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Calls made to extend rights to protect vulnerable businesses from energy mis-selling

by uma

 

Business Energy Claims, a team of energy and legal experts helping businesses to recover hidden commissions and losses from the mis-selling of commercial energy contracts, has called for vulnerable businesses to be given the same level of protection as household consumers against energy mis-selling. 

The call comes following a newly-published Government study that highlights the negative impact of malpractice by businesses such as energy-selling intermediaries. Business Energy Claims says similar levels of support and protection must now be afforded to commercial enterprises.   

The energy market is a complex environment, with around 3,000 brokers selling energy solutions to businesses. Business Energy Claims has discovered a significant number of examples of hidden charges and different forms of mis-selling, particularly into small and medium sized businesses across a range of sectors. 

Ofgem claims 67% of UK-based micro businesses SMEs have used an energy broker: Business Energy Claims believes this figure is closer to 90%. Of those, an estimated 94% have been mis-sold to and therefore could be eligible for money back on mis-sold energy contracts.

It is anticipated those business are unwittingly paying a combined £16bn for their energy contracts that they could claim back. 

Callum Thompson, Director at Business Energy Claims, says: “The Government report explores the impact on people following negative consumer experiences and how this could pave the way for improved consumer rights. However, the Government must take the opportunity to increase protections for businesses too. Too many businesses in the UK are falling foul of underhand and, at times, downright illegal practices.

“It is time more was done to protect these businesses and help them recover funds so they can reinvest in their business and their staff. This could mean more jobs for teachers, nurses, more books for schools or to simply add value for shareholders.”

Business Energy Claims has emphasised that businesses can be just as vulnerable as consumers, with energy mis-selling impacting jobs, livelihoods, and the mental health of business owners and staff. Although the Government’s consumer protection study found that sectors such as retail were the worst-hit victims, it showed consumers, and not commercial businesses, were most likely to take action against those mis-selling in the utilities sector. 

The call comes against backdrop of spiralling energy prices impacting businesses across the UK. The CBI recently claimed that businesses needed urgent support to help mitigate the damage of the spike in energy prices.

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