BBPA raises concerns that energy suppliers are refusing to provide the hospitality sector

pub & bar

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

BBPA raises concerns that energy suppliers are refusing to provide the hospitality sector

Related tags: Energy, Utilities, Pub & bar, British beer & pub association

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has warned hospitality businesses across the UK are being refused energy contracts from suppliers, further hampering their ability to recover from the pandemic.

Over recent months, the trade body says there has been an increase in the number of utilities providers refusing to take on new accounts or renew contracts if they are linked with hospitality. 

Some providers will initially quote for a business, but then renege on signed agreements leaving companies with little or no choice to secure a new provider. 

Where pubs are split between domestic and non-domestic energy consumption, the BBPA says a refusal to supply energy raises serious concerns and is failure of the energy providers to satisfy the obligations they are subject to under the authority of the Energy Ombudsman.  

Additionally, the ongoing rise in utility costs further threatens the viability of businesses.

Throughout the pandemic the hospitality sector have faced ongoing energy issues, with the trade body saying that businesses are now reporting increases of more than 150% on pre-pandemic energy bills, with an average above 100%, equivalent to an £800m additional cost to the sector.

It warns cost increases on this scale risk wiping out already narrow margins publicans receive, and could have a knock-on effect on pricing.

“Struggling publicans that have managed to keep their heads above water throughout the pandemic now face a further financial hurdle that threatens the viability of their businesses and the ability for the sector to recover,” says Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA.

“The pub and brewing sector is at a pivotal point in its recovery and the erosion of margins is impossible to sustain. We are urging the energy regulator, the providers and the Government to work with us and take a more pragmatic approach with regards to the provision of energy to the hospitality sector.” 

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Pub & Bar

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