Energy market “desperately in need of reform”

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In his New Year message, Allan said: “We want to see radical measures put in place to increase transparency in the market and allow small firms to switch to more competitive energy deals with ease.” 

Utilities costs are the biggest barrier to growth for one fifth of small companies, he said.

“Unlike households, small firms can’t access published prices making it almost impossible to work out their future overheads. 

“It isn’t right that most micro businesses consume the same amount of energy as an average household yet are treated differently. It is only right that they are offered the same level of regulatory protection as domestic consumers.”

Allan also pledged to step up pressure for a “fundamental review” of the business rates system.

“I am personally shocked by the high cost of business rates. In some cases small firms pay more in rates than rent. This cannot be right and the appeals process is often lengthy and unfair,” he said.

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