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UK Small Business Energy Costs Have Increased 43% And Price Cap Could Make It Worse

Zlata Rodionova, The Independent

Planned crackdown on energy prices could see even more crippling costs for British small and medium-sized companies

The proposed government crackdown on energy prices is unlikely to combat a steep increase in energy costs that are hampering small and medium-sized businesses, according to a new study.

Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this month confirmed that the Conservative manifesto will include plans for price controls on energy bills. She claims the voter-friendly intervention will protect around 17 million families on standard variable tariffs from being exploited with sudden and unjustified increases in bills.

But a new analysis by energy consultancy Utilitywise, seen by The Independent, shows that electricity costs for SMEs have already increased by 43 per cent since 2010 and that such caps might introduce even more crippling costs for companies.

Utilitywise, which advises some 40,000 businesses across the UK, says that the Tories’ expected plans would hinder competition in the commercial sector, in turn leading to even higher prices for the SMEs already struggling to cope with ballooning prices.

“These spiralling costs are clearly very damaging for the UK economy, as small business owners are already under a lot of pressure from increased business rates and economic uncertainty with Brexit and now another general election,” Jon Ferris, strategy director at Utilitywise told The Independent.

According to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, SMEs already spend £15bn a year on energy.

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