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Electricity Authority proposes 180 day ban on win-backs


Electricity Authority proposes 180 day ban on retailers trying to win back customers

The Electricity Authority is consulting on a proposal to ban retailer initiated saves and win-backs for 180 days after a customer switches retailer.

The Authority has released a consultation paper seeking feedback from the industry on the proposed change, which the regulator expects will increase retail competition and innovation and give consumers more information to help them choose a retailer that best suits them.

“We have a competitive electricity industry, but this will do more to encourage innovation and increase competitive pressure. This is about setting a foundation so all retailers – large and small, old and new – have equal opportunity to compete for customers. This proposal puts the pressure on retailers to fight for their customers and offer them something new and different,” says James Stevenson-Wallace, Chief Executive at the Authority.

The Authority considers that on balance a ban, with a post implementation review of the impacts after two years, would best promote competition and the efficient operation of the electricity industry for the long-term benefit of consumers.

The proposal does not place any restrictions on consumers wanting to shop around, they are still free to change suppliers to suit their needs.

“The Authority has been reviewing saves and win-backs as part of its wider programme of work and has sought advice on this issue from several different groups. We are appreciative of the work our Market Development Advisory Group and the EPR Panel have done on this, which has allowed us to propose a next step quickly.

We considered all the advice we received and exercised our independence to create a proposal that will be an investment in the competitiveness of the retail electricity market.”

The Government also supported the Electricity Price Review’s recommendation to impose a ban or moratorium on win backs followed by a full evaluation of the impacts on consumers.

The Authority is keen to hear from all interested parties and encourages submissions. The Saves and Win-backs Code Amendment: Consultation Paper 2019 is on the Authority’s website.

Submissions close at 5pm on Tuesday 3 December.

The Authority’s Board will deliver its final decision by early 2020.

Ends


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