Procurement · 15 December 2016

New energy industry rules work in favour of micro businesses

energy bill
Micro businesses have been paying around 180m a year more in energy bills than they should be
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has finalised plans to help thousands of micro business owners suffering from overpriced energy tariffs get better deals.

The government-led competition watchdog is introducing measures that will require UK energy suppliers to provide Ofgem, the energy industry regulator, with relevant information that will help consumers get a better deal.

New rules will see Ofgem make certain consumer information available to competing energy suppliers so they can offer more affordable deals directly to consumers, based on their actual energy use. Consumers will be made aware of cheaper deals in writing, and will be able to opt out of any new tariff or scheme whenever they want.

The new measures follow a CMA report from June this year which found that micro businesses have been paying around 180m a year more in bills than they would in a more competitive energy market. Roughly 45 per cent of all UK micro businesses were found to be stuck on expensive default? tariffs.

Commenting on the rule changes, chairman of the Energy Market Investigation, Roger Witcomb, said: Were helping small business owners see which prices are available to them and ensuring they can’t be locked into more expensive contracts.

we know there are much cheaper deals out there and this will bring them directly to those customers, to make it as easy as possible for them to switch and save money.

At present, many energy providers automatically put micro businesses onto more expensive rollover? contracts, when their original tariff ends. The CMA has concluded that from 2017, energy providers will be required to stop using high exit fees to lock owners of micro firms out of switching to cheaper tariffs.


 
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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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