For many small businesses the process of choosing a gas or electric energy supplier is much the same as it is for a domestic consumer. Most business owners do not have the specialist resource available, or the time to spare, to shop around and negotiate the best deals.
This means that small businesses often fall victim of the same complex tariff and confusing price plans that leave many consumers paying more than they need to.
Government regulator stepping in to help Small Businesses
Ofgem, the government body responsible for regulating the electricity and gas markets in Great Britain, has this week unveiled plans to make the process of switching easier for businesses and also force energy companies to have clearer contract dates and terms and conditions on their bills and paperwork.
The regulations currently benefit businesses with fewer than 10 employees, but Ofgem wants to expand this to firms which spend up to £10,000 a year on gas or electricity. The move is intended to provide the same protection to a larger number of British businesses, estimated by the regulator to improve it for more than £150,000 firms.
These new rules are planned to be in place by the summer of 2013, subject to a consultation period.
So what will change for Business Owners?
Under the proposed plans, energy suppliers will be forced to make it clear on bills and on statements when a contract is due to end. This will give business owners advance notice of when they should start looking for their next deal.
With more business owners shopping around for their energy supplier the big six energy companies (who currently hold a 78% share of the market for electricity supply to businesses) will be forced to become more competitive and could potentially drive down prices.
More power to Small Businesses
The regulations will also put new rules in place for when contracts rollover automatically. Where a firm fails to respond to a renewal request they will only be allowed to go onto a rollover contract for a maximum of a year. This is an attempt to stop energy companies locking small businesses into uncompetitive contracts when there could be a better deal available to them.
So with the good news that you and your business will have more power to find a better deal on your energy bills, remember that it is also worth shopping around for your Business Insurance. With access to a wide range of insurers both specialist and niche, The Business Octopus can help you to find the cheapest deal that suits your business.
Call us today for a Business Insurance quote from a specialist consultant.