Ofgem calls for businesses to be protected from rogue energy suppliers

07 December 2023 by
Ofgem calls for businesses to be protected from rogue energy suppliers

Ofgem has set out proposals to help protect businesses from rogue energy suppliers.

The energy market regulator said it wants to ensure firms receive better customer service from energy giants and clarity on hidden costs added to their bills.

It has called for the current Standards of Conduct to be extended to protect all businesses, rather than just small firms with less than 10 employees, to allow Ofgem to intervene to tackle poor behaviour by suppliers.

It also wants to force energy companies to disclose hidden fees paid to third-party brokers, rather than hiding this in the overall bill.

Currently, only the smallest firms can see the breakdown in these costs, but Ofgem wants this to be extended to all businesses.

It has also called for companies with up to 50 staff to be able to take complaints about suppliers to the energy ombudsman.

A consultation on the proposals opened on 7 December and will close on 31 January 2024.

"Businesses are no different from any energy customer and should be able to expect excellent service and fair prices," said Tim Jarvis, director of markets for Ofgem.

"However, we have heard from too many businesses, particularly small and medium sized ones, that this isn't always the case.

"Today's proposals will ensure better deals, better protection and more clarity for businesses - so they have the best chance of thriving at this difficult time."

Ofgem has faced growing pressure to take action against energy companies as businesses have struggled with rising prices. UKHospitality said the behaviour of some firms had been "disgraceful".

Over the summer, more than 1,300 catering businesses joined a £2b legal challenge against energy firms accused of inflating customers' bills to pay ‘secret' commissions to third-party brokers.

The Federation of Small Businesses said Ofgem's consultation was "encouraging news".

Image: richardernestyap / Shutterstock

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