New measures to help microbusinesses combat energy overpricing

New measures to help end microbusinesses being locked into costly rollover contracts kicked in yesterday. During its two-year investigation into the energy market, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

New measures to help end microbusinesses being locked into costly rollover contracts kicked in yesterday.

During its two-year investigation into the energy market, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found around 45% of microbusinesses across Britain were stuck on their supplier’s expensive default tariffs.

The watchdog ordered them to stop locking small firms into automatic rollover contracts and make it easier for them to compare the cheapest energy prices by ensuring information is clearly available on their website or via a link to a price comparison website.

Energy firms were given until yesterday to make these changes and are now required to comply with the requirements.

The CMA expects the remedies to help microbusinesses save up to £180 million a year.

Smaller firms will also be able to leave more expensive auto-rollover default tariffs without having to pay exit fees.

Dermot Nolan, Ofgem Chief Executive said: “This is a big change in the way the market works.

“We’ll be working closely with suppliers to make sure they give microbusinesses clear information on the prices they offer in line with the regulation. We are considering what further steps could be taken to protect and help these business customers engage in the market as part of our wider programme to make sure all consumers – business and domestic – get a better deal.”