The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero proposed plans to expand access to the energy ombudsman while energy regulator Ofgem suggested access to the Complaints Handling Standards should be widened.
However, the proposals only apply to those classed as ‘Small Business Consumer’ criteria1, defined as firms using no more than 500,000 kWh of gas or electricity per year with fewer than 50 employees and an annual turnover no greater than £6.5m or balance sheet total no greater than £5m.
Also in the package of measures is a Government proposal for energy bills to include clearly any third party costs to brokers.
UKH chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The past two years have shone a light on the bad practice taking place in the energy market for businesses.
“At a time when energy prices went through the roof, hospitality venues were left with no effective protections against unfair and damaging practices by some energy suppliers.
“I’m pleased that Ofgem listened to UKHospitality’s concerns, and those of our members, by bringing forward a rigorous review into the market, which led to these proposals being introduced.”
UKH claimed “thousands of businesses” would be “unable to feel the benefit” of the proposals with the current requirements, adding while it “supports” the “positive” measures, all businesses, regardless of size, should have access.
The trade body suggested firms defined as SME2, which includes businesses under 250 employees with an annual turnover no greater than £36m or an annual balance sheet under £18m, should also be included.
Nicholls added: “No business should be excluded from these types of safeguards, just because they have grown to a point where they exceed an arbitrary figure for turnover, revenue or employees.
“We would urge Ofgem and the Government to revise these measures to include all businesses or, at the very least, those that fall under the much-wider definition of an SME2.”