Energy prices are a threat to the future of Scottish businesses

Energy prices are a threat to the future of Scottish businesses

More than three quarters (78%) of small businesses surveyed in Scotland have seen the cost of their energy supply rise by at least £100 per year – with one in ten (12%) forking out an additional £500 or more, according to an independent survey commissioned by Utilita Energy.

The research indicates that the energy market is failing Scotland’s small businesses, as businesses are even scaling back staffing costs to compensate for rising energy bills.

The data also revealed SMEs are more concerned about the rising cost of energy and its impact on their business - than they are about the potential fall-out of Brexit.

Its third annual Powering the UK High Street report, looking into the treatment of small businesses by energy companies, also found a third of Scottish micro-businesses (33%) have been forced to make staff redundant to reduce the cost of running their business - with nearly half (43%) reducing staff hours to pay for their energy.

Utilita specialises in providing tailored energy packages for small businesses; customers won’t be turned down for low credit ratings and are charged no upfront deposits.

Despite Ofgem’s announcement of its strategic review of the micro-business energy market, two-thirds of micro-businesses (67%) say they are still caught out with unexpected terms and conditions or costs when signing a new energy deal.

Shockingly, more than a third (38%) are still asked to make large upfront deposits to secure their supply or are being placed on high tariffs (35%) as they’re seen as a credit risk.

Bill Bullen, Utilita Energy CEO, said: “We commissioned our first annual Powering the High Street report in 2017 as we knew many micro-businesses found it hard and costly to engage with suppliers to find a better deal on energy.

“We’ve learned 51% of Scottish businesses surveyed do believe their provider gives them a fair deal, compared to the British average of 68%.”

Share icon
Share this article: