New Market Entrant Guide to Codes of Practice Minimum Standards in Electricity and Gas

Published date02 June 2017
Energy SectorSustainability
New Market Entrant Guide to Codes
of Practice Minimum Standards in
Electricity and Gas (pursuant to
Licence Conditions 2.8-2.13 in Gas
and Conditions 30-35 in Electricity)
March 2017
About the Utility Regulator
The Utility Regulator is the independent non-ministerial government department
responsible for regulating Northern Ireland’s electricity, gas, water and sewerage
industries, to promote the short and long-term interests of consumers.
We are not a policy-making department of government, but we make sure that the
energy and water utility industries in Northern Ireland are regulated and developed
within ministerial policy set out in our statutory duties.
We are governed by a Board of Directors and are accountable to the Northern
Ireland Assembly through financial and annual reporting.
We are based at Queens House in the centre of Belfast. The Chief Executive leads a
management team of directors representing each of the key functional areas in the
organisation: Corporate Affairs; Network Regulation; Wholesale and Retail Markets.
Our Mission:
We will make a difference for consumers by listening,
innovating and leading
Our Vision:
Value and sustainability in energy and water.
Our Values
Be a best practice
Be a collaborative, co-operative and
learning team.
Be motivated and empowered to
make a difference.
Consumer Impact
This paper provides guidance for new market entrants on the minimum
standards in relation to the following Energy Supplier Codes of Practice, (which
suppliers have to develop themselves and have approved by the UR):
Code of Practice on Payment of Bills;
Code of Practice on Provision of Services for persons who are of
Pensionable Age or Disabled or Chronically Sick;
Code of Practice on Complaints Handling Procedure and;
Code of Practice on Services for Prepayment Meter Customers.
There are other supplier Codes in additional to those listed above.
The Marketing Code is active and all suppliers must be compliant with the
requirements set out in this Code.
Two new Codes, Bills and Statements Code and the Energy Theft Code, are
currently being developed. Both are at the second consultation stage and aim to
be finalised in 2017. Information on these Codes can be found on the UR
Market entrants must be compliant with these Codes, in addition to the four
Codes discussed in this paper.
Minimum standards on the Code of Practice for the Efficient Use of
Gas/Electricity have not yet been developed. The UR will inform suppliers when
such minimum standards are produced. In the meantime suppliers must ensure
that they have a Code of Practice on the Efficient Use of Gas/Electricity which
complies with the conditions of the Licence.
Those considering entry into the electricity or gas supply markets in Northern
The Codes of Practice minimum standards have already delivered a positive
impact for consumers in Northern Ireland. By providing this guidance note which
details the minimum standards expected of all energy suppliers, the Utility
Regulator hopes to inform prospective new energy suppliers of the necessary
Codes of Practice requirements.

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