Retail Market Review - protecting businesses

Publication date
24th July 2013
Information types
Policy areas

Summer 2013 marks the start of a fairer energy market for both households and businesses. Energy suppliers will have to make sure they treat small businesses fairly - or risk facing fines.

As part of our Retail Market Review, we published proposals to reform the non-domestic retail energy market. Under these proposals we plan to extend existing safeguards that ensure clear contract terms for micro businesses.

We propose all bills and statements sent to micro businesses clearly display the contract end date. This will make sure that fewer businesses are caught out and moved to more expensive deals when their contracts expire.

The full proposals include measures to address a number of concerns raised by small businesses regarding the market. Examples include:

  • close monitoring of suppliers to guard against them blocking a small business from switching
  • developing an industry-wide code of practice for energy brokers to combat high pressure sales tactics and the provision of misleading information
  • new standards of conduct on billing, switching and contracting with small businesses, with fines if suppliers break the rules.

Once our extensive consultation has closed, we expect to begin introducing our reforms in summer 2013. We will also be reviewing whether automatic rollovers of contracts should be banned.