Energy prices continue to rise for smaller firms. A lack of transparency and trust with energy providers means many small businesses have struggled to negotiate the best deal, meaning many are paying more than they should.
More broadly, the way the UK generates, distributes and uses energy is facing the greatest transformation since the Industrial Revolution. As a country, we must now make difficult decisions about how and where we choose to invest in our critical energy infrastructure. Ultimately, the cost burden of this investment will be passed on to domestic and non-domestic energy customers, either directly through their energy bills or indirectly through taxation. This will only add to energy costs.
The single best way of saving money on energy bills is to use less energy. Thirty-three per cent of FSB small businesses believe that energy efficiency savings will offset the increasing cost of their energy, as opposed to just 23 per cent who don’t think this will be the case. So, small businesses need support and information to help make these savings wherever possible. Smart meters are a vital component of this.
Energy is a service, not a product. FSB wants to see a new energy market that acknowledges a diverse customer base and enables smaller businesses to make holistic decisions based on real time data. Business customers must be empowered to understand and choose what services they pay for, where they can find the best deal, where they can save energy, and where and how their energy is generated.
Smart meters will play a critical role in this, but many small forms are yet to be convinced of their benefits. Therefore, the rollout of smart meters must be supported by ambitious and holistic industry plans for ongoing energy saving support and advice to small businesses. Without a clear strategy for ongoing customer engagement and empowerment, the costs and benefits of this new technology will not be equitably distributed.
Unwelcome hike in energy costs at time of uncertainty for small businesses – FSB NI
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Somerset and Wiltshire Business News Update 9 August 2016