Autumn Statement: Business owners' energy 'profit parasite' plea

The rising cost of energy is the most worrying ‘profit parasite’ that business owners would like to see receive some treatment in next week’s Autumn Statement

The rising cost of energy is the most worrying 'profit parasite' that business owners would like to see receive some treatment in next week's Autumn Statement, according to

In a survey conducted by the price comparison service, 230 business owners ranked the costs they think Chancellor George Osborne ought to tackle in his speech on Thursday 5th December. Nearly twice as many respondents put energy costs ahead of any other expense that is unfairly eating into their profit and threatening their survival:

Hopes of lower energy bills are faint, however, with nearly two-thirds (64%) of businesses expecting the cost of gas and electricity to rise in 2014. Nor are many businesses holding out for energy prices to be frozen in 2015, with only a quarter (25%) expecting prices to remain the same in that year. In fact, only around 1 in 20 business owners think gas and electricity prices actually will come down as a result of the government's current focus on energy bills.

Consequently, the one overhead that businesses are most likely to tackle next year is energy with almost 70% of businesses saying they are going to seek advice for their supply contracts in 2014. This compares to 51% surveyed this time last year. Other overheads high up on the hit list for 2014 include insurance and telecoms:

Jonathan Elliott, Founder & CEO of, commented:

"Business owners clearly see energy as an unwanted parasite cost that's eating into their profits. It would be great to see energy come up in the Autumn Statement but there is only so much that tweaking taxation can achieve. For example, up to five per cent could be knocked off bills if small business energy suppliers were exempt from the Climate Change Levy in the same way that independent domestic suppliers are exempt from the ECO tax. The best way for a business owner to reduce their energy bills in any significant way is to be proactive and switch on to lower tariffs. We've helped 50,000 businesses do just that this year already and many of those have managed to cut a third off their bills. That's thousands of pounds being injected into their bottom line - rather than their energy supplier's profits - all thanks to one free phone call." / 0800 970 0077

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Note to editor: Selection of business owner questions for George Osborne…


  • Alvin Rakoff at Table Top Productions in London: "How can we make government, opposition and others in position of power, be truly aware of how crippling energy costs are?"
  • Brian Hadley at in Birmingham: "Given my supplier knows my usage profile re gas and electric, why don't utility companies just offer the best ie most appropriate tariff for my business?"
  • Allan Carmichael at Avoch Fishermens Co-Op: "Why do companies put up their renewal rates only to reduce them when you complain? I automatically look elsewhere when this happens."


  • Simon Smith at Eden Contract Furniture in Redditch: "Why, when landlords are having to compromise on rents charged, are the business rates charged totally inflexible? The local councils have a monopoly on rates and seriously abuse it."
  • Chris Esler at Hillersden Limited in Bristol: "Why are we paying more council tax for fewer things? EG lighting being turned off and having to pay extra for a green bin!"
  • Paul Wesley at Harlequin Bookshop in Totnes: "Why, despite endless information as to their destructive impact, has the government refused to even look at business rate issues, let alone actually address the problems they cause (especially on the High Street )?"
  • Rishi Lall at West Worthing Post Office: "Business rates should be reduced in the SME sector due to online competition."
  • Josephine O'Sullivan at B-in-the-City salon in Birmingham: "Business Council Tax it is crippling my business."


  • Sheila Doody at The Dental Practice in Dronfield: "When petrol prices come down, why don't we see it immediately at the pumps? They are very quick at putting up the prices."


  • Gary Osborne at Evoke Hairdressing in Sandbach: "VAT is our most painful outgoing, tapered threshold or a higher turnover starting point. Can make £1,000 profit in one month and pay it all out to the VAT man."

About Make It Cheaper: Based in Central London with 126 staff, Make It Cheaper has been the No.1 destination for businesses to get a better deal on their utilities since its launch in 2007. Following its acquisition of UK Power in 2012, Make It Cheaper also now provides competitive energy prices and expert advice for household energy consumers as well as businesses. Acting on behalf of all its customers with total impartiality, transparency and free-of-charge, Make It Cheaper offers deals from the widest range of energy companies including all of the 'Big 6' and over 20 of the smaller suppliers. For businesses it also offers year-on-year savings across other overheads including: telecoms, insurance and merchant services (Chip & PIN). By switching suppliers or helping to renegotiate deals with existing ones, Make It Cheaper will typically save over 30% of costs (as well as a considerable amount of time) that its customers can then spend elsewhere. Make It Cheaper was the winner of 'SME Consumer Champion' & 'Most Trusted' at the 2013 Energy Live Consultancy Awards, has been in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100 for the past two years and its 2012 Net Promoter Score was 74%.

Further Information: Nick Heath 0207 654 0730 / 07720 297972 /

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