MP calls for charging change

A NORTHUMBERLAND MP is calling for a specific change to the electricity and gas charging regulations to help small businesses.

Current rules allow suppliers to backbill retailers and other small firms for six years’ worth of incorrect bills, even when the supplier is at fault.

Sir Alan Beith, right, is the latest politician to support a campaign by ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) to reduce this period to 12 months, in line with protections for domestic customers.

A recent survey of independent retailers showed that 36 per cent have been overcharged in the past year, while more than one in four had received back bills from suppliers.

The Berwick-upon-Tweed MP said: “Energy costs are spiralling and competition in the market is failing to work effectively. This is harming the ability of small businesses across Northumberland to grow, invest and create jobs.

“Energy companies have failed to put their house in order and it’s time for regulators to take action.

“I am therefore pleased to support the ‘Switch to Fair Energy Contract Campaign’ and have written to Ofgem – the energy regulator – calling on it to take immediate action.”