Small businesses 'facing crippling energy prices'

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Ofgem needs to ensure that reductions of wholesale energy prices are passed on to small businesses across the UK, according to one industry official.

David Workman, director general of the British Manufacturers' Confederation, has told the Financial Times that that action is needed to help ensure these firms are still operating in nine months time.

Ofgem's chief executive Alistair Buchanan recently admitted that small and medium-sized eneterprises had been "woefully served" by their energy suppliers, which Mr Workman applauded as a "long overdue recognition" of the plight felt by companies across the UK.

"Many of these companies were forced to sign up to year-long contracts for their energy supplies during the summer of 2008 at what can only be described as extortionate prices. Some of these contracts will not expire until September 2009," added Mr Workman.

He added: "These companies cannot be expected to survive the combined effects of recession, credit crunch and disproportionately high gas and electricity prices."

The Times recently reported that British Gas, one of the leading energy firms in the UK, had guaranteed it is going to lower its energy prices over the coming months.

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