TPI – Code

TPI – CODE
While Government Energy Regulator OFGEM as well as the suppliers recognise the important role Third Party Intermediaries (TPI’s) have in the non-domestic energy market ( they facilitate the majority of contracts (up to 85% of large industrial contracts) there have been calls to regulate that sector to increase the trust consumers can have in the Sector.

OFGEM is currently working on a TPI code of practice which will become mandatory.

Based on the work to date, Ofgem has identified a number of principles which we expect all TPIs working in the non-domestic sector should follow. They would underpin any possible future regulatory interventions.

Principle Example of TPI behaviour
A. Honesty You should identify yourself, the services being offered and any organisations you represent (directly and indirectly) clearly at the start of any interaction with a customer and obtain their consent before any marketing
B. Respect You must at all times respect the consumer’s wishes and should cease the current contact and avoid future contact if the customer requests
C. Accuracy You should make the customer aware of how much of the market you searched to obtain the offers you propose to them and ensure all offers are accurately presented
D. Transparency Before obtaining their agreement to the contract, you should make the customer aware of all principal terms of the energy contract, including the services you provide and how the customer will pay (directly or indirectly) for those services.
E. Customer-focused You should record and investigate all complaints fully and act quickly to put things right when you make a mistake
F. Professionalism You should ensure staff are adequately trained for dealing with customers and adhere to these principles

 Alpine Utilities Ltd prides itself that we have adhered to these principles since the early days of our business long before any discussion about TPI conduct has started:

A: We have always made it clear that we are independent brokers, checking prices from various suppliers and the customer is free to choose whether take up our offer or not.

B: We would never intimidate any potential or former customer who requests to cease dealing with us.

C: We always present the customer a list of suppliers and tariffs we can offer and make a recommendation based on that list.

Our quotes include all fixed and variable rates that are part of the contract and calculate the total cost for each offer based on expected annual consumption.

We also always included customer’s current pay (as recently required by OFGEM to be displayed on the supplier’s renewal letter).

We will not recommend the longest contract term if we don’t believe that’s in the customer’s interest.

D: We always make it clear to the customer that an element of commission may be included in the price quote.

We also enclose supplier’s principle terms and their full T&C’s with our quote and will make the customer aware of any relevant conditions.

E: Any issues are being dealt with swiftly as soon as we find out of them even before the customer is aware of them.

F: Negotiations, quotes and consultations are being carried out by our senior consultant and director who has over 15 years experience in the business.

Link to TPI Factsheet: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications-and-updates/third-party-intermediaries-what-your-business-needs-know

Alpine Utilities has also signed up to Eon’s http://www.tpicodeofpractice.co.uk/the-code-of-practice