This document sets out, for consultation, changes we are proposing to make to the Retail Exit Code (‘the REC’), issued by Ofwat under Regulation 30 of the Water and Sewerage Undertakers (Exit from Non-Household Retail Market) Regulations 2016 (the ‘Exit Regulations’).
We are proposing to make changes to the REC to remove a regulatory obstacle so as to enable bulk transfers of customers between Water Supply and / or Sewerage Supply licensees (jointly referred to as WSSLs or licensees) – for example, in the case of a merger between two licensees or where one licensee wishes to sell its customer book to another licensee. In particular, we propose amending provisions in the REC that require, in all instances, individual customer consent before a licensee can terminate its supply. The amendment proposes to allow a licensee to include in its scheme of terms and conditions a provision allowing it to terminate its supply in a limited set of circumstances.
We are also using this consultation to invite views on changes we are proposing to make that will allow retailers to adjust their charges in line with changes to wholesale charges of appointed companies. At the moment, a “no worse off” restriction applies to acquiring licensees’ current price term provisions under the REC, but this only applies to 2017-18. For 2018-19 and 2019-20, the REC requires the maximum charges payable by Transferred Customers (as defined in the REC) to be adjusted on 1 April each year by the “Permitted Adjustment” (also as defined in the REC).
We welcome your responses to this consultation by close of business on 11 December 2017. You can email your responses to [email protected]. You can submit your responses by post to: Retail Exit Code consultation, Ofwat, Centre City Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham B5 4UA.