ACS Welcomes Plans to Give More Businesses Access to Energy Ombudsman

ACS has responded to a consultation launched by energy regulator Ofgem, welcoming proposals to expand the number of businesses that have access to the Energy Ombudsman.

In the consultation, Ofgem outlines its plans to expand the support that the Energy Ombudsman provides to include a wider range of businesses. Under current rules, the Ombudsman can only help businesses that meet Ofgem’s microbusiness definition, but the proposals would expand that to businesses with up to 50 employees.

ACS has welcomed this proposal, and has long advocated for more businesses to be included to ensure that the Ombudsman’s support is available for the vast majority of convenience store retailers.

In its response, ACS highlighted the complexity of the energy market and the challenges associated with resolving disputes with energy companies, noting that the vast majority of independent retailers have no more resources or knowledge about energy contracts than an average domestic consumer. For a number of years, ACS been calling on Ofgem to align small business protections with those afforded to consumers when dealing with energy companies.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the proposed expansion of the Energy Ombudsman’s remit as an important step toward better protections for local shops. Convenience stores are typically high users of energy and open long hours, resulting in some falling outside of Ofgem’s existing microbusiness definition despite being small independent businesses. We will continue to call on Ofgem to make the energy market fairer for our members, and to hold rogue suppliers to account.”

Details of the consultation are available here.

This entry was posted by Anna on Thu, 18/01/2024 - 13:41