Independent shops, hairdressers, small factories and other small businesses worst impacted by fixing prices at height of energy crisis to be offered cheaper deals
Calls from struggling small and medium businesses increased 25% in April compared to last year. EDF doubles number of customer advisors to support.
Eligible customers to be contacted in coming weeks
EDF has launched new support for its small and medium business customers who were worst impacted by fixing contracts during the peak of the energy crisis.
The energy supplier has identified more than 15,000 small and medium business customers that it will contact to offer new contracts on lower prices that cover a longer period, to help reduce costs for businesses now.
This comes at a time when EDF has seen contact from struggling SME business customers increase by 25%. To provide additional support for its customers, EDF is almost doubling the number of SME business customer advisors.
The eligible customers, ranging from independent shops, hairdressers and small factories, are identified as being especially exposed to the impacts of the energy crisis due to a combination of having high fixed prices and being high energy users.
When global wholesale energy prices rose significantly last year, fixed contract prices rose and EDF bought the volume of energy required for the contracts sold during this period at these high prices.
Since then, wholesale market prices have eased and the price of fixed products in the market have reduced. However, EDF bought and sold the energy for these products when prices were high, so both EDF and the businesses that chose to sign onto a contract last winter continue to be tied to those higher prices.
Government support via the Energy Bill Relief Scheme supported customers through winter, but this scheme ended in March, with the new Energy Bill Discount Scheme offering a lower rate of support.
Philippe Commaret, Managing Director of Customers at EDF, said: “Whilst we aren’t able to rewrite all contracts, we recognise that some businesses were especially impacted, and we are doing what we can to help.
“We have also doubled the number of customer service advisors working to help SME businesses after seeing a significant increase in customers contacting us.
“For those who aren’t eligible for this scheme, we’re continuing to install smart meters, to help identify energy waste and permanently lower bills, as well as tailored support for those in payment difficulty through our CARE+ framework.”
This support comes after EDF already reached out to several thousand large business customers to offer them the opportunity to extend their contracts and blend higher existing contract rates with new extended lower rates, helping to reduce their bills in the shorter term.
SME business customers don’t need to get in contact with EDF – the supplier will be contacting eligible customers by phone, post and email in the coming weeks to outline the support available.