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Over 200,000 businesses set to get free advice settling energy supplier disputes

More businesses will be able to get support from the Energy Ombudsman, under new proposals.

  • New proposals to expand support from Energy Ombudsman to cover small businesses with fewer than 50 employees
  • move would boost protection, offer an alternative to costly court fees, and resolve disputes quicker
  • follows survey finding 94% of total respondents supported the move

More than 200,000 businesses could for the first time get access to specialist support for disputes with their energy supplier, under plans announced today (Thursday 7 December). 

Under new proposals, companies with up to 50 employees would qualify for support from the Energy Ombudsman – with issues ranging from disputes over bills and energy supply, to how an energy product or service has been sold, or wider customer service issues. 

Currently, this support is only available to businesses of up to 10 employees, and households. 

Making this move will enable these companies to settle disputes with their energy supplier without facing costly court fees – ultimately saving them money. 

It follows a survey conducted by regulator Ofgem, which found that 94% of the total respondents, which included businesses organisations, consumer groups, and suppliers, said they would welcome this move. 

Minister for Energy Consumers and Affordability Amanda Solloway said:

This government has always stood by businesses, and we want to ensure they are getting proper support and service in dealing with energy suppliers. 

That’s why we’re proposing expanding the reach of the Energy Ombudsman to cover an extra 200,000 businesses, allowing them to access free, impartial advice and resolve issues with their supplier without the need for an expensive trip to court.

See the consultation on a New threshold for businesses accessing the Energy Ombudsman which is open until Wednesday 31 January 2024. 

Notes to editors

Read the consultation in tandem with Ofgem’s non-domestic market review statutory consultation. Their proposed changes to specific rules for non-domestic suppliers will provide better support for business customers and drive-up standards.

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