We want consumers to get the right information, in the right form and at the right time, to enable them to understand their costs and consumption, to access and assess their options, and to take action where appropriate. Suppliers should have room, and be incentivised, to innovate and improve their communications, so consumers, including those in vulnerable situations, get truly engaging, informative and accessible communications with information tailored to their characteristics and preferences.
To achieve this, we are reforming the rules governing domestic supplier-customer communications. In May 2018 we proposed to introduce five new principles – enforceable rules that place responsibility on suppliers to deliver certain consumer outcomes – that confirm and consolidate the policy intent of our existing rules. We also proposed to remove a large number of detailed prescriptive rules. These proposals, alongside existing principles-based rules, are intended to provide strong consumer protection while giving suppliers greater freedom to determine how they meet the diverse needs of their customers.
This statutory consultation sets out our final proposed package of reforms to the supply licence rules relating to customer communications. This ambitious package builds on our previous proposals and stakeholder feedback. It includes a suite of five new narrow principles (proposed in our policy consultation) to supplement the existing Standards of Conduct and SLC 25 informed choices principles. We also propose to remove prescription in priority areas such as the Bill, Price Increase Notice and Statement of Renewal Terms, and remove the requirement for suppliers to provide Annual Statements altogether.