Energy Ombudsman welcomes Ofgem’s microbusiness proposals | 29 July

Ombudsman Services | 29th July

Ofgem has unveiled plans designed to ensure millions of microbusinesses get a fairer energy deal.

The package of support set out today would strengthen dispute resolution, deliver smoother switching and help microbusinesses that use an energy broker to get value for money.

Ed Dodman, director of regulatory affairs at Ombudsman Services, which runs the Energy Ombudsman scheme, welcomed Ofgem’s proposals.

He said: “Giving microbusinesses access to independent redress in the event of a dispute with an energy broker is a positive step that will help to ensure fair treatment and address some of the issues we’ve seen around mis-selling of contracts.

“The proposed requirement for energy suppliers to work only with brokers signed up to an alternative dispute resolution scheme is also welcome as it will help to raise standards.

“We will maintain a constructive dialogue with Ofgem, non-domestic energy suppliers and brokers as today’s proposals are fleshed out.”

He added: “Currently, as the ombudsman we have the power to investigate mis-selling complaints involving brokers, and void a contract that an energy supplier has with a microbusiness customer, if we decide that a contract has been mis-sold. We are, however, unable to require brokers to take steps to put things right for the microbusiness.

“This is because brokers are unregulated and therefore fall outside our remit.”