‘Disgraceful’ suppliers fleecing hospitality firms over energy bills

‘Disgraceful’ suppliers fleecing hospitality firms over energy bills: Companies using Government’s energy bill support scheme as ‘cash cow’

 Warning: UK Hospitality boss Kate Nicholls

Unscrupulous firms are using the Government’s £18billion energy bill support scheme as a ‘cash cow’, the boss of UK Hospitality has warned. 

Kate Nicholls, who lobbies for pubs and restaurants, said some energy companies had been ‘disgraceful’. 

She accused suppliers of charging ‘extortionate rates’, demanding ‘eye-watering’ deposits and cancelling contracts. And Nicholls said businesses had been hit with huge increases in their standing charges, which are not impacted by higher wholesale gas prices. 

She told the Daily Mail: ‘Despite energy prices coming down dramatically, members are being quoted increases of up to 400 per cent.

‘You can see some justification for putting up gas prices because of Ukraine. But why is the standing charge going up by 400 per cent to 500 per cent?’ 

Some hospitality firms are being charged up to £15 a day to be connected to the network, she said. 

Nicholls called on Ofgem to penalise price-gouging behaviour and ‘name and shame’ energy companies that have acted ‘in bad faith’. She also called for the most expensive deals to be renegotiated. 

In a letter to Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley, reported by Sky News, she said: ‘To avoid mass business failure we need to see rapid and dynamic intervention from Ofgem.’ 

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has told firms that the £18billion package protecting them from the winter energy price surge would not continue at the current level.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk