Energy market regulations needed for small businesses

27th Jul 2023 | Mollie Pinnington | 2 minute read

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Business groups across the UK have urged energy regulators to ensure the future of the companies within their groups is protected.

The energy market has seen a good deal of volatility in recent years, leading to unpredictability that has added a layer of complexity for businesses, particularly when it comes to renewing their energy contracts.

Fluctuating prices, combined with changes in regulations and policies, have made it challenging for businesses to confidently forecast their energy costs. This unpredictability can have a significant impact on small businesses, which often operate on slim margins and may not have the financial reserves to absorb unexpected increases in energy costs. It underscores the need for further market regulations that provide stability and fairness, particularly for small businesses.

The instability in the energy market last year led to many smaller businesses having to close their doors despite trying to stay afloat. One business group, The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) said over 800 businesses within their group had to close last year due to soaring energy costs.

In response to these harsh realities, the ACS has publicly voiced concerns over the treatment of businesses within their group. They argue that these businesses should receive better terms when it comes to energy bills. The ACS insists that these small businesses, which form the backbone of local communities, should not bear the brunt of a volatile energy market.

They are advocating for regulatory measures that would offer better protection against soaring energy costs and provide a more predictable, fair pricing structure. This, they say, is crucial not only for the survival of these businesses but also for the vitality of the communities they serve.

Indeed, the call to action by the ACS illuminates the urgent need for strengthened regulation within the energy market. It is apparent that without protective measures and enhanced transparency, small businesses are at significant risk, with profound implications for local communities.

A volatile energy market not only threatens the survival of small businesses but also the economic health and vibrancy of the communities they support. Enhanced regulation would engender an environment of stability, promoting predictability in energy costs, and offering the much-needed financial certainty these businesses require to plan, grow, and thrive.

Such a regulatory framework would not merely protect small businesses but would also foster greater fairness within the industry, underscoring the principle that businesses of all sizes should be able to conduct their operations without the fear of untenable energy costs.

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