Energy companies refusing to supply pubs ‘simply unacceptable’

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Utility debate: British Beer & Pub Association boss Emma McClarkin called on energy companies to support the on-trade with fair dealings
Utility debate: British Beer & Pub Association boss Emma McClarkin called on energy companies to support the on-trade with fair dealings

Related tags: Energy, British beer & pub association, Emma McClarkin, Finance

Utility businesses are refusing to provide energy to pubs with some refusing to renew contracts, according to one trade association.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) stated the refusal from the energy companies also included domestic use.

It went onto say the actions of the suppliers meant they were failing in their obligations under regulator Ofgem.

Last thing pubs need

As a result of a meeting between the BBPA and Ofgem, the trade body revealed the regulator had agreed to further investigate the issues reported but it remained concerned licensees looking to renew or secure energy contracts will continue to experience refusals to supply or be forced to pay inflated fees during the process – increasing risk and reducing options to secure competitive rates for supply.

The BBPA has urged Ofgem and suppliers to work with the trade in a bid to find a long-term solution and is calling on licensees to share examples of unfair practice with Ofgem here​.

Trade body chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Publicans have already suffered enough through this pandemic. The last thing they need is energy companies refusing to supply them or renew contracts."

Simply unacceptable

McClarkin added: “The regulations are clear that energy suppliers are obliged to provide domestic energy to a pub when it is lived in. Considering so many families live in pubs, Ofgem must really do the right thing and ensure this unfair behaviour is ended. It’s time for energy companies to show support for the sector through fair dealing.”

Admiral Taverns boss Chris Jowsey said while Ofgem was keen to hear the experiences of licensees and explain the work being undertaken with supply, he was disappointed in Ofgem’s an the energy minister’s unwillingness to tackle poor commercial behaviour from many utility companies towards small hospitality businesses.

“Many pubs are also the family home and refusing to supply energy to families already hit hard by the pandemic is simply unacceptable," he added.

Related topics: Health & safety

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