Final decision: Standards of conduct for suppliers in the retail energy market

Licence modification

In regulating the retail energy market we have committed, over time, to rely more on enforceable principles rather than detailed rules about how suppliers should run their businesses. We are committed to this regulatory approach, and consider it will provide consumers with comprehensive protection in a fast-changing market, promote innovation and competition and put responsibility firmly on suppliers to deliver positive consumer outcomes.

The principles-based domestic and non-domestic Standards of Conduct licence conditions are the foundation stones of the supply licences and require that suppliers treat customers fairly. Over the past year, we have been considering how these licence conditions might need to be modified in order to ensure they are a robust substitute for unnecessarily prescriptive rules we remove from the supply licences in the future.

Having consulted stakeholders extensively on the detail of our Standards of Conduct proposals, we are now publishing our final decision. This confirms amendments to the tests and thresholds within the domestic and non-domestic Standards of Conduct so they have a sharper focus on consumer outcomes. For the domestic Standards of Conduct only, we are also adding two new broad principles that require suppliers to enable consumers to make informed choices and to have special regard for consumers in vulnerable situations. 

We have also decided to make changes to the information gathering powers we have under the supply licences. These changes will allow us to monitor the market more effectively as we rely more on principles.