npower had refused to comply with the direction requiring their participation in the Active Choice Collective Switch Autumn Trial ("the trial"). The trial is a flagship Ofgem policy in response to the recommendations made by the CMA following the Energy Market Investigation.

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