Hospitality businesses urged to back #FiveAsksForOfgem

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality businesses urged to back UKHospitality's #FiveAsksForOfgem

Related tags Ofgem Energy costs Energy suppliers Government ukhospitality

UKHospitality is calling on the sector to support its demand for Ofgem to rapidly implement the recommendations from its energy market review.

The trade body says hospitality ‘needs to unite to demonstrate the urgent need for the energy market regulator to move swiftly in enacting its recommendations’.

“Sky-high energy costs have decimated so many hospitality businesses, including those suffering from contracts fixed at prices far above current market rates,” says Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality.

“The Ofgem review was crystal clear that many of the issues facing businesses lie at the door of the energy suppliers. Whether it is refusing to renegotiate contracts, demanding enormous deposits, or simply refusing to supply the sector, it’s clear that some energy suppliers are mistreating the sector.”

In its review, published last month, Ofgem made a series of recommendations and proposed regulation changes in a bid to better protect customers in the non-domestic sector and hold suppliers to account​.

They include changes to the regulatory framework to require timely responses to complaints and stepped-up reporting to Ofgem on complaint handling, amid evidence that non-domestic customers are not always receiving the levels of customer service they need and have a right to expect; and proposals to increase transparency of third-party intermediary (TPI) commissions for all customers.

It also called on the Government to consider implementing regulation of the TPI market, and give businesses unable to resolve a problem with their TPI greater access to redress schemes.

Additionally, the energy regulator has requested the Government consider widening access to the energy ombudsman, which is currently restricted to domestic customers and smaller businesses; and says it will work with stakeholders to improve transparency in bills.

In order to enact what it says will be ‘meaningful change’, UKHospitality is calling on Ofgem to enact five key changes designed to ‘clean up the energy market’ (see boxout below).

“This consultation is an opportunity for the sector to unite and demonstrate the strength of feeling that Ofgem needs to take action urgently,” continues Nicholls.

“Businesses cannot withstand inaction any longer and the market needs to be urgently fixed.

“I would urge every business and person working within hospitality to back our #FiveAsksForOfgem and respond to the consultation. Your voice is essential.”

Ofgem has said it believes its new policy proposals are ‘proportionate’ and ‘will hold suppliers to account while bringing positive benefits to non-domestic consumers’.

It's added that it welcomes any feedback on these proposals to AbaQbzrfgvpErgnvyCbyvpl@bstrz.tbi.hx​ by 6 September 2023.

UKHospitality's #FiveAsksForOfgem

  1. Encourage suppliers to resolve issues many businesses are facing with high energy contracts, including direct and immediate communication to suppliers from Ofgem.
  2. Offer greater transparency to customers, deliver more timely responses to complaints and drive better practice in setting deemed rates.
  3. Deliver wider access to the energy ombudsman.
  4. Put in place measures to prevent the blacklisting of entire sectors, particularly hospitality.
  5. Improve regulation of energy brokers, including extending protections to more businesses.

Those wishing to show their support for the #FiveAsksForOfgem campaign can do so by clicking here​.

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