Micro businesses

See the definition of a micro business and the standards set by Ofgem that offer protection

What's a micro business?

Business owner working from home on her computer

You're a micro business if:

  • You use less than 100,000 kWh of electricity a year OR
  • You use less than 293,000 kWh of gas a year OR
  • You have fewer than 10 employees (or their full-time equivalent) and your yearly turnover, or yearly balance sheet, is not more than two million Euros
The consumption threshold applies to each fuel being supplied

Micro business protection

See the standards, rules and guidelines set out by the energy regulator Ofgem, to help support and protect micro businesses.

Your energy plan

When you agree a new energy plan, suppliers are required to:

  • Let you know the key terms of the plan before you agree to it
  • Send you the contract and terms and conditions within 10 days including renewal terms for fixed term plans
  • Include the contract end date and the last date you can leave on your bill if you have a fixed term plan
Cafe owner working at his laptop

Your energy plan

Cafe owner working at his laptop

When you agree a new energy plan, suppliers are required to:

  • Let you know the key terms of the plan before you agree to it
  • Send you the contract and terms and conditions within 10 days including renewal terms for fixed term plans
  • Include the contract end date and the last date you can leave on your bill if you have a fixed term plan
Restaurant owner looking at some paperwork

What happens when your energy plan is ending

Help with renewing, or switching energy supplier

  • If you have a fixed term plan, you'll receive a renewal reminder around 60 days before it's due to end explaining your options. This should include your current prices, new prices and annual energy consumption to make comparisons easier
  • To cancel your agreement you'll need to provide just 30 days notice before the contract end date
  • Your leaving notice should be confirmed within five working days of receipt
  • It can take up to 21 days to switch energy suppliers. In most cases it’s earlier, or you can request a later start date

What happens when your energy plan is ending

Restaurant owner looking at some paperwork

Help with renewing, or switching energy supplier

  • If you have a fixed term plan, you'll receive a renewal reminder around 60 days before it's due to end explaining your options. This should include your current prices, new prices and annual energy consumption to make comparisons easier
  • To cancel your agreement you'll need to provide just 30 days notice before the contract end date
  • Your leaving notice should be confirmed within five working days of receipt
  • It can take up to 21 days to switch energy suppliers. In most cases it’s earlier, or you can request a later start date

How to compare business energy

You could find a cheaper deal

Comparing and switching energy supplier or tariff is straight forward and could help you save money on your gas and electricity bills. See our guide on why you should look at other deals and how to go about it.

Flower shop owner comparing business energy

How to compare business energy

Flower shop owner comparing business energy

You could find a cheaper deal

Comparing and switching energy supplier or tariff is straight forward and could help you save money on your gas and electricity bills. See our guide on why you should look at other deals and how to go about it.

Standards of Performance

How we book and keep appointments

Ofgem's Standards of Performance offers micro businesses certain guarantees if we miss or cancel an appointment with less than one working days' notice.

Standards of Conduct

Treating micro businesses fairly

Standards of Conduct is a licence condition that requires all energy suppliers to treat customers fairly with regard to billing, energy contracts and switching.

The key principles

  • To operate in a fair, honest, transparent, appropriate and professional way
  • To provide information to customers that is complete, accurate, easy-to-understand, relevant and fair
  • To provide a transparent and complete customer service

Back-billing

What are the back-billing rules?

Ofgem has set out back billing rules to help with problems caused by receiving a 'catch up' gas or electricity bill.

If you have a complaint

We want to sort things out quickly for you

We'll make every effort to get your complaint sorted within a day of getting it. But, sometimes it can take a little longer.

If you're a micro business and we haven't been able to sort things out within 8 weeks, or we can't agree a way forward with you (we call this ‘deadlock’), you have the right to pass your complaint to the Ombudsman Services: Energy.

The Ombudsman is there to help sort out disputes between energy suppliers and their customers. Their service is free to use and they're totally independent – they don't take sides and their decisions are based only on the information they have.

Need more help?

Ofgem questions and answers for micro businesses

ofgem.gov.uk