Soaring energy costs have been the single most destructive inflationary pressure facing hospitality businesses. We’ve been leading the charge on this issue for more than a year, representing your views and delivering numerous initiatives that have helped mitigate these issues.
One of the key components was our response to the Ofgem review into the non-domestic energy market, which took our feedback seriously and singled out hospitality as the worst affected sector.
Ofgem now embarks on a consultation on its recommendations.
Time to act
Ofgem need to hear from you about why implementing these changes quickly are so important, delivering for your business in both the short- and long-term. In addition, we are making these points to Government, to support the implementation of the recommendations, and where actions fall outside of Ofgem’s remit.
What are we asking for?
In order to enact meaningful change within the energy market, we are urging Ofgem to:
Move rapidly to fulfil its recommendation to encourage suppliers to work with hospitality businesses to resolve issues many are facing with prices fixed at levels far above current market rates. This should include direct, immediate communication to suppliers from Ofgem.
Urgently enact its proposed changes to offer greater transparency to customers, deliver more timely responses to customer complaints and drive better practice in setting deemed rates.
Deliver wider access to the energy ombudsman to redress the imbalance of power between energy suppliers and businesses, which currently lies too heavily with the suppliers.
Put in places measures to prevent the blacklisting of entire sectors, particularly hospitality, as this dramatically reduces competition and unfairly penalises businesses.
Improve regulation of energy brokers, including extending protections to more businesses, the introduction of a formal redress scheme and greater transparency around fees.
It is critically important that, as a sector, we demonstrate clearly to Ofgem that we support these recommendations and that rapidly delivering on them is critical to the future of hospitality businesses and the sustainability of the energy market.
Our Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Sky-high energy costs have decimated so many hospitality businesses, including those suffering from contracts fixed at prices far above current market rates.
“The Ofgem review last week was crystal clear that many of the issues facing businesses lie at the door of the energy suppliers. Whether it is refusing to renegotiate contracts, demanding enormous deposits, or simply refusing to supply the sector, it’s clear that some energy suppliers are mistreating the sector.
“That review also laid out a number of important recommendations to clean up the energy market, in particular strongly encouraging suppliers to renegotiate contracts.
“This consultation is an opportunity for the sector to unite and demonstrate the strength of feeling that Ofgem needs to take action urgently. Businesses cannot withstand inaction any longer and the market needs to be urgently fixed.
“I would urge every business and person working within hospitality to back our #FiveAsksForOfgem and respond to the consultation. Your voice is essential.”