Energy supplier E.ON is scrapping back-dated bills longer than a year as part of some “major changes” to the way it deals with business customers which kick in this week.
The firm has 670,000 SME customers in the UK and says it will also put contract end dates on bills to let them know exactly when they must renew their contracts.
E.ON also wants “clearer communication” around automatic contract rollovers and may flag up opportunities to opt out while not “locking” customers into another fixed contract.
The supplier trumpeted the changes as it brought out research which suggested three quarters (73%) of Britain’s SMEs see business prospects hampered by complex tax system and over-regulation. The results of a survey of 750 small business decision makers found many want less red tape and simpler tax systems.
Anthony Ainsworth of E.ON said: “All businesses depend on energy to varying degrees, giving it a key role in stability and overall success. As an industry, we need to recognise that changes are necessary.
“We have made great strides in improving things for our business customers, including an overhaul of our back-billing period to one year, effective this week, which delivers on a promise we made last year to mitigate against the shock factor of unexpected bills.”
The supplier claims some rival energy providers can currently charge for up to six years’ backdated energy use, but around three quarters of the research respondents (76%) believe the process of back-billing for past consumption should be restricted to a maximum of one year.