British Gas has announced it will end automatic roll over contracts for new customers as of September 2013, existing customers whose contract ends after June 2014 will also not roll over onto a new fixed term contract.
The announcement via their website on July 17th comes a few days after Eon had called for the energy industry to put an end to roll-over business energy tariffs, British Gas are the first company to do so.
Currently when a business energy contract ends the company gets rolled onto a fixed term contract (usually a minimum of a year in length) on rates that are above market average. Many SME’s don’t realise their renewal window is 3 months before the contract end date, end up rolling over by accident and paying higher rates for at least another year.
Phil Foster, the Managing Director of Love Energy Savings said: “We’re over the moon about British Gas’s decision to remove fixed term roll-over contracts. It is SME’s who are most likely to roll-over and finally they will start to get a much fairer deal from utility suppliers.”
He added: “Hopefully the rest of the industry will follow suit and help restore much needed trust between consumers and suppliers.”
Stephen Beynon, Managing Director of British Gas Business said: “Increasing numbers of our small business customers have told us they don’t like the way the energy industry automatically moves them onto new contracts, so we’ve decided we will lead the way and put an end to this practice for our customers.”
The Prime Minister David Cameron voiced his support for the move, restating his commitment to ensuring consumers get the best deal from their energy supplier. He said: “Small businesses are the engine of our economy and I am committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to help them succeed.”