Business retail market: 2021-22 review of the Retail Exit Code

Since the opening of the business retail market in April 2017, around 1.2 million business customers in England can choose their water retailer. To protect those business customers who have not engaged in the market and remain on ‘deemed’ contracts, the Retail Exit Code (REC) sets out requirements for price and non-price terms in the default tariffs offered to these customers. A ‘deemed’ contract is terms and conditions applied to a customer where the customer is receiving a water supply and/or wastewater service, but no contract has otherwise been agreed between the retailer and the customer.

We have reviewed the price and non-price protections currently set out in the REC. Following two public consultations in December 2021 and September 2022 we have decided to make changes to the price protections that apply to smaller consumption business customers (those with annual consumption below 0.5Ml). Our final decisions set out the changes we are making from 1 April 2023 and also explain the reasons why we are making these changes.

The REC review focuses on the price and non-price terms protections afforded to business customers who are eligible to choose their retailer. It does not, for example, affect household customers.

Topic
Timing/dates
Documents
Further information
December 2021 consultation on REC review Published: 15 December 2021

Deadline for responses: Friday 4 February 2022

Business retail market: 2021-22 review of the Retail Exit Code – a consultation Ofwat has extended the deadline for responses to the December 2021 consultation to 5pm Friday 4 February 2022.
Georgina Mills letter to retailer CEOs concerning retailer request for information (RFI) 17 December 2021 REC Review – Retailer Update 18 January 2022:

Ofwat sent an update email to retailers to hold the time and date: 11:00 – 12:30 on Thursday 10 February 2022, for a webinar for questions and further understanding of our draft RFI. Further details to be sent nearer the time.

Draft Request for Information (RFI) and Guidance document 2 February 2022 Draft Cost Benchmarking RFI Guidance_For comment

Draft RFI – REC Review 2022

Georgina Mills letter to Retailer CEOs regarding the draft RFI 2 February 2022 Letter to Retailer CEOs for draft RFI – REC Review 2022
Ofwat formal request for information (RFI) from retailers 24 February 2022 Ofwat REC22: Ofwat Cost Benchmarking Request for information (RFI) – Amendments to draft RFI and draft RFI guidance

REC22: Ofwat Cost Benchmarking Request for Information – template 

REC22 – Ofwat Cost Benchmarking RFI Guidance 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RFI guidance document updated: 22 March 2022

Ofwat letter to Retailer CEOs formally requesting detailed information from Retailers regarding their past and anticipated retail costs. 24 February 2022 Letter from Ofwat to Retailer CEOs: REC Review – Request for information under Standard Condition A8 of the Water Supply and Sewerage Licence 
Ofwat formal request for information (RFI) from retailers 16 March 2022 REC22 : Ofwat Cost Benchmarking Request for Information – Ofwat Response to Queries Updated: 8 April 2022
Consultation on proposals: 2021-22 review of the Retail Exit Code Published: 1 September 2022

Deadline for responses: Friday 14 October 2022

Business retail market: 2021-22 review of the Retail Exit Code – Consultation on proposals Annex A and Annex C updated: 6.30pm 1 September 2022
REC review consultation webinar 20 September 2022 Presentation from Ofwat webinar

Summary of Ofwat webinar questions and answers Sept 2022

Presentation and a record of questions and answers from the webinar
Consultation on proposals: 2021-22 review of the Retail Exit Code – UPDATE 29 September 2022 REC22: Update to the proposed REC allowances for Group One customers An update to four elements of our proposed REC allowance and the four associated charts.
Ofwat’s response to a request for information 2 December 2022 REC22: Response to a request for information
Decisions on 2021-22 review of the Retail Exit Code 15 December 2022 Business retail market 2021-22 review of the Retail Exit Code – Decisions

Retail Exit Code 2022 decision – Ofwat’s responses to queries

Direction to comply and accompanying letter

31 January 2023 Direction to comply

Letter