The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has welcomed proposals to end rollover energy contracts as part of the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) consultation on the energy market.
Responding to the CMA’s energy market investigation, the ACS supported proposals to improve price transparency, tackling ‘rollover’ contracts with greater notice periods and ending termination fees which prevent switching as well as moves to prompt and engage.
It also backed calls to ensure small businesses are provided with competitive quotes for their gas and electricity.
In June 2014 the investigation was tasked with looking at any competition issue connected with gas and electricity supply in the UK for households and microbusinesses. The initial results of the investigation were published last month, while a consultation is now underway.
The investigation will also consider an Ofgem-controlled database which will allow rival suppliers to contact domestic and microbusiness customers who have been stuck on their supplier’s default tariff for three years or more with better deals, subject to strict safeguards so that customers can opt out at any time.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Energy costs for convenience stores are a significant burden on many retailers, with standards of conduct being insufficient for a number of years. We have long campaigned for stronger regulations to protect small businesses against bad practice from energy companies, specifically on the issue of automatic rollovers which can cause serious unnecessary financial harm to a business. We welcome the CMA’s continuing focus on making the energy market fairer, and will continue working with Ofgem to ensure that energy companies are not taking advantage of small businesses.”