Strategic review of the micro-business retail market

What is it?

Ofgem has published an opening statement seeking a review of the micro-business retail market with a view to introduce more regulation to protect the end consumer. The opening statement can be viewed here.

What does it say?

In summary, Ofgem is concerned that some micro-businesses are still struggling to engage with the market and are paying more for their energy than they need to. They believe that micro-businesses should be able to access competitive prices easily to make an informed decision, should receive good service and be adequately protected. Evaluation of suppliers and their debt management rules, along with the assessment of broker practices will form part of this review to ensure that consumers are being treated fairly by both suppliers and brokers.

Who does it apply to? 

This review is only focused on micro-businesses and excludes home-based single site and large businesses. Ofgem’s definition of a micro-business can be found here

What is the timeline? 

This review is currently in its research and evidence gathering stage, with an updated position and next steps expected to be presented this winter. 

The clock is ticking! Are you ready for ESOS Phase 2?

What is ESOS?

The Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme is a mandatory energy assessment scheme. Organisations might see this as another administrative burden, however it is a chance for companies to improve their energy efficiency and make some potentially significant cost savings.

Qualifying companies are required to comply with the scheme by ensuring that all of their significant energy usage across their buildings, industrial processes and transport is covered by one or more routes to compliance. This could be through ISO 50001, Green Deal Assessments or Display Energy Certificates.

If none of the above strategies are implemented, qualifying organisations must appoint a lead assessor to complete ESOS energy audits and reporting on their behalf.

The compliance deadline is 5 December 2019. Companies who are late with their reporting may be fined by up to £50,000 and/or a fine of up to £500 per each day of non-compliance, for a maximum of 80 days.

Do I qualify?

The scheme applies to all large companies and groups containing large companies, registered in the UK.

A large company is defined as having:

  • 250+ employees*
  • an annual turnover in excess of 50 million euro, and an annual balance sheet total in excess of 43 million euro

*For a UK registered company, employee is defined as anyone contracted to the company either in the UK or abroad, irrespective of the number of their working hours. For a non-UK registered undertaking, with a UK registered company, employee is defined as someone directly contracted to the undertaking who is subject to income tax in the UK.

I completed ESOS Phase 1, do I still need to comply with Phase 2?

Yes, if your company still falls under the above criteria, you will need to comply with ESOS Phase 2.

Give us a call on 01923 854770 to see how we can make ESOS work for your business.

Useful Links

Complying with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

Water Market de-regulated in England

Water Market de-regulated in England

The water market was de-regulated on 1st April. This means businesses no longer have to stick with their regional supplier.

The aim is to improve customer service and create saving opportunities for businesses. By introducing competition, customers are now able to choose a provider best suited for their needs and customer service expectations.

All water providers will need to have a water supply and sewerage licence and Ofwat will continue to regulate the industry.