11/01/24

Energy Disputes | Methods of Resolution | KANGS Dispute Resolution Solicitors

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The constantly increasing rise in the cost of energy supplies has resulted in the number of disputes, increasing by eighty-four per cent on the previous year according to the Energy Ombudsman.

Given the level of price increases, both individuals and businesses of every description now pay closer attention to the rates at which they are charged which, inevitably leads to disputes.

Frequently, businesses discover that they continue to be charged for the energy supplied to premises with which they no longer have any connection, customers are receiving Notices of Disconnection of their supply, power supplies are disconnected without proper Notice and Statutory Demands are being issued to recover unpaid bills.

Whilst any user’s complaint should initially be addressed to the energy supplier, in the event that a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, immediate legal advice should be obtained.

Stuart Southall of KANGS provides guidance upon the appropriate approach towards the settlement of such disputes.

The Team at KANGS offers vast experience and is highly regarded nationwide for assisting clients involved in commercial disputes of every nature, including those with energy suppliers.

Should you require any initial advice, our Team can be contacted as follows:

Potential Grounds for Dispute | Kangs Commercial Disputes Solicitors

Threat of Disconnection

When bills go unpaid, a supplier should issue a seven day Notice of Disconnection prior to disconnecting the supply to any property, thereby allowing time for the business to contact the supplier to discuss the issue.

Section 2(2) of Schedule 6 of the Electricity Act 1989 provides that no supplier may disconnect any source of electricity if the sums it avers are owing are genuinely disputed.

Clearly, any business which receives such a Notice must attend to it immediately, as the supplier will most likely exercise its right to disconnect the supply to the property.

Out of contract rates

Also known as ‘Deemed’ rates, they are covered by the Energy Act 1989.

These may be applied where no contract has been agreed by the parties and can be significantly higher than the rates applied under an agreed contract.

It is the responsibility of the supplier to provide the customer with the Terms of the ‘Deemed Contract’ and to decide whether such a contract should be provided.

Where this does not occur, the rate imposed could be very substantially higher.

A ‘Deemed Contract’ may be disputed according to the discrete circumstances existing.

The Energy Ombudsman

The Energy Ombudsman can only become involved if the dispute is not resolved after eight weeks or it is deemed unresolvable.

After registering the dispute with the Ombudsman, the business must provide the requisite evidence within fourteen days.

If the decision of the Ombudsman is declined, the dispute can proceed to a Civil Court.

If accepted, the remedy should be implemented within twenty-eight days.

When referring the dispute to the Ombudsman it is important to provide complete and accurate information and it is advisable to seek legal advice in relation to the submission.

How Can We Help? | KANGS Energy Supplies Dispute Solicitors

Clearly, disputes concerning the manner, cost of and termination of power supplies will continue to rise, all the more so now customers have started taking greater note of their bills, because of the rising costs, and realising that they may have been making unnecessary payments for, by way of example, premises now longer occupied but for which they continue to be charged.

Additionally, with trading profits generally under pressure, meeting ever increasing bills is threatening the survival of many businesses.

As briefly outlined above, steps can be taken to try and resolve the issues arsing but they need to be properly formulated and presented, especially if the dispute is to be taken to the Ombudsman or dealt with formally through a Civil Court.

The Team at KANGS provides vast experience gained from assisting clients over many years faced with commercial disputes of every nature, including those involving energy supplies, and would be pleased to assist you.

We welcome enquiries by:

Telephone: 0330 370 4333

Email: info@kangssolicitors.co.uk

We provide a no obligation, initial consultation at our three offices in Manchester, Birmingham and London. Alternatively, meetings can be held via video conferencing.

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