Citizens Advice has launched its first ever complaints league table for small business customers to check how energy suppliers compare.
The charity says small business owners can use the independent comparison data to make informed choices about their gas and electricity supply - which could help them avoid delays and expense sorting out problems.
The new ranking, which will be published quarterly, measures how effectively the 15 largest energy suppliers with more than 10,000 non-domestic customers are dealing with complaints from small business customers across Great Britain.
- Use our household energy comparison tool to check if you can switch and save
It follows the charity’s established quarterly complaints league table for household energy customers - first launched in 2012.
Citizens Advice chief executive, Gillian Guy, says: “Small business owners depend on the smooth running of essential services - such as gas and electricity - to run and grow their firms. If things go wrong with energy suppliers it can cause delays and financial stress, so it's crucial that problems are sorted out swiftly and effectively.
“Citizens Advice’s new complaints league table will give business owners an independent tool to judge which energy suppliers are dealing with customer issues well.”
Business Minister Margot James adds: “This new tool from Citizens Advice shines a light on bad practice and will help small business owners make informed decisions when choosing where to get their energy from.”
E.on tops new leaderboard but Extra Energy takes last place
Big Six energy provider E.on has topped the new leaderboard with a complaints ratio of 21 per 10,000 customers. It’s followed by SSE in second place with 29 complaints per 10,000 customers.
In contrast, Extra Energy trails in last place with 1,225 complaints per 10,000 customers. Citizens Advice says common problems reported by Extra Energy business customers include not being billed for long periods of time and then getting hit with large catch-up bills.
In many cases this is followed by swift action to recover debts, without taking into account billing errors or customers’ ability to repay.
As with household energy complaints, you first need to complain to your provider. If that doesn’t work or you don’t get a response within eight weeks you can take your case to the free Energy Ombudsman.