Three key trends to look out for in the TPI sector

Our latest quarterly update of our TPI report continues to highlight the many themes taking place in the market. This report focuses on the developments around regulation in the TPI and business market as a whole and the CMA’s price transparency remedy. It also looks at the changing way the TPI sector views the water market.

One: Developments around TPI regulation in the market

This quarter saw Ofgem launch its strategic review of the microbusiness market stating that the smallest businesses cannot effectively engage with the current, complex market and the cost of this disengagement is higher for microbusinesses than disengaged domestic customers. The strategic review is scheduled to run throughout the course of its 2019-2021 Forward Work Programme, with Ofgem intending to present its updated position and next steps in winter 2019. Meanwhile, Electralink announced that its TPI code of practice is planned to be launched in the summer of 2019 with the aim of the code being to provide benefits for the non-domestic energy industry and businesses operating in the market.

Two: CMA’s Price transparency remedy

Another theme highlighted in our quarterly update is around the Competition and Market Authorities’ Price Transparency Remedy. This stated that suppliers should display prices prominently on their website or via a third-party platform in order to make it easier for microbusinesses to compare energy prices. Anecdotal evidence from TPIs suggests that in some instances, businesses have reported finding it difficult to use the tools on supplier’s websites and in some cases do not know they exist, limiting uptake. Ofgem picked up on this in its microbusiness review, recognising that pricing is still far from fully transparent and companies hold significantly more key information than the customers they serve.

Three: Changing mindset for TPIs on water industry

Recently we have seen TPIs approaching the water industry in a different way. Due to the little money that can be made in this sector for TPIs and the small level of savings that can be made for the customer, TPIs are moving away from water procurement. Despite these changes in mindset from some, other TPIs continue to embrace the opportunities in the water market and have moved into offering additional services such as water audits and billing validation. In these instances, some TPIs are using water procurement and water services as a route to market by attracting customers from TPIs that are not offering these services.

About Third Party Intermediaries in the Business and Industrial Energy Supply Markets

Third Party Intermediaries in the Business and Industrial Energy Supply Markets maps the business energy supply markets and the role of TPIs in them. It is a subscription service including an annual baseline report and quarterly updates. It also profiles over 200 TPIs and ranks them using the Cornwall Energy Indexes for SME and I&C sectors

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