Rising Energy Costs Plea to Save Barbershops

Trade associations representing high street shops, including hairdressers and hairdressers, have written to the chairman of the newly formed energy safety committee calling for urgent action to save them from energy costs.

In a joint letter to Representative Angus MacNeil, chairman of the new bipartisan committee on energy security and net zero, organizations, including the National Hair and Beauty Federation, outlined the cost pressures resulting from non-domestic energy supply. They are urging the group to call an urgent inquiry into supplier behaviour and save small businesses across the country from ruin.

Together, the organizations represent companies that support millions of jobs across the country and have each sounded the alarm about the extreme burden imposed on them by soaring energy costs over the past year.

Now the groups have come together to warn of the huge potential losses that will be felt in communities and on the main roads of the country if nothing is done to protect businesses like hair salons from high energy costs and bad supplier practices.

In a joint statement, a representative of the organizations said:

“Entrepreneurs all over the country feel powerless towards energy suppliers. You have seen energy bills increase exponentially over the past year and.. this pain will continue. Some companies had little or no choice but to enter into extremely expensive contracts at the height of the energy crisis, and many will pay beyond the odds over the next 12 months and beyond.

“These local businesses are popular assets, central pillars in their neighborhoods, and if energy bills did not cancel out their profits, they would run successfully thanks to the continuous habit and support of their communities.

“We urge the Committee to use its powers to recognize this crisis as a real tangible threat to the existence of companies across the country and to convene an urgent investigation into the behavior of suppliers.”

Letter from the organizations

In the letter, they explain how small companies had “few or no options to sign new energy contracts when wholesale energy prices were highest in the second half of 2022”. In addition, the “reduction in support under the energy bill discount system” does not help either.

They also witnessed “bad behavior” on the part of energy suppliers, such as “making impossible requests”, “using threatening and aggressive sales tactics”, not passing on “the full cost of wholesale price reductions” and refusing to discuss concerns with customers “until they get into debt.”

Although they are working with Ofgem and the government to find solutions to these problems, the organisations are “frustrated that this work has been hampered by a lack of significant commitment from public services which … publicly affirm that they are working on solutions that, in reality, are not coming.”

Individually or collectively, they have urged the government over the past six months: try to find a “renegotiation window” for companies linked to extremely high interest rates, direct suppliers to offer an option of “mixing and renewal contracts” to spread the costs.charge and, as a last resort, set up a hardship fund for the”

Unfortunately, only “one or two companies came forward to provide such assistance – the others, unfortunately, did not.”

In addition, they suggest that “Ofgem itself is clearly limited by the regulatory framework in which they operate”, which prevents them from “implementing effective changes quite quickly” and “regulating the foreign energy market in the future”.”

They implore the president again: “Given the urgency of this situation and the terrible threat facing our members, we urge them together… conduct an urgent investigation into the behavior of energy suppliers during the energy cost crisis.”