Sacha Lord, the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, is urging Ofgem to investigate and support the cancellation of exit fees for small and medium-sized hospitality businesses facing rising energy costs.
The UK Government‘s energy support scheme has been significantly scaled back since 1st April, leading industry leaders to predict the closure of thousands of venues across the country.
Lord says that many energy providers refused new contracts from the hospitality industry last year, creating a “black market with unscrupulous providers” who pressured businesses into accepting energy contracts beyond their means.
Now, providers are charging excessively high prices for gas and electricity and imposing extortionate exit fees when business owners try to renegotiate terms, the Night Time Economy Adviser has said.
Lord insists that Ofgem needs to investigate these providers and offer a realistic solution for struggling businesses at risk of bankruptcy.
Earlier today, Sacha Lord tweeted: “We can’t just sit by and allow the big energy companies to decimate our sector, hospitality.
“We owe it to ourselves, staff, suppliers, customers and future generations. I’m now exploring alternative options, as Ofgem have failed us. Nothing off the table – we need to make noise.”
An Ofgem spokesperson told ELN: “Ofgem is committed to working with consumer groups, energy suppliers and government to ensure all consumers, both domestic and non-domestic are protected.
“We are currently reviewing the state of the non-domestic energy market, which includes the hospitality sector, to determine if changes to supplier licence conditions are needed. As part of this we issued a call for input which closed on Friday 31st March.
“We are in the process of reviewing the responses we received as part of the call for input, all of which, will help inform our next steps.”
We can't just sit by and allow the big Energy Co's to decimate our sector, Hospitality.
We owe it to ourselves, staff, suppliers, customers and future generations.
I'm now exploring alternative options, as @ofgem have failed us.
Nothings off the table. We need to make noise.
— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_Lord) April 4, 2023