Today we publish our approach to the delivery, content, monitoring and reporting of the Best Practice Framework programme. Our Best practice approach document and how to respond is also provided via the CitizenSpace online consultation tool.
The overall aim of the Best Practice Framework programme is to identify and establish best practice principles and measures that both utility suppliers and Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) in Northern Ireland (NI) across gas, electricity and water should implement to identify, support and protect consumers in vulnerable circumstances.
The purpose of this Approach document is to give stakeholders the opportunity to provide their feedback on our proposed approach to the delivery, content, monitoring and reporting for the Best Practice Framework programme. The approach proposes the development of a new mandatory Code of Practice for consumers in vulnerable circumstances which will apply to both regulated utility suppliers and network companies.
Through development of a single Code of Practice for consumers in vulnerable circumstances, we aim to address the gaps and inconsistencies in the regulatory frameworks between network companies and suppliers in NI, and the inconsistencies in the supports available. The new Code of Practice will ensure that the support and protections offered to NI consumers are consistent, promoted, and reflective of best practice exemplars seen in Great Britain (GB) and across other regulated sectors.
When the consultation period has closed, we will consider all responses in order to inform the development of a draft code for consumers in vulnerable circumstances. This draft code for consumers in vulnerable circumstances will then be included in a consultation paper which will be published in Spring 2022.
Responses to this approach document should be forwarded to reach us by noon, on 29 April 2022 to:
The Utility Regulator
14 Queen Street