Energy Companies are profiteering off the back of this crisis, with energy costs still on average between 200-300% of previous years bills, while oil and gas prices are lower than the period prior to the Russian invasion.
While we talk of the current Government Energy Relief Scheme impacting wholesale KWH pricing, it is clear the uncapped service and operational charges are being inflated for profit.
Energy companies have been found to be withholding money, reducing payment terms, excluding certain businesses from energy supply, as well as withholding the subsidy benefit from the Government Energy Relief Scheme.
Thousands of businesses have been crippled by the growing energy costs over the past year, with the new Government relief scheme starting in April, serving no immediate relief for businesses across the Night Time Economy & Hospitality sector.
Whilst the Government is talking about a long term strategy for the economy and growth, the sector is dealing with a crisis that is happening today, not in the future.
Michael Kill CEO from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said, “The Government has created a platform for energy companies to thrive and profit from vulnerable independent businesses across the Night Time Economy & Hospitality Sector.”
“We have hundreds of examples of businesses being financially compromised by energy supply companies, unscrupulously profiteering from a national crisis.”
The Government need to call a public inquiry into the behaviour of these energy companies, in line with Sacha Lord Greater Manchester NTE Advisor, this cannot be allowed to continue.”
“While Government is talking about a long term strategy for the economy and growth, the sector is dealing with a crisis that is happening today, not in 3-6 months time.”
This case study experience below resonates with thousands of businesses across the country, with some owners having to make the decision to close their businesses, impacting communities and livelihoods.
Case Study e.on – Pub
Local Pub that has operated since 1832 and was rebuilt in 1939. The owners are passionate about the pub, as it has been in the family for 30 years however due to the loss of income from current trading conditions. the pub needs every penny it can get hold of for cash flow.
They found out that e.on was holding £9K credit on energy, so to top up cash flow asked for 2/3rds of it to be returned.
*They first enquired on 21st Oct, requesting £6K to be returned *It was agreed we were due to receive a refund on 24th October *They were informed that the cheque was sent out on 31st Oct and we could expect a cheque in 2-4 weeks.
*We chased on 20th Dec to be told it was probably lost in the postal strike (which finished three days before the cheque was issued) *We instructed them to cancel the first cheque and re-send, as it was obviously not arriving and asked for it to be transferred by BACS.
*They said they couldn’t, as they didn’t have our bank details, so the question was asked how can you take a direct debit if you don’t have bank details?
*On 23rd January after further chasing, they were contacted by e.on to suggest the second cheque had been lost and did they want it to be cancelled and reissued.
This experience resonates with hundreds of businesses across the country, with varying stories of Government relief being withheld as well as similar stories to the above, with some of them having to make the drastic decision to close their businesses.