The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is launching a new service to help its members reduce their gas and electricity bills by almost a quarter.

The new Energy service is part of a concerted drive by FSB to help smaller businesses reduce their energy costs. The organisation is also representing the interests of smaller businesses by responding to the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA)'s investigation into the energy market and creating a resource hub on its new website offering advice on energy efficiency measures.

The new service enables FSB members to obtain advice on competitive rates for their utilities, identify the annual saving achievable by switching tariffs and even have new contracts arranged for them if requested. It is born out of research suggesting that smaller businesses are being failed by the energy market, with 70% of these businesses experiencing difficulty comparing energy tariffs and 43% saying they have never switched supplier.

The new service will be run on behalf of FSB by business costs saving champion, Make it Cheaper. It could generate annual average saving of 23% for new customers switching their gas and electricity provider, equivalent to £973 off the average £4,243 annual energy bill of an FSB member.
FSB Energy will also handle the paperwork involved in switching - such as terminating existing contracts on behalf of members - saving them time and hassle in the process. And the service reminds members when their fixed price periods end to make sure they never 'default' on to more expensive rates.
The CMA, which is preparing to conclude its investigation into the energy market, says SMEs in the UK pay around £500 million more a year than if competition was functioning effectively. It has voiced concern that 45% of SMEs have been placed on a default tariff - one that has not been actively negotiated - which can be more than twice as expensive as a negotiated staff.
Dave Stallon, operations director at FSB, said: "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.
"Our new service is designed to give smaller business owners easy to use advice they can trust, to enable them to make savings with the minimum of fuss. We are also very actively engaged with the CMA to improve the energy market for smaller businesses and are offering resources and advice on energy efficiency. In combination, we are confident that our initiatives can help to make a significant difference to smaller businesses' energy bills."