There is much talk recently in the news about how people will struggle to be able to afford to keep their homes warm over the winter with energy prices rising. But many people seem to be forgetting that the energy price rise will also affect commercial properties.
Many businesses could struggle to keep their premises warm this winter, which could force them to lose consumers or to close early. Let’s face it; no-one wants to walk around a cold retail commercial property. Sometimes people pop into a shop just to get a bit of warmth anyway and have a browse whilst they are there.
What help is being offered?
The Government is currently in talks with the main energy providers and Ofgem (energy regulator) in order to try and find a solution that will help both residential and commercial properties this winter. So far, they have agreed for eight million consumers to be contacted, who will be offered details of how to switch to a better tariff, a more effective payment method and how to insulate their home and business, all of which will save them money. Consumers are advised to compare gas and electricity prices, to find the best deal.
Speaking at the recent meeting, David Cameron, Prime Minister stated, “We are making energy companies be competitive. They’re permanently being watched by Ofgem to make sure it is a competitive market, and we are making them make their energy available so that others can come in and provide customers with a good service.”
“We’re also writing to millions of customers today to encourage them to shop around to get the cheapest possible deal they can for their energy. So this is about the government, about Citizens Advice, about other organisations, all working together to help people to keep their energy bills down,” Mr Cameron added.
What help is being offered especially for commercial properties?
British Gas has appointed a specific team, which will offer advice to businesses with commercial properties. The team aims to help with:
The scheme has already helped 2,000 businesses set-up flexible payment plans, which ensures that they can cover the energy costs this winter. Phil Bentley, Managing Director of British Gas, said: “We want our customers to be confident they are on the right deal for them. That’s why we’re ensuring everyone benefits from the discounts and rewards available.”
However, at the end of the day, energy companies can only do so much as it is up to consumers of how much energy they use and how effectively they use it, as David Cameron said: “The easiest ways to get energy bills down quickly are to get people paying the lowest possible tariffs and reduce the amount of energy that is wasted.” A large number of retail commercial properties even leave their doors open during the winter time, just to ensure that there is easy access to the premises for the customers. This should definitely be avoided in order to reduce the amount of energy that is wasted.
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