How much could your business save?Find out now!
Or, you can call us on:0800 411 8830

New research proves ‘great UK business energy rip off’


Businesses are being rolled over and locked into energy contracts without their permission, SwitchMyBusiness.com has found, alongside a catalogue of other issues.

The findings are striking – we found that 18.4% of businesses have been automatically rolled over onto a new contract without their permission and a further 16% don’t know whether they have been a victim of auto-renewal.

The study comes in the wake of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report which found that UK SMEs are unnecessarily losing £500 million a year on energy.

While Ofgem and some energy suppliers have made steps towards making the business energy market fairer, the practice of ‘auto-renewal’ – where businesses are ‘locked in’ to another fixed-term contract without their express permission – continues.

The SwitchMyBusiness.com research also showed that more than 30% of small businesses have been shunted onto a ‘deemed contract’ (30.4%) with the same supplier at the end of a fixed contract, leaving them paying up to 80% more.

A further 16.8% are unsure whether they have been put onto a deemed contract, and the majority of UK SMEs stated they have had problems understanding their energy contract at all (50.4%), a sign the business energy market urgently needs more clarity.

Switch business energy supplier

Knowing how to switch supplier is vital if businesses are to avoid getting ripped off or paying more than they need to. But more than a quarter of smaller to medium-sized businesses (25.6%) do not fully understand how to terminate their current business energy contract, meaning as many as 1.3 million businesses are losing out on better energy deals.

“These findings prove that the UK’s SMEs are still getting a raw deal,” says Ivan McKeever, CEO of SwitchMyBusiness.com. “Smaller to medium-sized businesses are in a uniquely challenging position: the business energy market lacks the transparency that consumers now have and smaller businesses do not have the resources to liaise with lots of suppliers and negotiate a good deal.”

Better deal for SME energy

The research shows that much more needs to be done to help small businesses with their energy bills. SwitchMyBusiness.com has publicly appealed for the Government to take urgent action:

  • Auto-renewal must be outlawed – the Micro Businesses and Energy Contract Roll-Over Bill 2012–13 should be reintroduced to Parliament or a similar Bill drafted.
  • There should be a cap on how much more businesses who are on deemed contracts are charged: Ofgem says that around 10% of smaller businesses are on such ‘deemed contracts’ at any one time, which costs an average of 80% more.
  • All suppliers must be put on a level playing field, with suppliers required to make information easily accessible and switches more straightforward to ease the burden on busy businesses – the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently made similar observations.

A clear energy comparison

As we have proven, cheaper business electricity and gas is available for many, many small to medium sized businesses. We are passionate about stopping UK SMEs paying too much and will keep campaigning to make the energy market fairer. In the meantime, we offer practical help – we always contact all of our customers ahead of their renewal date to ensure they have the option to switch to the cheapest energy supplier.

Our process takes only 20 minutes and has received the top rating on independent site Trust Pilot. Fill in our simple form (also at the top right of this page) or give us a call on 0330 0100 251 now to start saving.

Related Articles

energy news 21/01/2017

Energy News – 21/01/2017

The week of Donald Trump’s inauguration has seen shaky energy markets, a landmark Brexit speech by Theresa M...

Read More
how business leaders avoid burnout

How business leaders avoid burnout

When you’re a small business owner the buck stops with you, which can make it incredibly difficult to sw...

Read More
how to make 2017 your best year ever

How to make 2017 your best year yet

Whether you heaved a sigh of relief when 2016 ended, or said goodbye to the year with sadness, we have some ti...

Read More
Excellent, 9.6 / 10

Thanks Mark...

"Mark was very helpful and had all the answers to the questions I had - would go back to him time and time. Thanks Sir"

This review was posted by Wayne Nugent - Mailing Guy on the 20th of January 2017

Switch Business Electricity Contract

"Very good & efficient service - good range of prices offered from variety of suppliers"

This review was posted by SALLY DOLMAN on the 20th of January 2017

Cheerful, helpful service.

"Aaron Gallagher was my contact at SwitchMyBusiness.com. Aaron was cheerful and helpful he made switching our electricity supply easy and painless giving an understandable explanation each step of the way. I would quite happily recommend this company and Aaron Gallagher to anyone given the task of arranging a new energy contract."

This review was posted by Pam Johnson on the 19th of January 2017

Kyle Wright - Excellent Service

"Dealt with the above on two occasions now and has made the process of switching energy suppliers very easy. Very Polite and helpful person, will defiantly want to deal with again."

This review was posted by Skyline32 on the 19th of January 2017

Made this a very simple transaction!

"Aaron was polite, friendly and extremely helpful, making this potential chore a very easy transaction. He explained everything thoroughly and answered all my questions and I feel very confident that the whole transition will go very smoothly and I am aware of what to expect as the process moves forward. Thanks Aaron!"

This review was posted by Lesley Clayton on the 18th of January 2017