SMEs overpay for energy by £7 billion

Small and medium businesses may have overpaid for their energy by as much as £7 billion in the last year.

Research from Energy Helpline suggested that SMEs who do not switch energy supplier could be overpaying an average of £532 per year.

Energy Helpline recommend that businesses start shopping around for the next contract six months before the current contract ends, and that switching to energy-saving lightbulbs, keeping doors closed and investing in laptops will help them save money.

Energy Helpline executive Nevena Mulyachka said: “Businesses are increasingly suffering due to their passive approach to energy contracts. In a competitive market place, companies cannot afford to spend more on utilities than is necessary.

“With the winter months just around the corner and energy price rises expected, now is the time to switch onto a more affordable alternative.”

In June this year the Competition and Markets Authority published its final recommendations for the energy market after finding that half of SME customers with one of the big six suppliers have not switched supplier in at least five years, with many staying with the same supplier for much longer.

The probe also claimed that domestic customers were spending an average of £1.4 billion a year more than they would in a fully competitive market.