Business Access To New Energy Proposals Must Be Addressed

Proposals from the Government and energy regulator Ofgem are positive but should apply to all businesses, UKHospitality has said.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is proposing to expand access to the Energy Ombudsman and Ofgem is proposing to widen the Complaints Handling Standards, but only to those that fit the ‘Small Business Consumer’ criteria1. Also in the package of measures is a Government proposal for energy bills to include clearly any third party costs to brokers.

UKHospitality supports these additional measures to improve protections for hospitality businesses but has called for all businesses, regardless of size, to have access. As currently proposed, thousands of businesses would be unable to feel the benefit.

The new protections come after UKHospitality led a campaign for better protections for businesses against unfair practices used by energy suppliers. Almost 400 hospitality businesses mobilised behind the campaign to write to the regulator demanding action.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “The past two years have shone a light on the bad practice taking place in the energy market for businesses. At a time when energy prices went through the roof, hospitality venues were left with no effective protections against unfair and damaging practices by some energy suppliers.

“I’m pleased that Ofgem listened to UKHospitality’s concerns, and those of our members, by bringing forward a rigorous review into the market, which led to these proposals being introduced.

“While we support the measures, as they do increase protections for some businesses, the vast majority will not feel the benefit under the current proposals.

“No business should be excluded from these types of safeguards, just because they have grown to a point where they exceed an arbitrary figure for turnover, revenue or employees.

“We would urge Ofgem and the Government to revise these measures to include all businesses or, at the very least, those that fall under the much-wider definition of an SME2.”