THE chairman of a community interest company operating from Ellesmere’s Market Hall has warned other small business owners to check their energy bills regularly after he was left out of pocket.
Lincoln McMullan, from All Together Ellesmere, was left facing bills of nearly £800 from energy supplier npower after two months of running the Market Hall and is angered at the 24p per unit charge he had to pay.
Mr McMullan changed the Market Halls’ energy provider to get a lower rate compared to npower, who had not contacted the business owner regarding the charges.
A spokesman for the energy company said: “The account for All Together was placed into the name of the landlord in March this year and in line with usual processes, the account was placed onto deemed rates.
“Unfortunately, the customer wasn’t contacted and so there has been no contractual rates agreed between them and npower.
“We’ve spoken to the customer and apologised for this. We’ve also agreed their new rates and will backdate these to the start, which reduces their balance by 50 per cent.”
Giving advice to other small companies, Mr McMullan said: “Everyone should make sure they are with a good supplier, check their bills regularly and check they are not paying too much. People should shop around and see what other providers can offer.”
A spokesman for energy regulator Ofgem said: “The price customers pay to energy suppliers is not regulated but there are rules in place by Ofgem to try and ensure the bill payer knows what their rates are.
“New standards will be coming into force in the near future that will mean suppliers have to treat small businesses and companies more fairly.”