Energy suppliers undermining benefits of Energy Bill Relief Scheme

By Georgi Gyton

- Last updated on GMT

Energy suppliers undermining benefits of Energy Bill Relief Scheme

Related tags Energy Bill Relief Scheme Energy Energy costs Hospitality Kate nicholls ukhospitality

Whitehall is investigating claims that energy companies are charging inflated prices for fixed rate deals, with UKHospitality calling for an investigation

The trade body has said that the price energy companies were paying for power on the wholesale market, and how much they were charging, had soared, despite the introduction of the Government’s Energy Relief Scheme, The Sunday Times reports​.

Last week the price for electricity was set at 53p per kWh, however, operators in the hospitality sector have reported receiving quotes of up to 80p per kWh for fixed electricity contracts, with suppliers also asking for 'excessive' deposits to take on new customers.

Mark Selby, CEO of Mexican casual dining chain Wahaca, said its annual energy bill looked set to increase from £1m to £3.6m when the Government relief scheme ends, and that suppliers were charging a 'huge risk premium' for taking on customers. He rejected one contract that required a £750,000 deposit.

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls has written to Business Secretary Grant Shapps calling for a probe by the Competition & Markets Authority and energy regulator Ofgem before Christmas.

Nicholls said that there was 'no reasonable explanation for this colossal increase in margins. “There needs to be an avoidance of doubt that energy suppliers are profiteering from the current crisis,” she added.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said it was aware a small minority of businesses have reported that some energy suppliers have set prices that undermine the benefits of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

“We are working with Ofgem to ensure licence conditions have not been breached and businesses are able to see the full effects of the support,” it said.

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