The Federation of Small Businesses has launched a new service to help its members reduce gas and electricity bills by offering guidance on switching and efficiency measures.
The organisation’s new FSB Energy operation – available only to members – is to offer advice on utility rates and identify savings that could be realised by switching tariffs. It will also arrange new contracts and terminate existing agreements if requested.
FSB said it was responding to research it conducted that demonstrated that 70% of businesses had experienced difficulty in switching energy tariffs in the past, with almost half (43%) admitting to having never switched before.
Efficiency measures will also be raised by the group after it found “major obstacles” were preventing more businesses from installing efficient technologies.
Central to this is the complicated nature of lease and rental agreements – an oft lamented detractor from any premises improvements – while some companies also bemoaned the required expenditure for installations.
Dave Stallon, operations director at FSB, said that the new service was aimed at enabling companies to make savings “with the minimum of fuss”.
“Energy is an increasingly important issue for smaller businesses. There are many ways they can make substantial savings through the implementation of energy efficiency measures as well as ensuring they get the best tariff they can on their gas and electricity.
“Many smaller businesses, however, either don’t believe they can make substantial savings or haven’t trusted the market and the system enough to engage in the process,” he said.
While the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) – jointly ran by the Environment Agency and the Department of Energy and Climate Change – is targeting large businesses, there is no mandatory obligation to commit to energy reduction for SMEs, however there is growing appetite for efficiency measures.
The government has sought to accelerate the deployment of smart meters for businesses and DECC’s recent switching awareness campaign also specifically targeted business users, promoting the benefits of appointing an energy manager.