By Daniel Hunter

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government to 'play fair' when rolling out smart energy meters.

The FSB believes energy costs are a key barrier to growth for the UK's small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and has called on Energy Secretary Ed Davey to give more support when the smart meters are rolled out.

The government multi-billion programme starts next year, with every UK household to have a smart meter by 2020. But the FSB believes there is too much focus on the domestic consumer and not enough on businesses, particularly small businesses.

The FSB claims many business are confused where they fit into the roll-out and what guidance is available. The cost burden to businesses is also unclear, the organisation said.

A recent survey by Which? reveals how the cost of the smart meter roll-out is in danger of "spiralling out of control." and is calling on the Government to take immediate action to reassess the programme. With almost a third of FSB members (29%) listing the cost of energy as a barrier to growth the FSB is supporting the call made by Which? for government to take greater control of the roll out process.

John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“The Government needs to take greater responsibility for the potential rising cost of the smart meter roll out, as well as the plans for how they will help to cut energy bills.

“Ministers need to make sure small businesses are not left out in the cold when smart meters start to help householders cut their energy bills. Without adequate plans to support small businesses, they will be unable to make the most of the opportunity to cut energy costs that smart meters can provide."

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