While regulators are working to help domestic energy consumers who are struggling with their energy bills little is being done to help small businesses which are also finding it difficult to cope with rising business gas and electricity prices.
It’s not just small businesses who are struggling with energy bills. Steel giant, Tata Steel has warned that the cost of energy in the UK is now so high that it’s struggling to compete with rival steel firms across Europe, where energy bills are cheaper. In fact Tata Steel claims energy bills in Europe are as much as 50% lower than in the UK.
Small businesses however, struggle more than large businesses with their energy bills because they make up such a large proportion of their outgoings. The average SME has an energy bill of around £8,000. Not only that but they are often attracted by discounted deals and then end up being rolled over into contracts with uncompetitive rates.
Former Dragon’s Den judge, Doug Richard, said “There’s no nice way of saying this but energy companies are taking advantage of small businesses by making billing opaque and switching complex”.
Energy regulators have been more concerned of late with ensuring domestic energy users get better energy deals while small businesses and the SME sector have really been left to fend for themselves.
It pays to compare business electricity prices and gas prices. Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis managed to cut an annual electricity bill in the North West of England by £1,200. It’s still astonishing the number of small and medium sized businesses which simply let their contracts roll over and end up in uncompetitive contracts, especially in the current economic climate.
So if you are a small business owner and your energy contract is due for renewal don’t forget to compare business energy prices. Wholesale energy prices have been going up recently and some business gas prices have gone up so compare now before there are more price increases.