Raising the bar in small business energy supply

Small businesses play a vitally important role in the economy. According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), in 2012 small businesses accounted for 47% of UK private sector employment and 34.4% of turnover.

So we feel privileged to be supplying our business customers with the energy they need to power their companies. We also know that running a small business is not easy, and business owners want to focus their time and efforts on being successful. That’s why we are committed to listening to our customers and doing what we can to make their lives easier.

Today we’ve outlined some practical steps we are taking to do just that.

Firstly, we’ve announced that we will be ending automatic contract rollovers for small business customers from April 2014. We think busy people have enough deadlines to worry about without us giving them another one to meet if they want to change their energy supply contract.

Secondly, we’re making another big commitment on back-billing and challenging other suppliers to follow our lead. Back in 2012, we were the first supplier to introduce a back-billing commitment for “micro” businesses, promising to accept full responsibility when a customer had been under-billed due to a genuine billing error and not to issue a ‘back bill’ to them for a period greater than twelve months. We’re now going a stage further and will be extending this commitment to cover small businesses from April 2014.

These are small changes that can make a big difference. We want to make sure we implement them in the right way and will be working with the FSB, Consumer Futures and others during the coming months to finalise the details.

We want to be the number one energy supplier for the small business sector, and to do that we need to listen to customers and respond to what they want.

If you’re a small business customer, I’d be interested in getting your thoughts. Use the comment box below to let me know what you think about these and any other practical improvements you’d like to see in future.

About the author

Kevin Greenhorn Director of Supply Business, Contracting and International

Kevin Greenhorn is Chief Executive Officer of Airtricity, Ireland's fastest-growing energy supply and related home services utility, and is Director of Supply, Business, Contracting and International for SSE plc.

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