North West businesses need to act quickly to secure their energy prices amid concerns that Brexit could increase bills, according to a Manchester-based consultancy.
Switch My Business, an energy switching service, believes that there is mounting evidence that energy prices could become increasingly volatile and rise post-Brexit.
According to government figures, the UK imports around 5-6 per cent of its electricity and a larger proportion of its gas from Europe. This leaves the UK vulnerable to increased pricing post-Brexit, Switch My Business said.
Last year, a House of Lords committee concluded that Brexit would put the UK’s frictionless trade in energy with the EU at risk. As it currently stands, the UK will be leaving the EU’s internal energy market, which is designed to harmonise energy trading between member states.
If energy trading is less efficient due to working outside of the internal energy market, it could lead to higher energy prices for businesses and households. The UK could also be more vulnerable to energy shortages in the event of extreme weather or unplanned outages.
“Whatever the final deal the UK manages to obtain to leave the EU, the end result is that we are likely to be peripheral to EU energy markets, which is likely to lead to higher prices and more unreliable supply”, explained Stephen Henry, chief operating officer at Switch My Business.
“Brexit is clearly a cause of concern for many businesses; we have seen a marked increase in customers switching energy suppliers to find a better deal and also an increased desire to secure prices, typically with three-year contracts.”