A new energy switching initiative aimed at helping small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) cut their gas and electricity bills was launched yesterday.
Peterborough City Council will lead the ‘Ready to Switch for Businesses’ scheme, which aims to target an initial 60,000 SMEs across seven local authority areas drive down their energy prices as well as offer free advice on how to avoid contract pitfalls such as expensive rollover contracts.
Four out of five businesses are not doing anything about their energy bills and are paying up to 35% more than they need to for their energy, according to the council. It believes this is mainly because owners of SMEs either don’t have time or don’t know where to start looking for new energy suppliers as tariffs are not as readily available as domestic ones.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “Small and medium-sized businesses are crucial to the nation’s economic recovery so we must do all we can to help them thrive and grow. We know that many SMEs struggle to find the best deal for their gas and electricity… I encourage councils across the country to follow their lead to help small firms to find ways to cut their energy costs.”
Blackpool, Luton Borough, South Holland, Hull City, Wiltshire and Northumberland will work alongside Peterborough City Council and the scheme is also open to other councils to become members.
They will work with energy comparison and switching service for businesses Make It Cheaper and iChoosr to negotiate with energy companies on behalf of SMEs signed up to the scheme.
Earlier this year a new survey revealed almost one in three households in Britain are missing out on potential savings by not switching their energy tariffs.