Small Business gets Raw Deal on Energy
Small Businesses are getting a raw deal on their electricity according to new findings from energywatch, the gas & electric energy watchdog. Energywatch receives around 2,000 calls a month from small businesses and the rate has increased by 22% since last year.
90% of the calls received by energywatch are complaints with billing (61%), problems with transfer to a new supplier (24%), and issues with the way in which a contract has been sold (6%)
One particular problem small businesses have is lacking the ability to be able to compare tariffs between energy suppliers as the information is often not forthcoming.
League tables published by energywatch show small business who are the best and worst suppliers. Not one of the "big 6" suppliers received even a satisfactory rating from their customers.
The energywatch league tables show the "big 6" (suppliers of 95% of energy to SMEs) and their ratings, naming Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) as the best supplier and British Gas Business (BGB) the worst.
The idea of the league tables is to provide "at a glance" comparisons for SME decision makers and to spur on energy suppliers to provide a better service.
Energywatch Business Services Manager, Paul Savage, said:
“Until now, small businesses have been starved of information to help them compare suppliers. Our league tables should empower consumers and spur suppliers on to improve their customer service. Companies languishing at the foot of the league tables have much to do and those enjoying top spots will want to retain their positions.”
Stephen Alambritis from the Federation of Small Businesses added:
“With the publication of this information, energywatch has exposed the poor standards of service meted out to our members. We will certainly be encouraging them to check it out when they are looking for a new supplier and will continue to support calls from energywatch for regulatory protection to small businesses”.
energywatch provide a dedicated service to small business and can be contacted on 08459 06 07 08
Read the full Small Businesses Electricity Consumers Satisfaction Survey Report (368k PDF) or see the tables of all cases handled by energywatch, account & billing cases, direct selling cases and customer satisfaction.