Ask any convenience retailer about energy issues and they are likely to have a few choice words to say on the subject.

However, the recent inquiry conducted by Ofgem is a sign that things could be about to change for the better.

In March we welcomed the regulator's recommendations to improve the transparency of contracts, particularly bringing to an end automatic rollover when fixed-term contracts expire. Incidentally, I'd also like to say congratulations to the Convenience Store team for their great work encouraging retailers to give notice on contracts so they don't get caught by rolling deals.

However, in my opinion the regulator's recommendations need to go much further to fully protect the convenience sector, and as a trade body we have called for specific safeguards to be put in place.

Time is now of the essence and we are telling Ofgem what we want, including creating a dedicated body to assist businesses with their legal battles.

Crucially, we want the energy companies to be made to keep a record of businesses actually receiving letters sent to them containing the information set out in the informational remedies, and we also want one main point of contact in dispute situations.

We are expecting the final report to be published in the next few weeks and hope that hearing directly from retailers at our recent Energy Forum will add weight to our consultation response.

If I can add one final plug, getting the right deal in the first place is vital, and ACS members have the added benefit of a free helpline direct to an energy consultant who can help them get the best rates.

We can't make the frustrations surrounding this issue go away, but we can work together for the best outcome politically and for each retailer.

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