Small firms slam ‘callous’ energy suppliers

Apr 10, 2014

They are calling for wide-ranging measures to increase transparency and allow businesses to switch tariffs more easily.

One local businessman branded the “callous” treatment of small businesses by the ‘Big Six’ energy firms.

The outcry follows the decision by British Gas to raise prices by 6%.

Charles Smith (pictured), regional chairman of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Federation of Small Businesses branch, said: “The British Gas increase at three times the rate of inflation is disgraceful.

"More than 40% of all small businesses are with British Gas and energy price rises are going to make the cost of doing business even higher.”

The government is championing small firms as the cornerstone of the UK’s economic recovery.  

FSB member Mark Collier, who owns metal recycling business re-Mark-iT in Houghton Regis, said: “We are treated very callously by the big-six energy companies, who do not seem to understand the reliance that small businesses on knowing how much their energy is going to cost.

"I would like to see clearer and more transparent contract terms that allows  me to easily compare energy prices from different companies as well as switch provider with ease.”

Mr Smith said small firms now faced the prospect of having to spend time talking to energy suppliers to calculate their overheads over the next two years.

He added: “Unlike households, small firms have to operate in a business energy market where prices are even put into the public domain.   

“The FSB is calling  for reform of the business energy market and wants to see radical measures put in place to increase transparency in the market and allow small firms to switch to more competitive energy deals with ease.” 

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