Nine in ten firms will get Ofgem energy protection

More help from Ofgem to get fair energy contracts for “hard-pressed” small and medium sized businesses is “long overdue” say consumer groups. The watchdog’s protection for microbusinesses on issues such as back-billing […]

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By Vicky Ellis

More help from Ofgem to get fair energy contracts for “hard-pressed” small and medium sized businesses is “long overdue” say consumer groups.

The watchdog’s protection for microbusinesses on issues such as back-billing and contract roll-overs will now cover around 91% of electricity business customers, said Consumer Focus.

Audrey Gallacher, Director of Energy at Consumer Focus said: “Businesses have been suffering from unscrupulous behaviour from some energy brokers and complexity and confusion in the market for far too long.”

She also hailed measures to “crack-down on bad practice” in the energy business sector and to collect better information on this often “opaque section of the energy market”.

However experts fear the changes may get watered down through the Government’s consultation process.

James Constant, chair of EnergyForecaster.co.uk said “It is also disappointing that these changes will not come into effect until next summer and we really do hope it is worth the wait.

“By putting contract end dates and termination windows on bills, those in charge of the energy bill will have all the information they need right in front of them and will know in plenty of time when to start shopping around for a better deal. However, our research found that 55% of businesses would support a total ban on rollover, which suggests that this proposal doesn’t quite go far enough.”