bringing regulators together for the benefit of consumers and the economy

innovation-friendly regulation

promoting resilient sectors

promoting fairness for all consumers

collaboration and better ways of working

Promoting fairness for all consumers

Our aims for this theme are as follows:

  • To explore how regulators can promote innovation to encourage fair consumer outcomes whilst considering cross sector implications of our policies.
  • To champion success where innovative approaches are taken to delivering positive experiences for consumers, including those in vulnerable circumstances.
  • To explore the use of behavioural economics to improve consumer engagement in markets.
  • Working together to understand the consumer implications of Brexit.

Activities

  • Engagement with UK Competition Network (UKCN) following the publication of their Consumer Remedies Lessons Learnt Report (to be published Q3 2018/19).
  • Regulator membership on BEIS Consumer Forum.
  • Event and report showcasing cross-sector best practice by companies to improve services for vulnerable customers, including mental health, and exploring minimum standards for improving services.
  • Working with the Office for Public Guardian to improve service provision of Power of Attorney by regulated companies.

Utilising data sharing to support consumers in vulnerable circumstances

  • The UKRN facilitates an Ofwat-Ofgem initiative to encourage and monitor data sharing between water and energy companies to support customers in vulnerable situations in the energy and water sectors.
  • The UKRN first set out its expectations for water and energy companies to harness data sharing in a report in October 2017.
  • A data sharing pilot in the North-West of England took place in Spring 2018, which was overseen by an industry Joint Working Group, who are now supervising efforts for national roll-out of data sharing by April 2020.
  • A follow-up report published in November 2018 shows that energy and water companies are making progress in utilising data sharing, but notes that national roll-out by April 2020 across England and Wales will require continued focus to overcome challenges around customer consent, staff training and data quality. The report also challenges energy and water companies to work together more to improve services for vulnerable consumers, and regulators to explore the possibility of extending these kinds of initiatives to other sectors.
  • Ofwat and Ofgem continue to monitor data sharing in the water and energy sectors through the UKRN.