Supporting microbusiness consumers - Good Practice Guide

Supporting microbusiness consumers - Good Practice Guide 334 KB

Citizens Advice’s good practice guides are designed to help energy suppliers and other stakeholders improve the support provided to their customers. The recommendations presented in this guide can be implemented voluntarily and will help reduce detriment faced by microbusinesses.

This guide is based on insight from our consumer service and Extra Help Unit, our commissioned research about the communication preferences of microbusinesses and interviews with 13 energy market stakeholders. We would like to thank all interviewees for their time and expertise

Key recommendationsDebt and disconnection

  • Identify debt early and act quickly

  • Communicate effectively and offer support

  • Work collaboratively with specialist third parties

  • Offer affordable repayment plans

  • Take all available steps to make contact

  • Avoid high fees associated with disconnection and reconnection

Mixed-use properties

  • Take all reasonable steps to understand occupancy

  • Offer the same protections against disconnection as a domestic consumer

Third party intermediaries (TPIs)

  • Ensure TPIs adhere to clear standards of conduct

  • Implement robust audit regimes to monitor TPI behaviour

  • Ensure that customers understand their supply contract

Vulnerability

  • Implement effective signposting for vulnerable consumers

  • Consider providing extra debt support and protections from disconnection