Gas meter

New rules requiring energy companies to give more information on bills could help small businesses make annual savings in excess of £1 billion, according to price comparison service, Make It Cheaper.

As of 31 March, energy companies will be required to display contract end dates, as well as the cut-off date for either switching supplier or negotiating new rates.

These cut-off dates can fall anywhere between 30 and 90 days before the contract end date and missing them traps 25% of businesses in a cycle of expensive rates.

Jonathan Elliott, founder and CEO of Make It Cheaper, said:

“Suppliers are obviously not that keen to draw attention to key contract dates because it encourages their customers to, quite rightly, shop around. These new rules put the ‘notice’ back into a notice period and put the power back in the hands of customers to settle on a deal that’s right for them.”

 Research conducted by Make It Cheaper in 2011 showed that 96% of business owners thought it would be easier to manage their energy contracts if contract end dates were printed on bills.

Mr Elliott continued:

“This has huge implications for pushing up switching volumes and pushing down prices as a result. Much of that depends, however, on how prominently each supplier chooses to display the relevant information on bills and that’s something we’ll be looking out for over the coming weeks.”

Photo by Ben Stevinson