Today, the energy regulator Ofgem has announced a number of proposals designed to reform the non-domestic energy market to help businesses. They include:
• Expansion of protections to small businesses (those with less than 50 employees)
• Enforcement action against suppliers who are ‘not playing it straight’ with businesses when trying to change supplier
• A new licence condition to regulate how non-domestic business suppliers interact with business customers
• Stronger and broader Standards of Conduct to give consumers greater confidence
Commenting on the proposals, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“The proposals announced by Ofgem are welcome and should be implemented quickly so businesses can get the best possible deal for their energy supplies.
“Business has been calling for reforms to the energy market for some time, so these moves are encouraging. Firms want to see simpler processes in place and more safeguards to protect them from difficulties when dealing with suppliers. This is especially important for smaller firms, as they are often the most vulnerable energy users. At a time when energy prices continue to soar, measures such as making it easier to switch providers are crucial to helping improve business’ experience of the energy market.
“These proposals must be clearly communicated so companies are aware of the changes. Ofgem must continue to monitor the market closely and be prepared to consider extending measures of protection even further.”