The Customer Protection Code of Practice (“CPCoP”) sets out the minimum standards that all Retailers must comply with in their dealings with Non-Household Customers. It also sets out the minimum standards of behaviour that we expect from Retailers, and compliance with it is a requirement of Retailers’ licences.
The outbreak of Covid-19 and its spread within the UK has had a profound impact on the daily lives of millions of people. In March 2020, the UK government issued guidance and imposed legislative measures to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 by requiring that, unless exceptions apply, businesses and premises should be closed and people should stay at home.
This is expected to have a significant effect on water consumption so Ofwat has put in place interim measures aimed at ensuring charges more accurately reflect (reduced) levels of consumption. It is also expected to result in business customers struggling to pay their water bills on time so Ofwat has also put in place interim measures to temporarily defer the payment by retailers of some wholesale charges. Where customers are able to pay on time we expect retailers to continue to collect charges and to use these to fund the payment of wholesale charges. Where it is clear that customers cannot pay on time for reasons relating to Covid-19, we do not expect retailers to chase payment, charge interest or disconnect customers.
How to respond
We welcome stakeholder views on the questions detailed in section 5 of the attached document by 12 noon on Thursday 2 April 2020.
Please submit email responses to [email protected], with the subject “CPCoP consultation – CP-0006”.