Energy Consumers Commission - Draft Work Plan 2020/21

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Closes 9 Oct 2020

Questions

1. Do the objectives described support the aims of the Commission in the first year?

More Information

The Energy Consumers Commission  will incorporate a broad range of views and take a whole system approach, taking a wide definition of the energy system – including consumer interactions with networks and challenges outside of the regulated energy markets, in order to advocate on behalf of Scottish energy consumers to address the key challenges and opportunities they face. Our aims are to achieve:

- Improved outcomes for consumers in Scotland, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances.

- A clearer connection between the voices of consumers, and those that represent them, with decision makers in Government and industry.

- The adoption of principles of inclusivity and fairness as we move to a decarbonised energy system.

In all aspects of its work the Commission will have due regard to equalities, shall not discriminate based on any protected characteristics and will aim to ensure that its processes and work plan encourage inclusivity.

The Energy Consumers Commission will adopt the following objectives

- Strengthen the consumer voice within energy market decision making, including through; industry, the regulator, UK Government and SEAB.

- Support grassroots organisations to ensure the consumer voice is heard from an array of previously underserved geographic and social groups. Increasing capacity to engage with high level decision making amongst grassroots organisations.

- Direct consumer advocacy work using a portion of energy levy funding in Financial year 2020/21.

2. Are the objectives described clear and achievable?

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The Energy Consumers Commission will adopt the following objectives: 

- Strengthen the consumer voice within energy market decision making, including through; industry, the regulator, UK Government and SEAB.

- Support grassroots organisations to ensure the consumer voice is heard from an array of previously underserved geographic and social groups. Increasing capacity to engage with high level decision making amongst grassroots organisations.

- Direct consumer advocacy work using a portion of energy levy funding in Financial year 2020/21.

3. Are the correct themes identified to focus on in our work to improve outcomes for consumers in Scotland?

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These themes are intended to take a whole system focus – addressing these broad issues across the entire energy industry.

- Energy Debt

- Supplier Best Practice and Customer Service

- Improving Outcomes for Vulnerable Consumers

- Engagement with Decarbonisation

4. Would you recommend the addition or removal of any themes of focus?

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These themes are intended to take a whole system focus – addressing these broad issues across the entire energy industry.

- Energy Debt

- Supplier Best Practice and Customer Service

- Improving Outcomes for Vulnerable Consumers

- Engagement with Decarbonisation

5. Are the relevant aspects of these themes captured in the descriptions?

More Information

See section 5 for full descriptions.

These themes are intended to take a whole system focus – addressing these broad issues across the entire energy industry.

- Energy Debt

- Supplier Best Practice and Customer Service

- Improving Outcomes for Vulnerable Consumers

- Engagement with Decarbonisation

6. Will the combination of approaches described be appropriate and effective?

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To meet our aims and objectives we intend to take the following approaches to best support improved consumer outcomes. Each of these approaches will be focused around the identified themes described earlier.

1. Research and campaigns - deliver specific projects to address identified areas of consumer detriment (energy advocacy levy funded).

2. Support Scotland’s grassroots organisations and facilitate direct discourse with energy consumers through a variety of forums.

3. Engage with decision making on behalf of consumers in Scotland, with a particular focus on key decision points in the energy market.

7. Will the projects described adequately address the identified themes given the budget and timescale available?

More Information

Projects are described in section 7 - Research and Campaigns.

 

 

8. Do you agree that the Energy Consumers Commission can play a useful role in connecting grassroots organisations to high level decision making?

More Information

More information is at section 8 - Support for Grassroots Organisations.

Actions:

- The ECC will map existing grassroots networks to determine what coverage exists in already available networks.

- The ECC will then enable the integration of the consumer voice into decision making and will ensure that grassroots organisations are informed of market changes and opportunities to influence.

9. How can the Energy Consumers Commission best integrate grassroots bodies into its work?

More Information

More information is at section 8 - Support for Grassroots Organisations.

Actions:

- The ECC will map existing grassroots networks to determine what coverage exists in already available networks.

- The ECC will then enable the integration of the consumer voice into decision making and will ensure that grassroots organisations are informed of market changes and opportunities to influence.

10. Does the timeline identify the appropriate areas for Energy Consumers Commission advocacy activity over the coming year?

More Information

More information at section 9 - Engagement in Decision Making.

Actions: 

- Scrutinise and respond formally to key consultations within the energy landscape.

- Members will engage with relevant bodies in the development of policies to ensure that the voice of consumers in Scotland is heard, representing views of grass roots organisations where appropriate.

- Proactively raise issues where the ECC has identified that there is a risk of consumer harm, or opportunities to improve consumer outcomes.

- Arrange a series of focused meetings with key stakeholders to better understand specific concerns, disseminate best practice, or develop improved approaches to areas where consumers are at risk of harm.

11. Will the described series of engagement adequately incorporate industry, regulator and other voices into the process?

More Information

More information at section 9 - Engagement in Decision Making.

Actions: 

- Scrutinise and respond formally to key consultations within the energy landscape.

- Members will engage with relevant bodies in the development of policies to ensure that the voice of consumers in Scotland is heard, representing views of grass roots organisations where appropriate.

- Proactively raise issues where the ECC has identified that there is a risk of consumer harm, or opportunities to improve consumer outcomes.

- Arrange a series of focused meetings with key stakeholders to better understand specific concerns, disseminate best practice, or develop improved approaches to areas where consumers are at risk of harm.

12. Will the identified actions on advocacy and engagement (Section 9) appropriately meet the objectives of the Energy Consumers Commission?

More Information

More information at section 9 - Engagement in Decision Making.

Actions: 

- Scrutinise and respond formally to key consultations within the energy landscape.

- Members will engage with relevant bodies in the development of policies to ensure that the voice of consumers in Scotland is heard, representing views of grass roots organisations where appropriate.

- Proactively raise issues where the ECC has identified that there is a risk of consumer harm, or opportunities to improve consumer outcomes.

- Arrange a series of focused meetings with key stakeholders to better understand specific concerns, disseminate best practice, or develop improved approaches to areas where consumers are at risk of harm.

13. Please leave any further comments below.