Best Practice Framework Consultation Proposals: Code of Practice for Consumers in Vulnerable Circumstances


Consultation opened on . Closing date at 17:00.


A best practice framework consultation on a mandatory Code of Practice for Consumers in Vulnerable Circumstances.

The overall aim of the Best Practice Framework programme is to establish best practice principles and measures which energy and water suppliers and distribution network companies (DNO’s) in NI must implement to better identify, support and protect consumers in vulnerable circumstances.

The main delivery mechanism for this programme is through a new mandatory Code of Practice for Consumers in Vulnerable Circumstances. Through development of this code of practice we aim to address the gaps and inconsistencies in the regulatory frameworks between DNOs and suppliers and across regulated sectors in regard to the support and protections for consumers in vulnerable circumstances.

The new code of practice will also ensure that the support and protections offered to NI consumers are consistent, adequately promoted and reflective of best practice exemplars seen in Great Britain and across other jurisdictions and regulated sectors.

This paper follows on from a consultation on our proposed approach to the delivery, content, monitoring and reporting for the Best Practice Framework programme.

We invite comment on any or all of the proposed decisions set out in the paper. The Best Practice Framework and how to respond is provided via the Citizen Space online consultation tool. 

Further information:

  • Copies of all documents will be made available in large print, Braille, audio cassette and a variety of relevant minority languages if required.
  • Your response may be made public by the Utility Regulator. If you do not want all or part of your response or name made public, please state this clearly in the response by marking your response as ‘CONFIDENTIAL’.
  • If you want other information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, there is a statutory Code of Practice with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this, it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. 
  • Information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be subject to publication or disclosure in accordance with the access to information regimes (these are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 2018).
  • As stated in the GDPR Privacy Statement for consumers and stakeholders, any personal data contained within your response will be deleted once the matter being consulted on has been concluded though the substance of the response may be retained.