Half of UK hospitality firms have been refused a quote from an energy supplier, survey finds

Alex South

Alex South


UKHospitality has warned that thousands of firms could go out of business if action is not taken to tackle profiteering energy suppliers.

It comes after the trade body carried out a snap survey with its members after it was announced that essential support from the government would be cut.

Publishing the results of the survey on their website, UKHospitality found almost half (41%) of members had been refused a quote from an energy supplier because they operated within hospitality.

It added that Britain’s Hospitality sector is facing a £7.3bn hike in its energy bills from 1 April, with energy costs representing 11.4% of business turnover, up from 3.4% before the crisis.

UKHospitality also called on energy market watchdog Ofgem to take more decisive action to tackle the problem.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "It's clear to everyone that a driver of these rocketing costs has been some suppliers that have seen this crisis as an opportunity to boost their bottom line at the expense of hard-working hospitality venues."

She added: "Ofgem itself has recognised this but has been unable to yet take decisive action. Its current plans to ‘consult on suggested actions' in the summer is not at the speed the sector needs and it needs to move much, much quicker to rein in these suppliers."

Looking to the future, if the issue around energy bills continues to suffocate hospitality in Britain, Kate said: “If Ofgem doesn't feel it has the teeth to grip hold of this problem, the government needs to step in immediately to sanction those energy suppliers or immediately give further powers to the regulator."

Reacting to the statements made by UKHospitality, Steve Lomas MD of Deben Inns Ltd, tweeted: “If you were unfortunate enough to fall out of contract at the end of last year this is catastrophic! It’s not for the taxpayers to subsidise businesses BUT the government should use the tax system to enable businesses mitigate & navigate its effects”

Calling for a reduction in VAT, award-winning restauranteur Andy Lennox, said: “Hospitality finally seem to be waking up to what happens tomorrow. The cliff edge is today and the government are loss in action. The closures will start in earnest now, we must look to putting the pieces back together in the aftermath.

Responding to a seperate tweet from Ofgem, the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord said: “I've been telling you this for months. Businesses are closing, people are losing their jobs...but now that I've called for your CEO to resign, you're taking it seriously. Too little, too late. You need reviewing.”

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Alex South

Alex South

Editor 31st March 2023

Half of UK hospitality firms have been refused a quote from an energy supplier, survey finds