More than 30% of small businesses have been put onto a deemed contract – i.e. when there is no agreement in place with the supplier – at the end of a fixed deal.
That leads to firms paying 80% more for their energy use as tariff rates are higher, new research claims.
A further 16.8% of businesses aren’t sure if they have been put onto such a contract while 18% of them have been “locked” in fixed-terms deals without their permission, it adds.
More than half (50.4%) of UK small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) said they have had problems understanding their energy contracts and 25% don’t fully know how to end their current contracts.
That means as many as 1.3 million firms are losing out on better energy deals, the research claims.
Ivan McKeever, CEO of SwitchMyBusiness.com said: “These findings prove that the UK’s SMEs are still getting a raw deal. Smaller to medium-sized businesses are in a uniquely challenging position: the business energy market lacks the transparency that consumers now have and smaller businesses do not have the resources to liaise with lots of suppliers and negotiate a good deal.”