In response to the findings of the Retail Electricity Pricing Inquiry the government has launched the Business Energy Advice Program in an effort to deliver a fairer deal on energy prices to small business owners.
Speaking at the launch of the program today, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell applauded the introduction of the free advice service. The Business Energy Advice Program will help small businesses with 20 or less employees choose the best-priced energy options to suit their needs.
“These small businesses make up more than 97 per cent of businesses in Australia and when it comes to energy consumption, they really feel the pain,” Carnell said.
“Small businesses pay higher rates than households and use more energy, particularly manufacturers and the hospitality industry.
“They are less confident in finding the right information because what is out there is so complex, and they really don’t have the time and resources to investigate all alternatives.
Carnell said with a high percentage of business owners reporting bill stress, the service comes at a perfect time.
“We know small business owners are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety about energy bills, with 68% reporting these bills affect their cash flow.
“A recent SME survey showed 70 per cent would reduce investment in capital expenditure due to higher energy prices. The new Business Energy Advice Program offers an energy check benchmarking tool and a personalised energy advice service.”
According to Carnell, the Business Energy Advice Program will allow business owners to shop around for a better deal
“I encourage all small businesses to get onto the Business Energy Advice website to check their energy spend and find out how they can save money.”