National Grid has hit back at claims that it fails to pay suppliers on time.

The firm was accused of “extortionate” credit terms by Labour life peer Lord Berkeley, who has written to business secretary Vince Cable urging government action.

His call followed a report from credit agency Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) that alleged National Grid had the seventh worst payment record of major UK firms.

National Grid said the data used by D&B was misleading. A spokesperson said: “We don’t believe the sample is truly representative, given very few of our 4,449 vendors input data into the survey.

“Last year, 92 per cent of the 145,000 invoices we received were paid on time to 4,449 suppliers. The D&B figures show 110 experiences of late payment – only 0.07 per cent of the invoices we paid.

“We work hard to make sure we pay all our suppliers as promptly as possible, and will continue to do so.”

This article first appeared in Utility Week’s print edition of 22 June 2012.

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