Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
After 1 December 2022, we’ll only work with brokers that have signed up to an Ofgem approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme. The regulator set up the scheme after its Microbusiness Strategic Review (MSR).
What are MSR and ADR?
Ofgem’s MSR aims to improve information provision to microbusinesses, establish new dispute resolution arrangements, and better equip microbusiness consumers to navigate the energy market. It launches on 1 October 2022.
The regulator’s also introducing a supply licence condition requiring suppliers to only work with brokers signed up to the ADR scheme. This goes live on 1 December 2022.
Register for the scheme now; it costs £300 per member per year.
What’s changing after the MSR launch?
The changes due to the MSR include:
- Strengthening the provision of principal contract terms, including more transparency on broker commission
- Requiring suppliers to only work with brokers signed up to the ADR scheme
- Removing termination notice requirements, apart from 'evergreen' contracts
- Working with Citizens Advice to provide materials to increase awareness about the energy market and consumer rights
Key dates in 2022
- 26 April – ADR scheme registration opened
- 31 August – last date to guarantee registration to the ADR scheme in time for launch. If you haven’t yet, you can still register here
- October – Confirmation of acceptance to the scheme and invoicing
- November – Brokers added to the scheme register
- 1 December – The scheme goes live
What’s classed as a microbusiness?
A non-domestic consumer is defined as a microbusiness if they:
- Employ fewer than 10 employees (or their full time equivalent) AND has an annual turnover or balance sheet no greater than 2 million Euros
- Or uses no more than 100,000 kWh of electricity per year
- Or uses no more than 293,000 kWh of gas per year
Want to find out more?
The Ombudsman has published information on its website about how it intends to launch, operate, and fund the scheme. It also provided more details in two virtual sessions: the recordings and slides are available on the Ombudsman’s web page.
From 1 October 2022, customers must be aware of the Principal Terms – including Third Party Costs* (TPCs) – before agreeing a contract. This is done via the verbal script or signed contract pack if the contract is sold via a broker.
Those TPCs must be the actual or, if that’s not possible, an estimated £ amount (i.e. not p/unit) based on the full term of the contract.
In addition, the supplier must provide TPCs to customers upon request.
We’ll be in contact shortly with new verbal scripts, contract packs, etc. We'll also advise you how to calculate the commission, ready for you to start using on 1st October.
*TPCs refer to any fees, commission or other consideration including a benefit of any kind, processed by the licensee and paid or made or due to be paid or made to the third party in respect of a Microbusiness Consumer Contract, that are passed on to the Microbusiness Consumer.
Letters of Authority (LOAs)
Please be aware that we only accept level 1 LOAs (i.e. those signed by the customer) and no longer accept level 2 LOAs (where a broker signs on behalf of the customer).
Terms and Conditions
You can download copies of our current SME Terms and Conditions.
Customers no longer need to send us a termination letter. Customers on our fixed products won’t be able to leave before the Fixed Period end date of their contract.
If a customer doesn’t agree a new contract or switch to a new supplier once their Fixed Period expires, their contract will move into a Variable Period.
End of contract
If a customer doesn’t agree a new contract or switch to a new supplier once their ‘fixed period’ expires, their contract will move into a ‘variable period’. Variable period rates do include all TPCs but can change at any time; customers can usually get a better deal by agreeing a new contract. Their contract will continue on this variable rate until they agree a new contract or switch to a new supplier.
A smart meter will send meter readings to your supplier automatically. This means you'll only pay for what you use, since we won't have to estimate your bill (unless there's a signal issue - which is rare, and we'd work with you to fix).
You'll also save time by not manually having to submit meter readings. Plus, a smart meter will give you access to detailed data on your energy use that you could use to take action and make savings.
We offer smart meters and installations at no extra cost. Find out more.