Nov 21st 2011
Ofgem announces reforms to better protect business customers
On Monday 21 November the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) set out a series of market reforms to protect non-domestic customers following the findings of its retail market review in March of this year. In March Ofgem found that that competition across the whole market was being stifled by a combination of poor supplier behaviour, a lack of transparency and a lack of protection for businesses. The reforms have four key elements:
1. Putting new standards of conduct into suppliers' licences which aim to ensure that suppliers and the brokers that represent them are fair, honest and transparent in their dealings.
2. Extending existing licence conditions which protect micro-businesses to benefit larger small businesses with less than 50 employees and an annual turnover of no more than €10mn.
3. A range of reforms to protect businesses from unfair sales practices, including an Ofgem accreditation scheme for codes of practice governing energy brokers.
4. The regulator is actively considering enforcement action against some suppliers that are making it difficult for businesses to change supplier.
A consultation document setting out the proposals will be published later this week; meanwhile Ofgem has published a factsheet.
Ofgem - press release Ofgem- factsheet
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