30 Nov 2022The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged the government to make sure that energy suppliers don't inflate prices for small firms. In a letter to Business Secretary Grant Shapps, the FSB expressed concerns over the transparency of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme (EBRS). It said that some initial bills show small firms are still being hit by eye-watering demands despite government help. The FSB has called for energy suppliers to freeze standing charges and ban the practice of disproportionate upfront payments. FSB Policy and Advocacy Chair, Tina McKenzie, said: 'The government should intervene to ensure that energy suppliers refrain from finding routes to inflate rates for contracts. Energy firms should promise not to disconnect struggling small businesses this winter, in line with their commitments to households. 'It's utterly unacceptable for energy suppliers to ask cash-strapped small firms to cough up a large sum of deposit in advance of having any turnover or profit that can fund their energy use when the vast majority of small businesses are fighting for survival from record-high inflation, rising interest rates and an intensifying consumer pessimism.'