More than nine out of ten small business owners (94%) are braced for energy price hikes in the near future, with two thirds (67%) expecting prices to shoot up by over 10% in the next year.
According to a new survey by price comparison site Make it Cheaper, energy bills are seen as the “most unfairly priced cost” for small businesses (28%) with fuel coming in second (21%).
Despite claims by the energy industry that bigger bills are down to increased taxes, only 11% believed them, with 45% blaming suppliers’ “determination to make a profit come-what-may”.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of people said too much reliance on energy being imported into the UK was the most likely cause of energy price inflation, 11% blamed it on the government’s environmental subsidies included in bills while 10% said it is due to the lack of competition between suppliers in the energy market.
Entrepreneur and small business advisor Doug Richard said: “The disproportionate cost of energy looks set to remain public enemy number one, certainly for the business community. Anyone holding on for a drop in prices is in for a long wait.”