The trade body stressed the need for “urgency” from Ofgem to enact the recommendations made as part of its review to ensure businesses avoid another “winter energy crisis”.
BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "We support Ofgem's recommendations, which are sound and sensible, but they mean very little if they are not implemented quickly to protect businesses from future energy price hikes.”
Data from a joint quarterly business survey by the BBPA with the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), UKHospitality (UKH) and Hospitality Ulster revealed many firms feel energy costs still posed a “serious threat to viability”.
According to the survey, some 15% of respondents were at risk of failure in the next 12 months with 95% of those flagging energy costs as a “significant contributor”.
The BBPA added where policy options initially rely on voluntary measures for suppliers, Ofgem must maintain “recourse” to more binding mechanisms to ensure “expected standards of conduct and behaviour” are met and maintained.
Severity of the issue
Government support for Ofgem to implement the recommendations was also cited as “essential” by the trade body to “protect vulnerable businesses” as well as “parity” between the protection of both the domestic and non-domestic energy markets.
McClarkin added: “Just last week we saw Ofgem rightly step in once again for domestic users, but we must not forget that thousands of businesses are still struggling with their energy bills, and this will only get worse as we head into the colder months.
“The Government must recognise the severity of this issue has not gone away and ensure Ofgem has the power to regulate effectively now and protect our pubs and brewers in the future as well."