ACS has welcomed Ofgem’s proposals to introduce a new 12-month backbilling limit for microbusinesses in response to their consultation on protecting non-domestic consumers who receive backbills.
The consultation follows ACS’ calls earlier this year for the regulator to take a more active role in protecting microbusinesses from lengthy backbills.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the steps that Ofgem have taken to ensure that suppliers have appropriate backbilling policies in place. Small businesses should have the same protections as household consumers when dealing with energy companies, and shouldn’t have to decide on energy providers on the basis of the minimum standards that they adhere to when it comes to backbilling.”
Unexpected backbills can be a threat to businesses, as the current limit means that retailers could receive a bill worth thousands of pounds at no fault of their own. Energy costs remain a significant burden to convenience stores despite retailers taking steps to invest in their businesses to be more energy efficient. Currently, it is voluntary for suppliers to limit their backbills to one year for microbusinesses. Non-domestic backbilling limits currently range from anything up to five years, depending on the supplier and fuel type.
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