The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has written to all MPs asking for their support for the ‘Switch to Fair Energy Contracts for Local Shops’ campaign.
The ACS wants MPs to “stand up for hundreds of small businesses in their constituencies who are struggling with rising costs and unfair practices by energy suppliers”.
A recent survey of independent retailers showed 36% have been overcharged in the past year, while more than one-in-four retailers had received back bills from suppliers.
Current rules allow suppliers to backbill retailers and other small businesses for six years’ worth of incorrect bills, even when the supplier is at fault. ACS’s campaign is targeted at bringing the rights of local shop owners into line with those of domestic energy consumers.
MPs are being urged to write to the energy regulator, Ofgem, calling on them to take urgent action to protect small businesses customers from unfair practices and encourage more competition in the market.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “MPs have a key role to play in highlighting these issues to Ofgem and standing up for the businesses in their constituencies.
“We need a strong push to put an end to market practices that harm small retail businesses. If we can get the energy market working better then it will have an immediate impact on the cost base of thousands of small businesses allowing them to make investments and create more jobs.”