Small business owners call for transparency from utilities providers

Small business owners want greater protection from utilities providers rolling over their contracts without their knowledge.


Small business owners want greater protection from utilities providers rolling over their contracts without their knowledge.

Small business owners want greater protection from utilities providers rolling over their contracts without their knowledge, new research by the Forum of Private Business finds.

Almost all (96 per cent) of the 6,000 members surveyed want such protection from their energy suppliers.

The report also found that 69 per cent believe it is difficult to keep track of contract anniversaries. In order to plan ahead and avoid being rolled over onto another contract, 73 per cent of those surveyed want a reminder of the contract end date added to their bills.

Business owners raised concerns that utilities staff can appear reluctant to provide information about contract dates.

Micro businesses (those with fewer than 10 staff) are currently afforded greater protection than other small firms. Regulator Ofgem’s utilities licensing condition 7A means micro businesses can only be rolled over for one year.

The Forum’s chief executive Phil Orford calls for better protection to stop the erosion of service provided by utilities companies to commercial customers.

‘At the very least, protections that have been introduced for micro businesses should apply to all small businesses,’ he says.

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