Today the Utility Regulator publishes its final decision paper on “Measures to Enhance the Operation of the Small Business Energy Market”. This paper is the culmination of extensive stakeholder engagement to produce a set of measures which will help small business customers to engage effectively in the market.
Protecting consumers is at the heart of our role and promoting measures to enhance the effectiveness of competition in the Northern Ireland energy markets is an integral part of delivering our statutory duties. This paper sets out the decision on the proposals to build transparency and trust in the competitive market for small business customers in electricity and gas. These new measures are aimed at making energy markets work even better for small business customers in Northern Ireland.
In October 2017, we consulted on the potential measures in the electricity and gas small business markets that will help to make sure competition is as effective as possible for the customers in these sectors. Most of the measures which were consulted upon already exist for domestic consumers and are therefore not novel.
Small business customers will see the benefit of a new set of measures with the aim of enhancing the operation of the small business energy market. The direct consumer impact of this will be in relation to the type of measures which are being implemented, for example, measures in relation to contract clauses and clarity in relation to deposit requirements. The new measures will not directly affect price. However, they may affect the level of deposits and exit fees for example.
Licence modifications to implement the decisions set out in this paper will be issued in due course.