AS ENERGY company EDF becomes the latest to increase its prices, the energy regulator says it will be looking at ways to protect small businesses from getting tied into confusing contracts.
Ofgem says 150,000 small businesses could be given increased protection with penalties for suppliers if they fail to meet adequate standards of service.
The proposals were welcomed by business leaders, who say the changes could be a “shot in the arm” to help companies get a fairer deal.
Andrew Wright, Ofgem senior partner, markets, said: “Our retail market review showed that small businesses want fairer treatment from suppliers, clearer information about contracts, and more protection from misselling. Our proposed reforms seek to address these issues. We urge suppliers to show they are committed to restoring the confidence of business consumers by getting behind our proposals.”
Currently, Ofgem safeguards on small businesses only apply to those which employ up to ten people and which have bills of around £5,000 a year. The extension of the scheme would cover bigger businesses facing £10,000-a-year bills.