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UKHospitality calls for investigation into 'immoral' energy market

11 August 2020 by

UKHospitality is calling on the government and Ofgem to investigate energy firms hitting hospitality businesses with higher tariffs than other sectors and "extortionate deposits".

Chief executive Kate Nicholls has written to energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng to demand an investigation into behaviour she describes as "beyond belief" as operators struggle to stay afloat.

She writes that members had reported "truly shocking" practices, included being quoted "significantly higher prices for being in the hospitality sector than others, and others are being asked to give substantial deposits – in one instance a £60,000 deposit for a single hotel".

The letter added: "In further examples we have been told of energy companies penalising hospitality businesses for unused energy during the lockdown period. This lack of empathy with businesses that have been savaged by the coronavirus crisis verges on immoral but there seems no recourse that can be taken."

UKHospitality is calling for an immediate investigation into the treatment of hospitality firms compared to other sectors.

Nicholls said: "This behaviour would be wholly unacceptable at the best of times. When it is happening while so many businesses are trying to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, and while so many jobs are still on the line, it is totally beyond belief.

"The government and Ofgem must investigate this immediately. Our sector has already been hit the hardest of any. It can not afford to be unfairly squeezed like this right at the moment it is expected to play a role in the recovery of the economy."

Photo: Shutterstock

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