80% of small firms fear EMR will hike bills

Small companies fear their energy bills will rocket to pay for the EMR says a new report from the Federation of Small Businesses. The FSB is raising concern that electricity […]

By Sumit Bose

Small companies fear their energy bills will rocket to pay for the EMR says a new report from the Federation of Small Businesses. The FSB is raising concern that electricity generators will pass on the extra costs of yesterday’s White Paper on market reform to consumers.

Research from the FSB’s ‘Voice of Small Business’ survey panel shows 81% of small firms are worried about the rising cost of energy, 18% have very limited knowledge of the energy options open to their business and only 18% actually understand energy contracts.

John Walker, National Chairman of the FSB said: “There is a huge risk that introducing a mechanism to increase electricity prices generated by fossil fuels will further inflate prices for the smaller players as generators pass on the extra costs to consumers and small firms. This concern comes at a troubling time for small firms and is yet another thing that will prevent them from growing. The Government must ensure it puts safeguards in place to protect consumers – including small businesses – and prevent energy companies from passing on the levy.”

Yesterday’s White Paper comes just days after two of the big six energy companies announced large price increases with the rest likely to follow. The FSB says the smallest of businesses are similar to domestic energy users, but they do not receive the same regulatory safeguards as domestic users and are unable to negotiate contracts the way that larger businesses can.