At the Liberal Democrats conference, energy minister Chris Huhne took to the stage and promised to “get tough” on the big six energy companies.
This is a major announcement for the many retailers for whom energy costs are the second biggest outgoing behind staffing. Energy companies are currently taking advantage of retailers by tying them in to unfair energy contracts and billing them for up to six years’
worth of incorrect readings, landing them with a bill of several thousand pounds and the threat of disconnection when in many cases the retailer has done nothing wrong. This threat becomes even more real when you consider that smart meters currently being rolled out allow remote disconnection.
ACS has recently written to Chris Huhne outlining the need for a fairer deal for retailers and have made a submission to Ofgem’s consultation on these issues in which we have called for retailers and other small businesses to be afforded the same protections as domestic consumers.
This includes an end to rollover contracts, backbills that only go back one year and a complete overhaul of the complaints-handling
procedure. This is one of those issues where policy-makers need to hear from the businesses affected, so you have an important role to play.
If you want to have your voice heard on energy, you can download a pro-forma letter to your MP from acs.org.uk/energy. We need to build pressure on the government to match its rhetoric with tangible support for businesses in their dealings with energy companies.
Additionally, if you have recently received a backbill from your energy company that threatens your business, we can provide advice and put you in touch with people who can take your case forward.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org , call us on 01252 515001, or get in touch on Twitter at @ACS_Local_Shops.