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Convenience Stores Overcharged for Energy

A nation of exploited shopkeepers

A survey by the Association of Convenience Stores has found that a third of shopkeepers in the UK have been let down by their business energy supplier.

Nearly one third of shopkeepers had been:

  • Overcharged by their business energy supplier
  • Hit by backdated billing
  • Experienced above inflation price rises
  • Found a lack of help and guidance on which business energy tariffs were suitable for them
  • Had been rolled over onto punitive rates for 12 months because of a lack of clarity on their termination.

James Lowman, Chief Executive of the ACS said:

“For too long now, energy companies have been tying their business customers into unfair contracts and tariffs leaving hard working businesses like local shops no option but to pay over the odds for their energy usage.

“We are calling for Ofgem to take swift action to stop the bullying practices of energy companies by outlawing rollover contracts, limiting the back billing period to 12 months and giving business customers the information they need to choose the best tariff for them.”

This is all sensible stuff but while the legislative improvements Mr Lowman are calling for would certainly be beneficial, in the meantime there are several things that businesses can do to cut the risk of their energy supplier taking advantage of. We call it:

Engage, Understand, Act

  1. Take regular meter readings – Engage by taking regular monthly meter readings to understand your usage and act by providing these to your supplier for billing and reconciliation.
  2. Check your bills – when you get your bill, engage with it and read it, don’t just accept it – go through it and check that it matches up to your meter readings and understand where it doesn’t, and then act by contacting your supplier and challenging any discrepancies.
  3. Get organised – Understand your contract by finding out when your contract is due to end and put a reminder in your diary for at least three months before that date. Act by ensuring that you leave at least three months to cancel your contract and engage with us at Business Juice to you a find a new deal so that you don’t get rolled over or sold an uncompetitive contract.

If you want to know more about your supplier’s back billing, termination, rollover and out of contract policies then visit our dedicated supplier pages so you can understand both your and your supplier’s obligations.

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