Nockolds Obtains a Favourable Determination from the Energy Ombudsman

Saagar Mehta was recently instructed by Lasered Components Limited to advise on a dispute with its gas and electricity provider.  A successful determination from the Energy Ombudsman was obtained after the supplier failed to honour a fixed-tariff energy deal.

Considering growing concerns surrounding the cost of gas and electricity, Lasered Components entered into eight fixed-term and fixed-tariff contracts for their various sites to protect against energy cost increases.

However, due to the increased cost of wholesale gas and electricity prices, the provider sought to levy an increase to its fixed tariffs to pass to its customers. This increase over the course of the fixed term was estimated to cost Lasered Components in the region of an additional £200,000.

An application was made to the Energy Ombudsman and a favourable determination was provided. The provider was made to reinstate the contractual tariffs, refund any monies charged above the contractual tariffs and provide confirmation that it recognises its obligation to maintain the contracted fixed- tariff charges for the duration of the contract.

The Ombudsman commented as follows:             

“Given the guidance provided to me and the consideration I have given to the fairness of the contract entered into, I have concluded that the implementation of an increase in the fixed charges would represent an unfair breach of the contract as agreed to. Due to this, I consider that [the supplier] should ensure that all changes in charges levied at above contracted fixed charges, should be recalculated in line with the fixed tariff charges entered into by contract.”

Karl Willett, Director of Lasered Components Limited commented:

“Saagar reviewed our many contracts and clearly identified the options we had and their implications. We received regular updates and progress information, and always felt that we could go through anything that we didn’t initially understand. Nockolds dealt with every aspect on our behalf and minimised our internal workload. Overall, we were impressed and very pleased that Saagar was able to achieve the desired outcome, and we continue to deal with Nockolds on other matters continuing a great working relationship”.