Ofwat consults on market arrangement and wholesale retail codes

Ofwat is consulting on some of the final elements of the new legal and regulatory framework that will govern the incoming non household retail market. Respondents have until 16 December to respond to two code consultations: one on the Wholesale Retail Code (WRC) which sets out the relationship between wholesalers and retailers and how the market will operate; and the other on the Market Arrangements Code (MAC), which sets out the functions of the Market Operator together with the process for modifications.

Both codes have already been subject to extensive and ongoing consultation. As part of this finalisation process, Ofwat is seeking views on further changes to the code change process set out in the draft MAC, with a view to ensuring the process is robust, effective and compliant with industry licence conditions. Specifically, four issues are in the spotlight:

  • Ofwat being able to set a timetable and/or process for the code Panel’s considerations in certain circumstances.

  • Requiring the Panel to always provide a recommendation to Ofwat, to avoid the code change process stalling before the regulator makes a decision.

  • Adding provisions to allow the Panel to review and revise its final report, if necessary to correct any deficiencies or to address queries.

  • Adding provisions requiring the implementation of any changes to the MAC.

The WRC paper is a formal consultation on the restructured WRC. The regulator said it sought

feedback from respondents on whether any further changes are needed before the code comes into effect in April 2017.