Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle is calling on Ofgem, the Energy Regulator, to take urgent action to protect small businesses from unfair practices being adopted by energy suppliers.
Current regulations allow suppliers to backbill retailers and other small businesses for six years’ worth of incorrect bills, even when the supplier is at fault. Andrew is supporting a campaign by ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) to reduce this to 12 months, in line with protections for domestic customers. A recent survey of independent retailers showed that 36% have been overcharged in the past year, while more than 1 in 4 had received back bills from suppliers.
Andrew said: “Energy companies continue to take advantage of small businesses. Energy costs are spiralling and competition in the market is failing to work effectively. This is harming the ability of small businesses in Pendle to grow, invest and create jobs. Energy Companies have failed to put their house in order and it’s time for regulators to take action from Ofgem.
“I am therefore pleased to support the ‘Switch to Fair Energy Contract Campaign’ and have written to Ofgem calling on them to take immediate action.”
ACS Chief Executive James Lowman said: “We are delighted that Mr Stephenson has supported the campaign. We need a strong push to put an end to market practices that harm small retail businesses. If we can get the energy market working better then it will have an immediate impact on the cost base of thousands of small businesses allowing them to make investments and create more jobs.”