On 10 January 2020 the Authority published a notice of proposal to issue a final order on Entice Energy Supply Limited (“Entice”) in accordance with section 26 (1) and (2) of the Electricity Act 1989 and section 29 (1) and (2) of the Gas Act 1986.
The Authority had been in discussions with Entice regarding the requirement to become a DCC User (as defined in standard licence conditions 42.11 and 48.11 of the gas and electricity supply licences respectively).
Standard licence conditions 42.8 of the gas supply licence and 48.8 of the electricity supply licence require licensees to become DCC Users by 25 November 2017.
The particular behaviour of concern giving rise to the proposal to make a Final Order was that Entice failed to become a DCC User by the deadline and remained non-compliant. By failing to be a DCC User in accordance with the licence condition, its existing customers with smart meters were suffering harm because they did not have smart meter functionality. There would also have been harm to customers who lost their smart functionality on switching to Entice. Representations or objections with respect to the proposed final order were invited to be made to the Authority by 10 a.m. on 3 February 2020.
Entice made written representations to the Authority on 15 November 2019 and 29 January 2020, and provided updated information on 4 February 2020. The Authority considered the representations received from Entice both before and in the context of the consultation pursuant to section 26 (1) of the EA89 and section 29 (1) of the GA86.
The Authority noted the representations and was pleased to see that Entice had expedited the matter and made significant progress towards becoming a DCC User since its representations of 15 November 2019. However, the Authority remained of the opinion that it was requisite in all the circumstances of this case to make the final order because the Authority was not confident that Entice would remain focused on completion of the DCC User Entry Process to become a DCC User as quickly without a final order being in place.
Therefore, on 6 March 2020, the Authority made the final order, pursuant to section 25 (1) of the Electricity Act 1989 and section 28 (1) of the Gas Act 1986, requiring Entice:
- to become a DCC User by no later than 31 March 2020
- not to acquire any new customers or add any customer accounts by upgrading to dual fuel from the date that the Final Order is made until Entice can demonstrate that it is a DCC User.
On 19 May 2020, the Authority received satisfactory evidence from The Smart Energy Code Administrator and Secretariat (SECAS) that Entice had completed all the required steps to become a DCC user and had therefore met the requirements set out in the Final Order for it to be able to acquire new customers and add new customer accounts by upgrading to dual fuel.