The Utilities Intermediaries Association doesn’t sound very exciting, but they are an organisation you should know about if you use an energy consultant (also known as a Third Party Intermediary (TPI) or simply a ‘broker’). Some years ago, there was a lot of concern that certain TPIs were giving their clients a bad deal; they were overcharging and sometimes persuading companies to enter a long-term contract which wasn’t in their best interests. Ofgem (the energy industry regulator) didn’t seem willing to act, so the UIA was set up to address some of the problems.
The UIA works by inviting TPIs to sign up to a Code of Practice which promotes “integrity, competence and a high standard of service.” Once a TPI has demonstrated that they fulfil the criteria, they can become a full member. Should the UIA receive complaints a member failing to meet the standards, the matter will be investigated. Should any complaints not be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, the member can be expelled from the UIA.
If you are using a TPI, it’s good to check if they a UIA member. You can do so via www.UIA.org.uk