Trust issues continue to plague third party intermediaries (TPIs), according to a survey of directors and managers.
Firms polled by The Energyst, mostly from industrial and commercial companies, rated TPIs significantly lower than water, gas, or electricity suppliers.
Although water companies appear to be most trusted, on a weighted average basis, the utilities were given similar scores (one being least trusted, five being most trusted).
Water suppliers were rated at 3.43 overall, electricity suppliers at 3.42 and gas suppliers 3.41. TPIs were rated at 2.84.
While there are some extremely well regarded TPIs active in the utilities market, the survey of 57 firms suggest that the sector, which is not subject to the same regulation as suppliers, continues to suffer trust issues due to the sharp practices still commonplace in some sub sectors.
Although the Competition and Markets Authority has made some recommendations regarding TPIs, these primarily relate to the domestic and very small business market. While it has considered market issues at some length, regulator Ofgem is yet to take action in terms of a mandatory code of conduct for non-domestic TPIs.
The regulator recently said it would “consider its position in Spring” following its latest information gathering exercise.