Microbusinesses are expected to reduce their energy bills by up to £180m pa through a range of measures imposed on energy suppliers from 26 June 2017 by the Competition and Markets Authority after a two year investigation into the energy market. 

Microbusinesses comprise around 95% of all small and medium enterprises in Great Britain and the CMA investigation revealed that 45% of them were stuck in their suppliers’ expensive ‘default’ tariffs.

Apart from the difficulty many microbusinesses experienced in accessing the energy price information they needed to shop around, suppliers further limited their opportunities to switch in some cases by automatically rolling them over onto an expensive new contract when their original deal ended.

A requirement for suppliers to stop the practice of locking small firms automatically into roll-over contracts is one of more than 30 measures introduced as a result of the investigation by ‘Energy Market Investigation (Microbusinesses) Order 2016’.

CMA’s aim is to increase price transparency and make it easier for microbusinesses to switch suppliers by, for example, requiring suppliers to make it easier to compare prices by making relevant information available on their websites or via links to comparison sites.