London ‘cheaper than Liverpool’ for SME energy costs


Research by comparison service Love Energy Savings looking at its own regional energy price data and official statistics showed that businesses in the City pay an average of £2,574 a year for their energy – the lowest of all the areas surveyed.

Less surprisingly, however, firms in the Square Mile faced paying the most for their talent, with the average weekly wage standing at £870 – double that of most other cities.

On the flipside, businesses in Liverpool have to fork out the most for their annual business energy bills. Merseyside-based organisations pay an average of £3,209 a year – £635 more than their City of London counterparts. Aberdeen – a city that is intrinsically linked to the UK’s energy industry – is the only other city to surpass the £3,000-a-year average commercial energy bill threshold.

Yet overall, when taking into account the number of start-ups being launched and dissolved in each city, as well as the average four-year survival rate, Aberdeen was the city where small enterprises stand the best chance of success. The four-year survival rate for the Granite City was 53.1 per cent, ahead of Norwich (49.4 per cent) and Bristol (48.4 per cent).

Birmingham had the highest number of business start-ups at 5,295 throughout the year. However, it was also way out in front in terms of closures, with 3,925 companies going under.

Phil Foster, MD at Love Energy Savings, said: “Our latest research shows that companies’ financial overheads differ greatly depending on where they are based geographically, as does the overall survival rate.

“The fact that a small business in Liverpool pays over £600 more for its energy each year than a similar company in the City of London demonstrates just how unpredictable the energy industry can be. To get any business off the ground, you have to maintain a tight grip on your finances, and it always pays to shop around for cheaper deals and discounts – whether that’s on your commercial gas and electricity bills or any other unavoidable business expense.”