The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has urged the energy sector to deal fairly with pubs after it claimed “some utility companies” of “poor commercial behaviour and refusing to supply many pubs.

It said some had refused to supply energy and renew contracts – even when supply included for domestic purposes.

The BBPA said punitive, out-of-contract rates were typical where new contracts were negotiated. Renegotiations lasted weeks or months, it said.

Energy markets regulator Ofgem is said to have agreed to investigate further, but the BBPA said it remained concerned that publicans would continue to be adversely affected during this process.

The BBPA has put out a call to publicans to share examples of unfair practices directly with the regulator.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said publicans had already suffered enough through the pandemic.

“The regulations are clear that energy suppliers are obliged to provide domestic energy to a pub when it is lived in.”

She urged Ofgem to “do the right thing” and ensure unfair behaviour was ending bearing in mind so many families live in pubs.

“It’s time for energy companies to show support for the sector through fair dealing,” said McClarkin.