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FSB Survey Confirms Unfair Energy Market for Small Businesses

Latest FSB reveal survey results showing the shocking lack of interaction of their members with the energy market.

The Federation of Small Businesses has published its latest energy survey from its ‘Voice of Small Business’ Panel.

Despite 63% of those businesses that had switched found the process easy, and 61% said it had a positive impact on their business, in canvassing 1,435 of their 200,000 members, the FSB found that:

  • 64% had never switched supplier or had yet to switch supplier
  • Only 3% of businesses that had switched supplier used a TPI or broker for their gas contracting needs, and just 4% for electricity and,
  • Only 40% of those customers who had used a TPI were ‘very’ likely to recommend using one, but an additional 31% were ‘fairly’ likely to


  • 70% of businesses agree they find it difficult to compare tariffs
  • 65% of businesses agree they find switching supplier a challenge
  • Lack of time, information and understanding was a reason for not switching for 26%, 22% and 12% respectively
  • 63% had issues with the lack of supplier transparency on notice periods
  • 16% said negotiating with suppliers was times consuming and disruptive
  • Only 27% believe there is enough competition in the market
  • Just 2% believe energy companies care about small businesses

John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“It’s clear from our research that many small businesses don’t trust the big energy suppliers to deliver a smarter, fairer and more transparent billing process as four in five of our members say that energy companies don’t care about them.

“This week we will tell Ofgem and the Competition and Markets Authority that small businesses won’t get a fair deal until all energy companies publish easily comparable fixed prices, have much clearer terms and conditions and operate in a more competitive and fair market.”

Sadly, we are aware first hand that the FSB “don’t trust” TPIs (Third Party Intermediaries) and brokers and don’t recommend their members use them.

We disagree, not only because of the nature of our business but because of the clear signposting the FSB survey provides for the issues facing small businesses:

  • No time,
  • No understanding,
  • No support,
  • Not enough competition,
  • No supplier interest

These are exactly the sorts of issues that Business Juice addresses on behalf of our clients. It is the time and cost saving and the removal of hassle that is as important a services as getting the Holy Grail ‘best deal’.

The time has come for businesses of all shapes and sizes to act and invoke their rights to negotiate and/or switch supplier in their pursuit of a better energy deal.

Whether they use a TPI or not is their decision however given the sentiment and quantitative evidence being provided by this latest FSB survey it is clear 96% of the businesses responding to this survey are missing a trick.

The FSB note the “average spend on energy” per year of their members is £4,243 and the average unit rate is 11.49p/kWh suggesting an average annual consumption of around 35,000 kWh.

At that level, today, a customer signing a 1 year contract via Business Juice would pay 15% LESS, would save over £600 per year and mean the FSB would be responsible for saving their members £124m per annum.

What on earth are they waiting for?

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