For many years businesses have feared the phone ringing with unregulated energy brokers plaguing small to medium businesses with continuous uninvited sales calls many with dubious promises and hard sell tactics designed to generate huge profits at the expense of the SME. Despite the clear necessity to regulate this financial market OFGEM has repeatedly refused to get involved and has allowed many small businesses to suffer with rates up to double what should be expected.
The following proposals have now been provided by OFGEM that will give some protection from mis-selling and excessive profiteering by greedy energy brokers.
- Suppliers will only be allowed to work with brokers who follow a requirement to conduct themselves in a professional and transparent manner
- Suppliers will only be allowed to work with brokers who have signed up to an alternative dispute resolution scheme
- Sales and Marketing rules will be addressed
- Broker commission payments to be provided on contracts, bills and account statements
- A cooling off period similar to residential energy sales of 14 days maybe applied to microbusiness contracts
- Existing contract rates to be extended for up to 30 days whilst a switch is being made to an alternate supplier
- Microbusinesses can leave at the end of their contract without providing formal notice
Business Renewals welcomes any improvement within the business energy sector which has been akin to the wild west for the last 10 years. We have followed a voluntary code of conduct to provide peace of mind protection for all of our clients since we began our mission to provide fair and transparent business energy contracts.
Our verdict: An improvement YES – The solution NO