SME Champion Electricity4business' Research Finds 1 in 5 Businesses are Operating in Fuel Poverty - with a Further Quarter Approaching the Threshold

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Crucial research undertaken by leading independent business electricity supplier E4B, has unveiled significant findings about the financial climate of UK small businesses.

contract inertia results in over half of SMEs not even recognising they are bound into a contract. Literally thousands of businesses will be unable to switch supplier to get the cheapest price and take advantage of the savings made, because they don't know their renewal date. With prices predicted to rise, this can only lead to problems for small business everywhere.

Almost half of SMEs are classed as in fuel poverty, or close to it, and with industry experts warning of future rises of around 20% for electricity retail prices; businesses up and down the country are going to feel the pinch.

There is a rising concern amongst SMEs, as it has been found that spiralling energy costs now mean that keeping the lights on is a top concern for 25% of businesses. The research conduced on behalf of E4B which surveyed 1000 small businesses; found that electricity is now the second highest cost for SMEs all over the UK.

SMEs need to concentrate on their core business rather than spend their time worrying about the bills. E4B suggests that there are two simple things SMEs can do to help protect their profits, the first being to shop around for the best price for their electricity.

The second - and extremely crucial measure businesses need to undertake is to understand what they currently pay. E4B's research uncovers the fact that customer inertia is half the problem. With 1 in 10 businesses never even looking at their bill and 20% of decision makers just paying the bills without question, businesses really need to be energy contract aware.

However, E4B sales and marketing director, Graham Paul flags other problem areas highlighted by the recent research: "contract inertia results in over half of SMEs not even recognising they are bound into a contract. Literally thousands of businesses will be unable to switch supplier to get the cheapest price and take advantage of the savings made, because they don't know their renewal date. With prices predicted to rise, this can only lead to problems for small business everywhere."

This topical research is testimony that smaller businesses everywhere would be better off if they knew their contractual obligations and understood the basic contents of their electricity bill. A free guide to the small print of electricity contracts is available at http://www.electricity4business.co.uk.

UK Media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Churchill
Electricity4Business
t. 08701 630830
e. echurchill @ electricity4business.co.uk

Lisa Boustead / Nick Clark                    
Nelson Bostock Communications                 
t. 020 7229 4400                
e. lisa.boustead @ nelsonbostock.com

About E4B:
Electricity4business is Britain's independent electricity retail company specialising in the supply of electricity supplier to small and medium sized businesses. E4Bs aim is to cut the cost for British business by offering lower prices.

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