An 'historic' agreement between the Big Six and the government, but what about businesses?
In a speech at KPMG in Canary Wharf today, Nick Clegg will announce an 'historic' agreement between the Big Six and the government. It's good news for domestic energy customers, but what about businesses?
Image from Liberal Democrats via Flickr. Credit Alex Folkes/Fishnik Photography.
Under the agreement, domestic customers will get a letter from their energy supplier once a year, telling them what the best tariff for them is. There will also be barcodes on bills which customers can scan with a smartphone, making it easier for them to compare their tariff to others on the market and switch if there's a cheaper one on offer.
It's great for domestic customers, but where does it leave businesses?
From the details of the speech released by the Cabinet Office, it doesn't sound like businesses can expect the same treatment.
Even if the rules did apply to businesses, they wouldn't have such an impact. 99% of domestic customers are with a Big Six supplier (British Gas, EDF, E.ON. SSE, Scottish Power or npower), compared to only 76% of businesses. (Based on figures for our customer base from 1st April 2011 to 31st March 2012).
In addition, the best tariff is often likely to be with a different supplier, not your existing one, so there's no guarantee this agreement will guarantee you get the best deal.
Mr Clegg is expected to say that families "could save up to £100 a year", and I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering whether the money they save will be clawed back from businesses? In fact, I know I'm not - Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary last week accused the Big Six of doing as much.
Paired with yesterday's proposals for compensation for domestic energy customers, which would fall short for many businesses, it's a pretty frustrating time for businesses looking to the government for help with the burden of energy bills.
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