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28 May 2014 | Gurjit Degun
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on energy suppliers to be fairer and more transparent.
This follows a survey of FSB members which found that four out of five small firms believe that energy suppliers “don’t care about their needs”.
The FSB said that the 'big six' should “publish easily comparable prices for small business customers, commit to not reintroducing rollover contracts and ensure customers who want to switch can do so easily.”
The study of over 1,400 FSB members also found 81 per cent said published tariffs would have a “positive impact” on their business. Respondents said this would make prices more competitive and it would be easier to compare tariffs.
Of those who stated published tariffs would have a negative impact on their business, the majority (67 per cent) said it would prevent them from negotiating the best price.
Two thirds (65 per cent) of respondents think it is difficult to switch energy supplier because of “unclear notice periods, complicated contract terms and the slow process”.
Approximately three quarters of those questioned believe there is enough competition in the energy market.
FSB national chairman John Allan added: “It's clear from our research that many small businesses don't trust the big energy suppliers to deliver a smarter, fairer and more transparent billing process.”
British Gas was recently fined £5.6 million by energy regulator Ofgem after it wrongly blocked companies from switching supplier.