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Citizens Advice response to Ofgem’s consultation on new Confidence Code requirements

15 August 2017

Response to Ofgem’s consultation on new Code requirements [ 110 kb]

Citizens Advice continues to have concerns about the potential impact of the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) remedy to remove the Whole of Market (WoM) requirement.  

As a result, Citizens Advice is supportive of Ofgem’s rationale for undertaking an intermediate step, before consulting on the full removal of the CMA’s WoM code remedy for price comparison websites (PCWs). We recognise that the regulator has carried out a comprehensive assessment of the potential risks and benefits as part of the Impact Assessment and compared to continuing with the status quo.

Citizens Advice supports Ofgem’s proposals that aim to ensure consumers understand the results they are seeing and that they can trust the results shown on accredited PCWs. This approach will help ensure consumers do not make switching or searching decisions based on erroneous assumptions. We strongly agree with the decision that consumers should be able are able to easily select the Wide Results page under the partial implementation of CMA’s Whole of Market remedy.

We concur that is it essential for Ofgem to closely monitor the changes resulting from the decision on the partial implementation of the CMA’s Whole of Market remedy and the new Code requirements when they take effect. It is important that the right measures are in place to counteract any negative impact on consumers.  If it becomes apparent that the consumer experience has deteriorated then appropriate consideration should be given, potentially not implementing the CMA remedy or returning to the previous Code requirements.