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Energy: Prices

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with energy suppliers on the effects of increases in energy prices on small and medium-sized businesses. (290749)

The Government are keenly aware of the impacts on businesses of changing energy costs. DECC Ministers and officials have frequent discussions with energy suppliers and their representatives about energy prices and other factors affecting business and household consumers.

Ofgem has recently published proposals for measures to improve the functioning of the supply markets for small businesses.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with business representatives on the effects of increases in energy prices on small and medium-sized businesses. (290750)

Regular discussions are held with business representatives on energy price issues relevant to all sizes of businesses. These include the Business Energy Forum, jointly chaired by the Secretary of State and the Director General of the CBI. In addition there are ad hoc meetings with individual business organisations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the average price of energy supply for small and medium-sized businesses in each year since 2004-05. (290751)

The Department does not hold any data on electricity prices paid by small or medium-sized businesses. Data on prices are collected based on energy consumption levels, which do not always correspond to business size. Energy expenditure as a share of turnover varies widely, from around 1 per cent. to over 20 per cent. depending upon the nature of the business.

Annual energy prices for industrial consumers by consumption band are published quarterly in table 3.1.1 of “Quarterly Energy Prices”, with annual data shown in Table 3.1.3. The latest edition of “Quarterly Energy Prices” was published in June 2009 and is available online at:

http://decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/publications/prices/prices.aspx