“On behalf of our hard-pressed members and the wider business community, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce certainly welcomes the short-term price support in the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. This will provide a three-month respite for companies and will offer a small degree of certainty at a time of great turbulence for many. We expect the legislation to pass through the Houses of Parliament at the fastest rate possible.
“However, in order to avoid our economy ending up at a similar potentially calamitous situation again, we are pressing the Government to go much, much further. The UK’s energy market is not fit for purpose and is riddled with market imperfections. In order to give businesses a fair chance to outline and then deliver their business plans, greater stability is needed in terms of how the market works.
“Firstly, there needs to be a legal duty to supply energy to businesses – unlike at present.
“Secondly, systematic reports from our members about intermediaries and brokers ramping up already excessive energy price increases is such a serious matter that Suffolk Chamber is calling for the sector to be referred to the Competition & Markets Authority.
“Thirdly, we endorse the Government’s earlier announcement to establish an Energy Supply Taskforce and to make the UK self-sufficient in energy generation by 2040. We believe it is essential to decouple electricity prices from global gas prices. It is an outstanding irony that so many good Suffolk businesses are struggling to either find an supplier or afford excessive increases where we are next to some of the largest offshore windfarms in the world. In fact, it is an insult and one which needs to be addressed.”