FSB tells government small firms still being hit by ‘eye-watering’ energy bills
The Federation of Small Business has taken the extraordinary step of writing to the UK Business Secretary about the lack of transparency of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.
The FSB has had anecdotal evidence from its members that they are still being hit with “eye-watering” demands from energy suppliers that are still inflating their prices.
The FSB has asked the government to intervene to stop these suppliers from finding routes to inflate prices by urging them to sign up to freeze standing charges, not to disconnect struggling small firms this winter, and ban the practice of disproportionate upfront payments.
In its letter to the Business Secretary, Grant Shapps, the UK’s largest business group revealed that eye-watering bills are still landing on small businesses with insufficient discount, after the government energy rebate scheme came into effect, while energy suppliers continue to charge those with newly signed contracts at rates substantially higher than the previous period.
There are also examples of small firms asked by energy suppliers for disproportionate upfront payments and told that they could be disconnected from energy if they fall into arrears.
While energy suppliers have pledged not to disconnect households that fall into arrears this winter, they have promised no such help for struggling small businesses in the same position that can be cut off within 30 days.
Some suppliers even refuse to take on business customers from certain sectors out of fear that they might go under this winter.
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