Ofgem Action Needed To Avoid Second Winter Energy Crisis

Ofgem must act quickly to enact recommendations to ensure businesses avoid another winter energy crisis, the BBPA has warned.
Responding to Ofgem’s non-domestic market review consultation, the trade body supported most measures put forward by the regulator, but stressed the need for urgency if businesses were to avoid the threat sky-high energy costs again this coming winter.

With energy costs still posing a serious threat to the viability and survival of many pub businesses, with 15% citing risk of failure in the next 12 months and 95% of those flagging energy as a significant contributor to possible failure*, the BBPA is calling on Ofgem to listen to businesses and to implement proposed measures quickly to ensure they can regulate the non-domestic market effectively and fairly as soon as possible.

Representing the interests of its members, the BBPA’s response also noted that:
• It is essential that Government support Ofgem to implement the recommendations laid out in the non-domestic market review to ensure the protection of vulnerable businesses and that entire sectors are not held to ransom in the future

• There should be parity between the protection of domestic and non-domestic users in the energy market.

• Ofgem must ensure that where policy options initially rely on voluntary measures for suppliers, that there is also recourse to more binding mechanisms to ensure expected standards of conduct and behaviour are met and maintained.

Speaking to the consultation response, Emma McClarkin Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:
“Just last week we saw Ofgem rightly step in once again for domestic users, but we must not forget that thousands of businesses are still struggling with their energy bills, and this will only get worse as we head into the colder months.

“We support Ofgem’s recommendations, which are sound and sensible, but they mean very little if they are not implemented quickly to protect businesses from future energy price hikes. In turn, the Government must also recognise the severity of this issue has not gone away and ensure Ofgem has the power to regulate effectively now and protect our pubs and brewers in the future as well.”